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Should we pray to Jesus or to God?

Scripture: Acts 7:59
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Should we pray to Jesus or to God? Almost every reference in Scripture is to pray to the Father in Christ's name. But there is a reference of Stephen praying to Jesus.

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Caller:  I’m wondering why we pray to Jesus and God?  Why don’t we just pray to God?  I know Jesus is our Mediator….

Pastor Doug:  It’s interesting you should ask that because I taught on that very subject this weekend.  Biblically there’s only one example I can find, there may be others, but to my immediate memory there’s only one example I find where New Testament people prayed to Jesus. 

Of course, in the Old Testament Jesus was not yet incarnate so they didn’t pray to Him.  99.9% of the time in the New Testament we are counseled to pray to the Father, or to God, in Christ’s name.  The one example is when Stephen was being stoned and he said “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” in Acts 7:59. 

That’s the closest thing you can find to a prayer to Jesus, and the reason I think he did that is he had just said in verse 56 “I see the heavens open and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God”, so he’s looking at Jesus and he said “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.  So that would be the only reason that it happened that way.


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