“Our Son in heaven?”

Hopefully I’ll have time to put together some thoughts on the first chapter of Spiritual Reformation this afternoon, but now I can sneak in some quick musings on which person of the Trinity we should be praying to.
I was listening a series of talks by Justin Mote on Leviticus (available here) and it turns out that it really is all about Jesus! He made a point about prayer towards the end of the first talk which I have reproduce below. He was talking about how Jesus has replaced the entire Old Testament Aaronic priesthood and said:

“Can I encourage you when you pray to pray to the Father and not to Jesus? It’s an odd thing isn’t it – I think Christians all the time pray to Jesus, but the New Testament – there’s one reference where Paul says he thanks Jesus [presumably referring to 1 Timothy 1:12] – but the New Testament exclusively prays to God the Father because the death of Jesus has brought us so that we can have access to God ourselves – God the Father.”

This brings to mind a similar thought by Pete Woodcock at a conference last April , who added that generally it is new, less mature Christians who pray to Jesus. While I don’t doubt that that has been his experience it hasn’t been mine – I know some very mature men, including church leaders, who address their prayers to the Son – but it certainly seems worth pondering. Jesus himself told his disciples to pray “Our Father in heaven”. I agree with these guys that we should be praying to the Father, though I also agree with Justin’s comment at the beginning of the next talk that prayers to Jesus will still get through – I think he got questions from some people who were worried their entire prayer lives had got lost in the post. God loves all our attempts to please him, but it’s still right to find out what does please him and change our lives accordingly (eg Ephesians 5:10).

PS. For a detailed summary of how we should pray to a triune God, Pete Woodcock’s sermon on Ephesians 2:18 is great. It explains what it means to pray to the Father, through the Son, in (or by) the Spirit.

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