Is It A Sin To Pray To Jesus?

It is written:

“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)

There are some who teach that it is a sin to pray to Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, the New Testament records many examples of inspired Apostles and early Christians praying to Jesus, as well as to the Heavenly Father. This passage here in Acts-regarding the prayer of Stephen-is a perfect example. And, there are many more such examples in the New Testament Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 1:2-To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Corinthians 16:22-If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O LORD, come!

2 Corinthians 12:8-9-8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17-Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 Comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

2 Thessalonians 3:5-Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:12-13-12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

2 Corinthians 13:14-The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Speaking of this passage, Barnes has pointed out:

“In regard to this closing verse of the Epistle, we may make the following remarks: (1) It is a prayer; and if it is a prayer addressed to God, it is no less so to the Lord Jesus and to the Holy Spirit. If so, it is right to offer worship to the Lord Jesus and to the Holy Spirit. (2) There is a distinction in the divine nature; or there is the existence of what is usually termed three persons in the Godhead. If not. why are they mentioned in this manner? If the Lord Jesus is not divine and equal with the Father, why is he mentioned in this connection? How strange it would be for Paul, an inspired man, to pray in the same breath, “the grace of a man or an angel” and “the love of God” be with you! And if the “Holy Spirit” be merely an influence of God or an attribute of God, how strange to pray that the “love of God” and the participation or fellowship of an “influence of God,” or an “attribute of God” might be with them! (3) The Holy Spirit is a person, or has a distinct personality. He is not an attribute of God, nor a mere divine influence. How could prayer be addressed to an attribute, or an influence? But here, nothing can be plainer than that there were favors which the Holy Spirit, as an intelligent and conscious agent, was expected to bestow. And nothing can be plainer than that they were favors in some sense distinct from those which were conferred by the Lord Jesus, and by the Father. Here is a distinction of some kind as real as that between the Lord Jesus and the Father; here are favors expected from him distinct from those conferred by the Father and the Son; and there is, therefore, here all the proof that there can be, that there is in some respects a distinction between the persons here referred to and that the Holy Spirit is an intelligent, conscious agent. (4) The Lord Jesus is not inferior to the Father, that is, he has an equality with God. If he were not equal, how could he be mentioned, as he here is, as bestowing favors like God, and especially why is he mentioned first? Would Paul, in invoking blessings, mention the name of a mere man or an angel before that of the eternal God? (5) The passage, therefore, furnishes a proof of the doctrine of the Trinity that has not yet been answered, and, it is believed, cannot be.” (Albert Barnes, Commentary On 2 Corinthians)

Revelation 22:20-21-20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Clearly, we see that prayer in the New Testament may be offered to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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