Torrey - Man -14.2- Who should we pray to?

II. WHO SHOULD WE PRAY TO? Acts 12:5 — "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."

First Proposition: We should pray to God.

Much so-called prayer is not to God. There is very little thought of God in it. We think of the audience; we think, it may be, of our need; but there is not a clear, deep sense that we have come into the presence of the all holy, almighty, all-loving One, and are laying hold upon Him for His help. This is one of the most frequent causes of failure in prayer. We do not really pray to God. The first thing to do when we pray is to actually come into God's presence, to dismiss from our minds, so far as possible, all thought of our surroundings and look to the Spirit to present God to our minds and make Him real to us. It is possible by the Holy Spirit's aid to have God so really present that it almost seems as if we could see and touch Him. Indeed, we do see Him with the Spirit's eyes, and touch Him with the hand of faith. Matthew 6:9 — "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Luke 11:13 — "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your' children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" John 16:23 — "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you."

Second Proposition: We should pray to the Father.

Various modes of address to him are found in the prayers recorded in the Bible: Father ( John 17:1). Holy Father ( John 17:11). Righteous Father ( John 17:25). Our Father which art in Heaven ( Matthew 6:9). "Lord, thou art God, which has made heaven, and earth, and sea, and all that in them is" ( Acts 4:24). "God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory" ( Ephesians 1:17). "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" ( Ephesians 3:14). "Our God and Father" ( 1 Thessalonians 3:11 RV). Acts 7:59 RV — "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 — "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Acts 9:9-10, 13-14, 17, 20-21 — "And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.

And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord .... Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name .... And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost ....

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?" 2 Timothy 2:22 — "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (Compare to 4:8 — "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.") 1 Corinthians 1:2 — "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them which are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." Romans 10:12-13 — "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Compare to verse 9 — "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.") Third Proposition: We should pray to the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Christians is that they pray to Jesus Christ. They were spoken of in apostolic days as those who called on the name of Jesus ( Acts 9:14,21). Paul described them as those "that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" ( 1 Corinthians 1:2 RV).

QUESTION: Ought we to pray to the Holy Spirit?

ANSWER: There is no recorded prayer in the Bible to the Holy Spirit, but the communion of the Holy Spirit is spoken of. This may imply prayer, but it may mean the partaking of the Holy Spirit. (Compare to Corinthians 10:16.) We are dependent on the Holy Spirit for everything, and so must look to Him, which implies prayer. Yet it is the Father and the Son who give the Holy Spirit ( John 14:16-17; 15:26; Acts 2:33). It would seem, then, that if we desire Him, instead of praying directly to Him, we should pray to the Father or Son for Him.