It has been a long time since someone has given me some questions to answer, but I received several questions on my desk last week. While I will not be able to answer all the questions this morning, I will get to them all in future lessons. For our time today, I want share with you the question I will answer this morning.


What is the “Godhead?” If they are all one, why can’t we sing, “have a little talk with Jesus.” If they are 3 in 1 what are the things that separate them, and what are their specific jobs? Don’t their jobs overlap at times?


Obviously, I do not have time to give all these questions a through treatment, but I will answer them all. Hopefully, everyone got the handout on the Godhead, so you can take this home and study out all the Scriptures I have listed on it. While we are not told every detail about the workings of the Godhead, we are given enough information about the Godhead to know what it is and who it is made up of.


The Bible teaches that there are 3 separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By separate and distinct I mean different or distinguishable. By persons I mean self-rational, self-conscious beings having a will or volition that may act or be acted upon. By Godhead I mean Deity, Divinity, or Divine Nature as used in Acts 17:29, Rom. 1:20, and Col. 2:9. By namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit I mean to designate or distinguish the individual members of the Godhead. For example, while God is one, He is spoken of in the plural sense in creation:


Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.


Paul mentions all three all three members of the Godhead:


Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;  5 one Lord (Jesus), one faith, one baptism;  6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


So, The Spirit/Holy Spirit, Lord/Jesus, and the Father make up the one God.


Examples of 3 in 1.

These 3 circles are separate and distinct from one another, yet they are one. 

An egg consists of a shell, white, and yolk, but these 3 combined are one egg.

Man is made up of body, soul, and spirit, but these 3 combined are one person.

Father, mother, and child would serve as another example of 3 members being of the same family, yet each has their own function and role. This same idea can be seen with the church.


  • Eph. 4:4 says there is one body.
  • 1 Cor. 12:12-20 and Rom. 12:4-5 teaches there are many members that make up that one body and that we all have different roles within that one body. Even though we are many members, we are all to be of one mind and purpose (1 Pet. 3:8, Phil. 1:27; 2:2, 2 Cor. 13:11).
  •  Similarly, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one mind and one purpose, and they are in perfect unity. However, they have different roles.


For example, in creation, the Father was the planner:


Ephesians 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;  10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,  11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,


This shows us that is was the Father who planned creation, but He carried it out through Jesus. Jesus was the executer of those plans:


John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.


The Holy Spirit was involved with creation as well, and is sometimes called the organizer:


Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.


Though not specifically stated here, we can see in other places where the Holy Spirit was divinely arranging what was created by Jesus. This is implied by our text because after Jesus created the earth it was without form, but the Holy Spirit organized or arranged it.


Job 26:13  By His Spirit He adorned the heavens;

Psalm 104:30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.


These few verses, show us the different roles of the Godhead in creation.



  1. In the N.T. the Father is the head of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3) and our prayers are to be directed to Him (Mt. 6:6).
  2. Jesus taught and followed the will of the Father (Jn. 5:30; 8:28). Jesus is the one that died for us, and He is our mediator and intercessor (1 Tim. 2:5; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).
  3. The Holy Spirit was the power behind the miracles (Rom. 15:19) and He revealed the Word of God (1 Cor. 2:12-13). He is also our intercessor (Rom. 8:26-27).


All three have a function in our baptism. When we are baptized, our sins are forgiven because of Jesus (Acts 2:38), and we are united with Him (Rom. 6). The Holy Spirit seals us (Eph. 1:13-14), and we can know that all these things happen at our baptism by us putting our faith in the working of the Father (Col. 2:12) who created this plan of salvation for us (Rom. 5:8-11). Though there are different persons in the Godhead, each of them serve a different role, yet they are equally Deity.


Since no one disagrees that the Father is Deity, I offer the following proof that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Deity as well:


Jesus is Deity
John 10:30
I and my Father are one.
John 8:58 He says that I AM
John 8:24 You will die in your sins if you don’t believe Jesus is God
Luke 4:8 Jesus says to worship God
Rev 22:8-9 Says you are to worship God
Mt. 8:2 Jesus accepts worship, which means He is God.
John 20:28 Thomas says my Lord my God without being corrected.
Heb. 1:4-9 Destroys the teaching that Jesus was an angel, and God calls Him God.

Holy Spirit is Deity

He speaks, hears, resists, wills, and guides

Acts 5:3-4 HS is called God

John 16:13 Hears and guides into all truths

 1 Tim. 4:1; Acts 10:19-20  HS speaks
 John 14:26 HS teaches

Acts 16: 6-7 HS forbids

 1 Cor. 12:11 HS wills

 Eph. 4:30 HS can be grieved

Acts 15:28 It seemed good to the HS.

Acts 13:2 HS says separate to ME

Rom. 15:19 Power behind the signs

Mt. 12:31 Do not blasphemy the HS



I know that was a quick look at the Godhead, but I believe what I have presented answers all the questions asked except for one. I have answered, what is the “Godhead?” I have answered, If they are 3 in 1 what are the things that separate them, and what are their specific jobs? Though I answered this question, I did not mention every single thing that each member does, but I did show that they do have different roles and there are some things that they do that we simply are not told the details about. Finally, I answered the question in part, Don’t their jobs overlap at times? Yes, there are some things they are involved in together like our baptism. As I pointed out both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are intercessors.


The remainder of our time will be spent answering this following question: If they are all one, why can’t we sing, “have a little talk with Jesus.”


In order to answer this question thoroughly I need establish a foundation from Scripture. As I point these things out, I want you to think about them and please compare what I say to the Scriptures. In other words, do not just take my word for it.


First, I would hope that everyone agrees that we must find the authority for we do such as singing from the N.T. After all Jesus was given all authority over heaven and earth (Mt. 28:18) and we are told that whatever we do in word or deed, we are to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:17), which means do it by His authority. Jesus also says:


John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."


Worshipping in spirit mean we have hearts engaged and our worship is to be regulated by truth, which the Word of God (Jn. 17:17). We should never add or take away from what God’s Word teaches, which is why Paul tells not to even think beyond that which is written (1 Cor. 4:6). The we get stern warning from John:


2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.


Friends it doesn’t get any clearly than this. The Word of God is our sole authority that we must go by in order to be pleasing to God. 


Now that I have established our authority comes from N.T., I want to point out that singing can be part of our worship to God. When you look at 1 Cor. 14 where Paul instructs the Corinthians on how to conduct a worship service in an orderly manner. You see that singing is a part of it which shows us that singing can be part of our worship to God.


Now lets take a look at what that NT says about singing and how it is to be done.


Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,  19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


From these verses we learn there are 2 different purposes for singing in our worship to God. The first purpose is singing praises to God from our heart. We can also see this purpose of singing from several other NT passages.


Hebrews 2:12 .. "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."

Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

This last verse would certainly include singing to God.


James 5:13  Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.


Acts 16:25  But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.


So whether you are in public worship or somewhere else, we can sing praises to God through song.


The second purpose we learn from these passages in Ephesians and in Colossians is that when we sing we are teaching and admonishing one another. I like to refer to it as congregational teaching. Now the word admonishing means to warn. This is why it important that the song leader picks out songs that edify. When we sing about God’s amazing Grace or we sing about how the judgment day is coming, these songs are how we teach and admonish one another about God’s Word. With this mind surely we can understand that the songs that we sing need to be Biblical and should not contain false doctrine. You certainly wouldn’t want me to stand up here and teach something false. Well in the same manner we don’t want to be guilty of teaching something false when we are singing. It is so easy for us to overlook this fact because sometimes we think a song is great simply because it sounds good. But, notice what Paul says in,


1 Corinthians 14:15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.


Based on what Paul has said here we need to understand what we are teaching when we are singing. A good question to ask ourselves is, would I teach what this song is teaching to someone else? Now let me tell you what I am not saying. I am not saying that we should go over ever song we sing with a microscope and nitpick it to death. Instead, we need to examine the overall message of the song. We can certainly allow for what is known as a poetic license. There are many songs that we sing that either use poetic wording or present us with metaphors, which literally would not be true, but metaphorically they are. 


Even though a person may not fully understand every poetic wording or metaphor in a song, it would be ok to sing it as long we understand the overall message of it. So all I am saying is you need to be careful at what you sing, but don’t throw a song out just because you may not fully understand a small part of it. However, if a song is teaching something false, like you are saved by faith alone, we should not sing it no matter how good it sounds.


Now, I am going to point out two different songs that we all know how to sing well and that sounds really good, but both teach the same false message no matter how much of a poetic license you give them. The first song is the one our question is about:




I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in,

And then a little light from Heaven filled my soul;

It bathed my heart in love and wrote my name above,

And just a little talk with Jesus made me whole.



Now let us have a little talk with Jesus.

Let us tell Him all about our troubles.

He will hear our faintest cry

And He will answer by and by.

Now when you feel a little pray’r-ful yearning,

As your heart unto heaven is turning

You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right.’


One message this song is implying in first line is that you can simply pray and be made whole. We need to understand that the man that wrote this song was of the Baptist faith, and this idea of being able to pray and become a child of God without being baptized is taught within that faith. Now, please understand I am not saying that we should dismiss this song just because it was written by someone from a denomination because many of the songs we sing in this book were not written by members of the church. What does matter is what the song is teaching. Now, I do believe that we can get this teaching from line one about simply praying for salvation, and we certainly would not want to teach that in our singing.


However, someone might say you might get that out of the verse, but that is not what is meant. Though teaching the sinner’s prayer should not be done, let’s say I am wrong about this and I am just misunderstanding what it is saying. Perhaps it is talking about a Christian that has fallen away and is praying for forgiveness. Even if I am wrong about this, I still have a major problem with this song because it tells us to have a little talk with Jesus. Now, I will say this if this song did not explain what it meant by having a little talk with Jesus and I really used a lot of poetic license, I could say, yes it could mean me praying to Jesus or it could just metaphorically mean that I am talking to Jesus by reading His Word. However, our song makes it clear that it means praying to Jesus in the chorus, and also make it clear in line 3:


I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears,

But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night;

I go to Him in prayer, He knows my ev'ry care,

And just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.


So, this song is teaching that we pray to Jesus. I will show why this is wrong later in this lesson. The other song I wanted to point that teaches the same idea is:




Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?

 Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.

 Are you grieving over joys departed?

 Tell it to Jesus alone.




Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,

 He is a Friend that’s well known.

 You’ve no other such a friend or brother,

 Tell it to Jesus alone.


This is just the first line and Chorus, but no matter how much poetic license you use with this, it is clearly teaching that we tell it to Jesus alone. In other words, pray to Jesus alone. If this is not the meaning of this song, then I hope that someone will tell what I am missing.


So far, I have shown that both of these songs are teaching us to pray to Jesus, but now I want to show from Scripture, why this is a false teaching. When I show this to be wrong from Scripture, surely you would agree that these two songs should not be sung otherwise we will be teaching false doctrine when we sing them. In order for me to prove this to you, you will have to come back tonight.




















Just a little talk with Jesus part 2


This morning we took a look at the Godhead and how each member of the Godhead had a different function. We then begin to answer the question:


If they are all one, why can’t we sing, “have a little talk with Jesus?”


Basically, I established the N.T. is our authority for what do in life and in our worship to God. I showed that singing had two purposes. They are used to sing praises to God and they are used to for teaching and admonishing one another. Since we are teaching each other, we need to sing songs that are teaching the truth and we are to sing with understanding. While we should not nitpick a song to death because it contains poetic language or metaphors, if it plainly teaches something false then we should not sing it no matter how good it sounds or how good we can sing it. I mentioned two songs “Just a little talk with Jesus” and “Tell it to Jesus alone”. Both of these songs teach that we should pray to Jesus, but what does the Bible teach about this?


As I mentioned this morning, the Godhead consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each member is equally Deity, and Deity is worthy of worship and praise. We are told to worship God:


Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "


Jesus allowed men to worship Him several times such as in:


Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."


Luke 24:52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,


We have both the Father and Jesus accepting worship because they were Deity. Now there is not a specific example of someone worshipping the Holy Spirit, but it stands to reason that He also is worthy of worship since He Deity.


We can also show that Deity is worthy of us singing praises to. We have many passages that talk about singing praises to the Father such as:


Psalm 95:1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.   


We also have the commandments to sing to our Lord Jesus:


Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,  19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


Again, as far as I know there is no specific example of the Holy Spirit being sung praises, but by the same reasoning that Deity is worthy of worship, I would say it is reasonable to say the Holy Spirit can be praised in song as well.


So far, we have seen specific examples of the Father and the Son being worthy of worship and sung praise to and based on principle, the Holy Spirit is too. Well, what about praying? One might think, well if we can worship and sing praises to all three members of the Godhead surely we can pray to all of them, but as I am going to show you this is not the case because the Bible is specific on who we are to pray to and it points out the various roles within the Godhead when it comes to prayer. While the verses we just looked at are fresh on your mind I want to begin with them and show how they show a difference between singing and praying.


Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,  19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,  20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,


 Notice we are to sing to the Lord Jesus, but in verse 20 he begins to talk about prayer because he is talking about giving thanks. Notice giving thanks always and for all things is to be done to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Same thing can be seen in other passage:


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


Here is the idea. Yes, you can sing praises to the Lord and everything we do needs to be done by the authority of Jesus. Again, when we pray or give thanks, it is to God the Father through Jesus, because He is the one who made it possible for us to have access to the Father.


Hebrews 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.   


Now I want you to think about these questions from our Ephesians 5:20.


If we are to give thanks always to God the Father, how is there any time left to pray to Jesus or the Holy Spirit? 

If we are to thank the Father for all things, how is there going to be anything left to thank Jesus for?


Also consider:


Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


Here is yet another verse teaching us to pray to God the Father. The question becomes if in everything we make our request know to God, what is left over for us to pray to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit?


Well, let’s go back to when Jesus was still on the earth and lets see how He taught His disciples to pray:


Matthew 6:5 " And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  7 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.  8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  9 "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.


Jesus is teaching His disciples some great lesson on prayer. He tells them not to pray for show but in secret and tells them not to use vain repetitions. But please notice, He tells them to direct their prayers to the Father. Jesus says the same thing in:


Matthew 7:11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!


Now someone one might say, of course Jesus would tell us to pray to the Father because He was still on the earth, but that changed when He went back to heaven. While some might assume this, I have already shown multiple passages from Paul that say we pray to the Father through Jesus. Besides, notice what Jesus says about this regarding what His disciples are to after He go back to the Father:


John 14:12 " Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


John 15:16  "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.


Now consider what we see in:


John 16:17 Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?"  18 They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying."  19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'?  20 "Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.  21 "A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  22 "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. 


Jesus is trying to teach them that He will die and be taken away from them, but they will see Him again. Since the disciples were still having a hard time understanding this idea, they wondered what He was talking about. Even though they did not ask this question out loud, Jesus read their minds and explains it to them again.


In verse 20, He wants them to understand that when He dies, they will weep at His passing, but when He is raised from the dead, they will see Him again and their sorrow will turn into rejoicing because He is alive and will be alive for eternity. Once they see this, their joy can never be taken from them because His resurrection proves that we will be resurrected as well.


Jesus gives a perfect example of how they will feel at Jesus death and resurrection by comparing their emotions to a mother giving birth. When a mother goes into labor, it comes on suddenly. Since they did not have epidurals back then, the pain would be intense. So, the labor process was a time of dread and anguish. After the child is born and the mother is able to see her baby and hold it, her pain and anguish turns into joy. Notice what He says next:


John 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.


In that day when Jesus is resurrected and is with the Father, He said “you will ask Me nothing.” Instead, they will ask the Father in His name. Jesus is teaching us that we do not pray to Him directly because we are to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Jesus is our mediator and our prayers go through Him.”


Verse 24 reemphasizes this by saying that His disciples had not asked the Father anything in His name, but now He wants them to start asking the Father for the things they need in His name.


John 16:25 " These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 "for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father."


In verse 26, Jesus stresses that we are to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus, and that Jesus does not pray to Father for us because He has made it possible for us to speak directly to the Father. Now think about that. If we are not to pray to Jesus so He can in turn pray to the Father for us, then why do some think we should pray to Mary or some other supposed saint so they might pray to the Father for us? It does not make sense to do that when we have direct access to the Father thanks to Jesus. So, Jesus teaches us that they were to pray to the Father before Jesus’ ascension and He teaches that they are still to pray to the Father in His name after the ascension.


We can also see this back in the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples when He taught them to pray to the Father. Notice part of the prayer:


Matthew 6:12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.


In this example, Jesus says we pray to God for forgiveness of sin, which can be seen in verse 14:


Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


Though Jesus is the one who died for us and His blood makes it possible for us to have our sins forgiven, we are still taught that we are to confess our sins the Father and He will forgive them, which He does by the blood of Jesus.


1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Notice grammatically, “His Son” of verse 7 is pointing to “He” of verse 9, which shows that it is the Father that we confess our sins to and not Jesus. As Paul said:


Ephesians 4:32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. 


What do you think? If we were to confess our sins to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit do you think those sins would be forgiven? I cannot find any evidence that they would because we are taught to confess our sins to the Father. If we could pray to all three members of the Godhead then why did Jesus only pray to the Father during His earthly ministry?


Let us consider another point. Jesus is our only mediator, and He and the Holy Spirit are our intercessors. According to Thayer a mediator is:


“one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant.” 


1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,


Jesus is our mediator in that He died for us so we could be reconciled to God. He established the new covenant for us and He is the mediator of it:


Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.


Because of Jesus, He has given us access to the Father, which is why we pray to the Father in His name or we could say by His authority. Can we pray to Jesus in the name of the Father? No, it does not work that way because each member of the Godhead has their role. If we pray to Jesus, He is no longer acting as mediator, but when we pray to the Father He is.


Paul writes about the boldness and access we have with the Father through Jesus in:


Ephesians 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,  12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.  14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,


We also learn the Jesus and the Holy Spirit are intercessors.


Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.


Romans 8:34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


With a similar meaning as intercessor, Jesus is called our advocate in 1 Jn. 2:1.


An intercessor pleads someone else’s case before another person. As we pray to the Father in the name of or by the authority of Jesus, He and the Holy Spirit plead our case before the Father, which should be a comforting thought to all Christians. So, let us not confuse the roles of the Godhead. We pray to the Father and He is the one that forgives us through the power of Jesus blood. The Father is not a mediator or intercessor. Jesus is our only mediator, but both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are intercessors.


Consider the following from the pen of Gary Workman:


1 Timothy 2:5 has been adduced as an implication that we might pray to Jesus since He is our Mediator “between God and men.” But this does not mean that we speak to Jesus and then ask Him to speak to God. Our Mediator, Intercessor, Advocate and High Priest said, “Pray to thy Father” (Mt. 6:6). And early Christians understood it. They bowed their knees “unto the Father” (Eph. 3:14) and “lifted up their voices to God” (Acts 4:24). The Old Covenant also had a mediator and high priest (Moses and Aaron) but Jews could pray to neither one. We do not have an inherit right to pray to our Mediator any more than they could pray to theirs.  One should no more pray to Jesus as Mediator or Intercessor than he should pray to the Holy Spirit who specifically intercedes for us in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27).


Also consider what brother Wayne Cox wrote:


The idea is not that we speak to Jesus first, and then He takes our request to God, but that we have direct access to God by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19). Jesus, as our High Priest (Heb. 3:1) is the “bridge builder” between God and man, the mediator we so desperately need (1 Tim. 2:5). Because of His redemptive and mediatoral work, we can come to the throne of grace with boldness (Heb. 4:16). “Boldly” is the same word translated “confidence” (Heb. 3:6) and literally means “freedom of speech, openness.” We have open access to God and can approach Him with confidence, not because we are deserving, but because of the sacrifice of Christ.


As Jesus told His disciples back in John 16:26, He is not going to pray for us because He has given us direct access to the Father. So, why in the world would pray to Jesus instead of the Father? To me, it is clear that the Scriptures teach that we are to pray to Father in the name of Jesus and not to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit, which in no way makes either member of the Godhead less Deity, it simply embraces the roles of the Godhead as we have been taught in Scripture.


To be as fair as I can, I want to show a few things people use to say that it ok to pray to Jesus. Our first one come from what is known as a textual variance. What this means is that some of the manuscripts from which the translators use to give us our Scriptures in English will contain part of verse that other manuscripts do not. The scholars have to weigh the evidence of whether they should include these textual variances or not. For example, verses 9-20 of Mark 16 is section of Scripture this is not found all manuscripts. Though there is sufficient evidence that it belongs even if we leave those verses out, what it teaches is taught in other verses. However, the one I am going to show is not taught anywhere else in the Bible and it would actually contradict all the verses we have examined about praying to the Father through Jesus. Let me show you the verses in the NKJV:


John 14:13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.


Verse 14 is where the textual variance is and it makes a big difference in the meaning of the text, in fact it makes say just the opposite of all the verses we have looked at. You cannot see this variance in KJV, ASV, or the NKJV, but you can see it some newer versions like:


NIV John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


Clearly, if there was not a textual variance here the different translators would have come to the same conclusion and there would be no question about which translation is correct. When you read the context and consider all the verses that teach us to pray the Father, I am convinced that NKJV translation is the one that fits the rest of Bible. Since this is the only place that we find a remote possibility of this teaching and it is found within textual variance, I would not use it to prove or disprove anything.


The next example comes from Stephen in:


Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,  56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"  57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;  58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.  59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."  60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


Many believe this to be proof that we can pray to Jesus, but we have here is an unusual miraculous account of an inspired man who saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. If we saw Jesus with our own eyes, we would certainly address Him as well, but to apply this miraculous event to us today and say it means we can address Jesus in prayer is a misapplication of Scripture because nobody living today is going find themselves in this circumstance where the see Jesus as Stephen did.  Along with this event, others us the following example in Revelation as well:


Revelation 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Again, John was caught in a heavenly vision and he saw Jesus. Like Stephen, it would be natural for him to address Jesus directly since He was in front of Him, but no one today is being caught in heavenly vision where they see Jesus, so this another example that cannot be used to show that we can pray to Jesus.


I like what Gary Workman wrote about these two accounts:


"Acts 7:59 and Rev. 22:20 are often referred to as evidence that we pray to Jesus.  But if Stephen's request and John's "Come, Lord Jesus" authorize us to pray to him, do requests made to heavenly angels  and elders authorize us to pray to them as found in (Rev. 7:13,14; 10:8,9)?  Can we base our prayers on the extraordinary experiences of Gideon (Judg. 6:17-18,22) or Manoah (Judg. 13) or Mary (Luke 1:26-38) or Abraham (Gen. 18) or Lot (Gen. 19)?  Remember that both Stephen and John were inspired men who at the very moment of these sayings were caught up in heavenly visions (Acts 7:55-56; Rev. 22) in which Jesus was personally manifested.  Therefore, their statements to our Lord can in no way serve as a pattern for our practices today.


    "Our instructions as to how to pray are very clear in the New Testament.  Jesus, who is our mediator, intercessor, advocate and High Priest, said: "Pray to the Father" (Matt. 6:6,9; Luke 11:2) and "ask of the Father in my name" (John 15:16; 14:13-14; 16:23-24).  Paul, to whom both Jesus and an angel once appeared, said that we should give thanks always "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father" (Eph. 5:20). And those early Christians understood these things for when they prayed they bowed their knees "unto the Father" (Eph. 3:14) and "lifted up their voice to God" (Acts 4:24).  In the inspired history book of Acts we find it was God to whom they always prayed (Acts 12:5; Acts 16:25; Acts 27:35).


    "In light of all of this, Christians should neither practice nor advocate praying to Jesus.  This will necessitate screening some songs that are commonly in our hymn books.  "I Must Tell Jesus," "Tell It to Jesus Alone," and "Just a Little Talk with Jesus" do not represent scriptural views.  These songs do not advocate praying THROUGH Jesus, but praying TO Jesus.  How utterly wrong it is, therefore, to encourage people to "have a little talk with Jesus" and "go to him in prayer," saying that "just a little talk with Jesus made me whole."


    "In the area of prayer (as with all other Bible matters), let us practice what the New Testament teaches.  And it clearly teaches that we may not pray to Jesus, too!


In conclusion, I have shown you who the Godhead is and shown that they do have different roles but they are equally Deity. I believe the Scriptures are clear that we are to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. It is always to be done through Jesus, but not to Jesus. When we sing songs, we should all want them to teach the truth. So songs like “Just a little talk with Jesus” and “tell it to Jesus alone” should not be sung since they do in fact teach us to pray to Jesus. I hope you will think on what I have presented and test it against the Scriptures. If you would like written copy of this lesson to help you study the matter out, just let me know I will give you a copy.


Sources I used in preparing this lesson: Should We Pray to Jesus? By Jason Hilburn. Coffman Commentaries, Denton Lectures, Power Lectureship 1996, Debate book on the Godhead, and various other articles.