I post this teaching not to start an argument, but I truly think it is profitable for all Christians concerning their prayer life. It is posted in this section because it is a useful teaching for all who profess on the name of Jesus. Take it or leave it but I pray God in the name of Jesus that it is edifying.

Throughout most of my Christian life, I have been in error when I pray. Upon some study and supplication on this subject, it was revealed very plainly through Scripture exactly how I was in error. Let us first observe a few teachings Jesus gave us on prayer.

Mat 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Mat 6:8-9
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Luk 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?

In the above examples, we see all prayer and petition references to God the Father alone.

John 16:23-27 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. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God

Here in this passage of scripture, when referring to the time after his resurrection and ascension into heaven, Jesus tells us that we should not pray to Him or ask Him anything directly. Yet many sincere Christians spend most of their time praying and petitioning Jesus instead of petitioning the Father.

Itís common for Christians to petition Jesus for help in this, a request for that, etc. That is a wrong way to pray.

I too have prayed this way. But upon further study of the Word I have found the following to bring correction to the way I pray.

Jesus taught us that it is better to go directly to the Father. "I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." So let's accept his teaching and not other teachings that contradict this. Jesus is not going to take glory away from His Father and so He instructs us to pray to the Father and not to Himself. Jesus submitted Himself to the Fatherís authority; therefore, the Father is in charge.

This truth is a revelation every Christian should understand. Your prayer life will become more powerful and effective once you receive this truth. Jesus taught His disciples to pray after this manner, "Our Father in heaven." Prayer is directed to the Father, not to anyone else.

Only while Jesus was on the earth, could people ask Jesus for help. However, Jesus said that it wasn't right to ask Him anything after His resurrection. We are now living in the day of the new covenant, so praying and petitioning Jesus is not the proper way to pray. Jesusí instruction is clearly to pray and ask in His (Jesus') name. This kind of prayer is consistent throughout the New Testament by the Apostles.

Act 8:22
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

2 Cor. 13:7
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Eph 3:14-21

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen...>

Eph 5:20
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Col 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

When Paul petitioned the Lord that the thorn in his flesh be removed, was he petitioning Jesus or the Father? Upon simply reading the answer given him, it is obvious that it is the Father he petitions and the Father who answers.

2Cor 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.

It is God that gives grace THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many try to argue that we can indeed come to Jesus in prayer, but they are only arguing clear doctrine from Jesus in God's Word when He instructs that we petition the Father only in His name (through Jesus.)

How is this explained by the role of Jesus as Mediator?

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Notice that Jesus is the mediator TO God, and not the one we approach. True Jesus is God by nature as Son of God the Father, which places Him in a subservient role. Jesus declares this when He states, "for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Jesus is the mediator, like a bridge. So you go through Jesus to get to God the Father. You don't stop on the bridge to reach your destination.

Jesus explains what His being mediator is NOT. You do not say your prayer to Jesus, so that Jesus can take your prayer to the Father. Jesus contradicts this by saying: .....I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you. (John 16:26) So His mediator-ship does not mean that you ask Jesus to pray to the Father on your behalf.

You see, not one is worthy to go to God the Father in prayer because we have all sinned. No sinner can go to God since God is perfectly Holy. However, God made a way for mankind to approach Him. That way is Jesus! Jesus explained this quite clearly in the following.
John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What about coming to God through anybody else who has lived throughout the ages, beit a self-proclaimed prophet such a Joseph Smith, Muhammed, Hare Krishna, etc.? That answer is found in Acts 4:12:

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Jesus said "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt 7:13-14). Jesus is the strait gate and narrow way. You must go through the Lord Jesus to get to God.

Other Scriptures to ponder.

John 15:15-16
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Acts 3:6
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."

Acts 16:18
And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Philippians 2:9-10
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:"

There is power in the name of Jesus. I will therefore heed His teaching just as Mary, His mother, instructed the servants at the wedding at Cana.

John 2:5........Whatsoever he saith unto you, do [it].

Or in other words, do whatever He tells you.