Must Pray Only To God
By Ron Boatwright
Jesus in John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit and those who worship must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” The word “must” makes it imperative. To worship God in truth is to worship Him according to His word, because Jesus says in His prayer to God in John 17:17, “Your word is truth”. In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God”.
Now let’s first look at prayer and then singing. In our worship in prayers and singing, they can be public when we assemble together or they can be our private prayers and singing. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, Jesus says in Matthew 6:6, 9, “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…In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”. Jesus also tells His apostles in John 16:23, “whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you”. We must ask our prayers to God in the name of Christ. To ask in the name of Christ is to ask it by the authority of Christ. It is only by the authority of Jesus that we can approach God the Father. Colossians 3:17 says, “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”. And we read in Ephesians 5:20, “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In our prayers to God the Father, Jesus is included, since He is at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19), pleading our case and making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). Jesus takes a very active part in our prayers to God. But if one prays to Jesus, he is excluding God the Father in his prayer. I believe the instructions in the Bible concerning our prayers are quite clear and simple. We are to pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus as part of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9) is to be also worshipped along with the Father. Jesus accepted worship while here on the earth. We read of a blind man who Jesus had healed in John 9:38, “Then he said, ‘Lord I believe!’ and he worshipped Him”. Jesus also says in Mark 7:7, “In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”. When Jesus was raised from the dead, He met with the apostles and we read in Matthew 28:17, “When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted”.
Now let’s look at singing. In both Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 our singing is to include, “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”. Psalms are taken from the book of Psalms. If we sing Psalms 22 we are singing about Christ and His death on the cross. Hymns are songs of praise of God and Christ. Spiritual songs express our love and devotion to God and Christ. Before partaking the Lord’s Supper we usually sing a song concerning the death of Christ.
Now looking at the song, “Just A Little Talk With Jesus”, I believe that it is not Scriptural in what it is teaching, but is teaching error. First this song is advocating that we pray to Jesus. The third verse concerning Jesus says, “I go to Him in Prayer”. We don’t pray to Jesus, but we pray to God through Jesus. I think this song is demeaning particularly in the words: “just a little talk”. This is belittling of prayer. Also I think the song is teaching the false doctrine of “faith only”. In the first verse it says, “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. Now just a little talk with Jesus made me whole.” These words are advocating salvation by “the sinner’s prayer”, which is a false denominational doctrine, which will cause many people to lose their souls. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:15, “I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also”. To sing with the understanding is to understand and mean what we are singing. Most of our songs are good and are well written. There are some songs I cannot sing because they teach error. Our songs are written by men and they are not inspired. We must be careful in selecting our songs because some of them do contain error and false doctrine.