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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

Can you Pray to Jesus?


The majority of Christians, including pastors, are ignorant concerning the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words that have been translated,  'Prayer.'  The words supplication and intercession are rarely, if at all, used in their vocabulary. To them, asking is the same as a prayer but as we all know, asking for help from a friend is not praying to them. Most people say, 'prayer,' when they mean, 'supplication;' supplication meaning, "a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man." The question should be restated to say, 'Can you pray to anyone besides YAHWEH?' Can you pray to Mary, St. Christopher etc,? To address the original question, 'Can you Pray to Jesus,' can be answered by studying the usages of the Hebrew word, palah, and the Greek word, proseuchomai. The question we can ask is, in the New Testament, 'Did anyone proseuchomai to Yahoshua or did he ask anyone to proseuchomai to him?' the answer being, No! We can also ask, 'Did Yahoshua proseuchomai?' which he did and, 'To whom did he proseuchomai to?' which was to his God. The people who pray to Jesus reject the scriptures that state that Yahoshua has a God; they have three gods, which is called the Trinity, which allows them to pray to all three gods (God the Father, god the Son and god the Holy Spirit). They also electively forget what a mediator is, even though the scriptures clearly state that, "For there is, one, God, one, mediator also, between God and men,—a man—Christ Yahoshua" (1 Tim. 2:5). Do we pray to a mediator or do we go through a mediator to get to Yahweh? Another truth is, Christ Yahoshua, in this age, is the Head of the Body, the assembly. He is also our Master to whom we bow but he is not our Creator, our God. All these truths must be reconciled together so that there are no contradictions; there is no crossing over holy boundaries. We must always remember, "...that, YAHWEH, he, is God, in the heavens above, and upon the earth beneath,—there is, none, other" (Deu. 4:39).

The Greek word translated, mediator, which is, mesites, comes from the Greek word, mesos, which means, middle, in the midst, as translated so in Matthew 18:2, which states, "And, calling near a child, he set it in the midst [mesos] of them." Moses was a mediator, chosen by the Israelites, between the Israelites and Yahweh. He also mediated between Pharaoh and Yahweh. The High Priest acted as a mediator between Israel and Yahweh, as well has did many prophets (Elijah) and kings (David). Yahoshua is also a mediator, which means, "one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant." As the scriptures state, "Now, a mediator, is not a mediator of one, but, Yahweh, is, one" (Gal. 3:20). Ephesians 2:14-18 expresses Christ mediating by stating, "He, in fact, is our peace—who made both one, and, the enclosing middle-wall, took down, The enmity, in his flesh—the law of commandments in decrees—bringing to nought,—that, the two, he might create in himself, into one man of new mould, making peace. And might fully reconcile them both, in one body, through means of the cross,—slaying the enmity thereby; — And, coming, he announced the glad-message—of peace, unto you, the far off, and peace, unto them that were nigh; Because, through him, we have our introduction—we both—in one ruah (spirit,) unto the Father." We know that Yahweh was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself (2 Cor. 5:19). We know that no one can get to the Father but through (dia) Christ (Jn. 14:6). Yahoshua is the mediator between Yahweh and man (1 Ti. 2:5); a mediator of a new covenant (Heb. 12:24); a high priest, prophet, apostle, the only-begotten Son of Yahweh, who sits at Yahweh's right hand, who has a name above every name. Pharaoh did not pray to Moses but petitioned Moses to pray to Yahweh. Aaron did not pray to Moses but petitioned Moses, who he called lord, to pray to Yahweh that Miriam be healed of her leprosy.  Yahweh did not tell Abimelech to pray to Abraham but to petition Abraham to pray to Yahweh for him. Praying (palah) is to be done to YAHWEH alone! The creation of the Trinity removes Yahoshua from being the mediator between Yahweh and man by making him God, himself. Then who is our mediator between ourselves and Yahoshua, who is really Yahweh? Foolishness!

The primary Hebrew verb, when in the Hithpael stem, that is translated, pray, is the word, palah (paw-lal’), and it's noun (prayer) is tᵉphillah (tef-il-law’). The first usage of both of them together is in 2 Samuel 7:27, which states, "For, thou, O Yahweh of hosts, Elohim of Israel, hast unveiled the ear of thy servant [Solomon], saying—A house, will I build for thee. For this cause, hath thy servant found in his heart, to pray [palah (in the Hithpael stem)] unto thee, this prayer [tᵉphillah]. The first two usages of palah are in Genesis 20:7 and 17, which state, "Now, therefore, restore the man’s [Abraham] wife, for, a prophet, is he, that he may pray [palah] for thee, and live thou,—But, if thou art not going to restore her, know, that thou, shalt die, thou—and all that are thine...And Abraham prayed [palah] unto Elohim,—and Elohim healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants, so that they bare children." By studying the usages of palah, one will see it is always associated with praying to Yahweh or a pagan god and never to a mediator.  (All the usages of palah, in the Hithpael stem, are listed in Appendix A.) Isaiah 44:17 illustrates it's usage with a pagan god, when it states, "And, the residue thereof, Into a GOD [El], he maketh, Into his carved image,—Adoreth it, and boweth down, and prayeth [paleh] unto it, And saith, Deliver me, for, my GOD [El], thou art!"

The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew text, uses the Greek verb, proseuchomai (pros-yoo’-khom-ahee), for the Hebrew verb, palah. Yahoshua uses proseuchomai in Luke 11:1-2, which states, "Now it came to pass, as He [Yahoshua] was praying [proseuchomai] in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray [proseuchomai], as John also taught his disciples." So He said to them, "When you pray [proseuchomai], say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven." This very simple and clear verse, in itself, answers the question, 'Can you pray to Jesus.' This would have been an opportune time for him to insert his name, but he did not and neither should we. Yahoshua proseuchomaied (prayed) to his God and Father, who is our God and Father, throughout the Gospel of Luke:

Lu 3:21 ¶  Now it came to pass, when one and all the people were immersed, Yahoshua also, having been immersed, and being at prayer, heaven was opened;
Lu 5:16  howbeit, he, was retiring in the deserts, and engaging in prayer.
Lu 6:12 ¶  And it came to pass, in these days, that he went forth into the mountain to pray, and was spending the night in the prayer-house of God.
Lu 9:18 ¶  And, it came to pass, when he was praying in solitude, the disciples, were with him. And he questioned them, saying—Who do the multitudes say that I am?
Lu 9:28 ¶  And it came to pass, after these words, about eight days, taking with him Peter and John and James, he went up into the mountain to pray.
Lu 9:29  And it came to pass, while he was praying, that, the appearance of his face, was changed, and, his clothing, became white, effulgent.
Lu 11:1 ¶  And it came to pass, when he was in a certain place praying, as he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him—Lord! teach us to pray, as, John also, taught his disciples.
Lu 22:41  And, he, was torn from them about a stone’s throw; and, bending his knees, he began to pray,

Hebrews 5:6-8 states of Yahoshua, "As also, in a different place, he saith—Thou [Yahoshua], art a priest, age-abidingly, according to the rank of Melchizedek: Who, in the days of his flesh, having offered up, both supplications and entreaties unto him [Yahweh] that was able to save him out of death, with mighty outcries and tears, and been hearkened to by reason of his devoutness, Even though he was a son, yet learned, from what things he suffered, obedience." (A list of verses containing proseuchomaing to the Father are in Appendix B.)

Many corrupt Bible translations, such as the NKJV, NIV, NLT etc., translate other unrelated words, pray, when they are not proseuchomai. For example, proseuchomai is never used in the Gospel of John. The word pray or prayer is absent from the Rotherham Bible and Young's Bible, in the Gospel of John but is present in these other corrupted versions, which misleads it's readers. Yahoshua did not pray in the Gospel of John! I bet you did not know that! (For more information on the Gospel of John, read the article, 'The Gospel of John is an Enigma.' Vol. 1 pg. 63)

We now know, according to the scriptures, that people only palahed (prayed) and proseuchomaied (prayed) to Yahweh and Yahweh only. We do not palah to Mary or to Yahoshua. Yahweh is a jealous El, for he says in Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt not bow thyself down to another El,—For, as for Yahweh, Jealous [qanna’ (kan-naw’)], is his name, A jealous [qanna] El, he is." Fidelity is what Yahweh demands from his children. Palahing (praying) to Yahoshua or to any one other than Yahweh undermines the very foundation of Yahweh's structure, as recorded in his Word; "...There is one Elohim the Father, of whom are all things, and, we, for him; and one Lord Yahoshua Christ, through whom are all things, and, we, through him" (1 Cor. 8:6). The man-made doctrine of the Trinity has undermined Yahweh's structure, to satan's delight, breaking the first and second commandments, directing people to pray to Jesus and the holy spirit. The Roman Catholic rosary has Catholics praying a rotation of one time to the Father and then ten times to Mary, requesting her to pray for them. Mary is asleep (dead) awaiting the awakening (egeiro) of the dead (resurrection), as are all saints who have ceased to breath. People have forsaken Yahweh, a fountain of living water and have hewed them cisterns (man-made doctrines) that are broken cisterns that can hold no water.    

Then how are we supposed to interact with our Adon (Lord) and Savior, who is our Head? We talk to him, as did all of his apostles and disciples. We follow our daily orders that he gives us. He being our Head, then His thoughts are our thoughts. Yahweh is his Head, so Yahweh's thoughts are his thoughts.  We ask, (aiteo)  and not palah in Yahoshua's name and he will do it but only when it is the Father's will. When someone talks to you about prayer or praying to Jesus, ask them what Hebrew word and/or Greek word are they referring to, which will generally end the discussion. People are generally lazy when it comes to doing their homework. This includes pastors and teachers. Let us not follow the blind, lest we fall into a ditch but rather let Yahweh's Word be our guide, which has instructed us to "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer [proseuche] and supplication [deesis], with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Yahweh [not Jesus] and the peace of Yahweh [not Jesus], which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7). Praying through Christ Jesus or in his name to Yahweh is the proclaimed order!

(For footnotes, see PDF version.)

(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words
Yahoshua (yeh-ho-shoo’- ah) for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)

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