Why do Christians pray to so many gods?
“Why do Christians pray to so many gods?”
At first, I thought this to be a totally ridiculous question. Ask any Christian, and we’ll tell you there is only one God. Everybody knows that. So, why would anyone ask such a question?
This question was first asked of me by a Jewish man. You see, the entire basis of the Jewish faith can be found here:
Deut 6:4 - 5 “Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Jesus Himself confirmed this:
Matt 22 :35 - 40 “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
From these two scriptures we can see that everything is based on the fact that there is only one God. I think every Christian agrees with that statement. So, how could anyone ask such a question? This man was obviously confused about the Christian beliefs. But, what could possibly cause such confusion?
In pondering this question, I began to look and listen how we Christians pray. I can now see how there can be such confusion. We pray to God the Father. We pray to Jesus. We pray to the Holy Spirit. I have never prayed to Mary or the saints, but many people do. We all call ourselves Christians, and we proclaim there to be only one God. But, if there is only one God, why do we pray to so many?
I believe others are confused by us because we are confused ourselves. We don’t understand how to relate to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as “one” God. It took me several years to understand it myself. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of a “Three-in-One” God.
I believe I understand it now, and I only pray to one God. And, He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God of Israel. I believe in Jesus, and I believe in the Holy Spirit. But, I no longer pray to them. Why? When asked to teach us how to pray, Jesus said to pray like this:
Mat 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven…” (The Lord’s Prayer)
He also said this:
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.”
Obviously, I was praying incorrectly. I was not supposed to be praying to Jesus, but rather to God the Father. This was a struggle for me at first. I didn’t have a problem praying to God the Father, but what about Jesus? What about the Holy Spirit? How do they fit into all of this?
Then, a revelation hit me right between the eyes. Here it is:
Gen 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”
1 Thess 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
First, notice that God said “our” image, not “my” image. Interesting, huh?
If we were created in His image, then we can see what God looks like by looking at any human being. We can see that a human being is made up of three parts (spirit, soul, and body) that come together to form a single entity.
God is the same way. He is made up of three parts – spirit (Holy Spirit), soul (Father), and body (Jesus). Let me break it down for you:
Soul – This is the mind, emotions, and intellect. This is what makes up one’s personality. This is the part that makes conscious decisions. The spirit and body are subject to the soul. When you talk to someone, you are talking to their soul. When you pray to the Father, you are praying to the part that understands, that makes decisions, and shows emotions like love and mercy.
Spirit – This is the life force. Without the spirit, there can be no life or power. This is why Jesus told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no power.
Body - This is the physical part that you can see and touch. According to the Gospel of John, this was the Word of God in the beginning. The Word of God became flesh (Jesus) and lived among us for a season. Today, we have the written Word of God, and the church is the Body of Christ.
So, why do Christians pray to so many gods? Many of us simply do not understand how to see God. Hopefully, I was able to shed a little light on that for you.
Until next time, y’all.