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If Jesus was God, why did he pray?

Full Question

My brother recently converted to Islam, in part because he no longer believes that Jesus was God. If he was, he argues, why did he pray to himself all the time? Why especially in Gethsemane when he was suffering so greatly?

Answer

Your brother fails to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. God is one Being who is three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because these are three distinct persons, it is not unusual for one of the Persons to speak to one of the other Persons. In such a case, as with Christ praying to the Father, he isn’t talking to himself because he is talking to another person.










47 comments

  1. Desiree Fernando Reply

    In the Garden of Gethsamene, our Lord Jesus Christ was not praying to himself, He prayed for us as he took upon himself the sins of all mankind for all generations and he bore our sins and suffered a painful death. He fulfilled the will of God to give us victory over sin and death so that we will be able to enter in to the Kingdom of Heaven where we are longing to return to when we close our eyes to this world one day when we die.

    One does not need to change one’s religion just for the sake of not understanding God’s Word. It is wise to talk to Spiritual Leaders of the Church / Faith before leaving the church if we are not sure of certain teachings.

    God Bless.

    1. Diane McKenzie Reply

      Jesus entered this world as 100% man and 100% God. He chose to set aside His divinity so that He could model how we are to live in this world…in complete dependence on the One who created us. The only way the world could be redeemed from the enemy (we gave all authority to Satan in the garden) was that the redemption had to come through a man and there was (and is) no human that is without sin and able to accomplish that…so God in the form of His Son came …”ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD”…Genesis 3 explains how the redemption would come. So the plan was in place from the beginning…

      1. LRC Reply

        Beautiful!

        1. nelson Reply

          We all believe in God, leave your doubt behind

      2. Mike Reply

        Well, Mary did not commit any sin since she is a new ark covenant, she is full of grace and she is the Mother of God. Not like in the old testament, the woman or eve said yes to the devil. In the new testament, Mary the new woman or the new eve said yes to God. Not like in the old where Abraham was stopped by God to sacrifice his son, God the Father willingly sacrifice his only begotten son to save us. Jesus proves on the resurrection that there is life after death. He open the gates of heaven. He established his Church for us to be nourished, cleaned and guided before he comes again.

        1. j johnston Reply

          there is NOTHING in scripture to suggest that Mary was sinless… ( QUOTE……ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God ) and there is certainly nothing in scripture to suggest that she is the mother of God in fact she is described as being ( QUOTE ..Blessed AMONG women and not ABOVE them )

  2. tewkewl Reply

    not only that. Jesus is fully God and fully man. men pray to God.

    1. Azrul Reply

      A God is a God and a man is a man. They are distinctively different, God being the Creator, man is His creation. So, how can Jesus be both a God and also a man?You said Men pray to God, but in John 11:35 …..Jesus went out to a mountain to pray and spent the night praying to God”… and he knelt down and prayed (Luke 22:41).
      In Matthew 26:39, ” …he (Jesus) went a little further and fell on his face and prayed. Since men prayed to God as you said and Jesus too prayed to God, we can surmised that Jesus too is a man and not God. If he’s God, why would he prayed to himself.

      1. Jay Burgherr Reply

        Azrul, Our God created the universe simply by speaking it into being. Making everything from nothing. Are you telling me that God does not have the power within Him to incarnate himself, creating a hypostatic union of God and Man within the same being? The God I believe in does have that power and authority. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man at the same time.

        As to “praying to himself”, you obviously didn’t bother reading the explanation in the articles answer, so I’ll re-display it here for you: “God is one Being who is three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because these are three distinct persons, it is not unusual for one of the Persons to speak to one of the other Persons. In such a case, as with Christ praying to the Father, he isn’t talking to himself because he is talking to another person.”

        1. Christine Reply

          So if Jesus is God incarnate, who was minding the store? Jesus never said he was God in the bible.

      2. Believe Reply

        Alpha And Omega. He Is The Begining And The End. But Jesus Conquered Death. So Endings Are New Beginings.

      3. David Blyth Reply

        We should not exhaust ourselves trying to grasp the mystery or our Lord.
        The incarnation of the Son in human form is not understandable to us, but our Lord’s design.

  3. Donna Reply

    My belief is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct personages; three yes, but separate from each other. Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, the Redeemer of the world, the Messiah (so many more titles) but he is the (literal) Son of God (the Father of our spirits). We pray to the Father Almighty through the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus definitely is (a) God. He is divine.
    When John was baptizing Jesus, a voice from heaven was heard saying This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased. That wasn’t Jesus talking to or about himself. On the cross, Jesus Christ prayed to his own Father. Abba, He called, asking why He had forsaken him. God the Father had withdrawn his spirit from him (Jesus) so he (Jesus) could truly be doing it all on his (Jesus) own. This may not be in keeping with any creed but then, who made up the creeds – men.

  4. Jennifer Roof Reply

    Jesus is (a) God? There is only 1 God (3 persons). It is a Mystery.

  5. tom Reply

    Tell your brother in Islam their God pray on their profit Mohammad, Who’s come?

    1. Alice Carter Reply

      We don’t pray to our Prophet. We pray to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

  6. Visuca Mazo Reply

    to understand God’s misteries one must have God’s grace and favour. Not easy! . – “Please, God our Father, love and guide us that through your favour we may deserve You”.

  7. Saji Mathew Reply

    for first he dint pray to himself, he prayed to almighty father for us & who send him & do u believe in yourself then why r u praying for your sin & help

    1. Azrul Reply

      If he prayed to God, this means he’s just a man and powerless like us.Why would a god, or son of god who is supposed to be powerful prayed to the Father? One attribute of God is that He should be powerful.
      If he’s God, why would he said,” By myself I can do nothing….I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father…- John 5:30. A God can do nothing?
      A weeping God? Jesus wept – John 11:35
      God cant be tempted with evil, neither tempt he any man – james 1:13, but in Hebrew 4:15, “But he (Jesus) was in all points tempted…
      “And immediately, the spirit drived him into wilderness and he was there 40 days tempted by Satan….- mark 1:12-13
      There are many other verses which show that Jesus is just human and powerless like us.

      1. Jay Burgherr Reply

        I see you like doing copy and paste, Azrul.

      2. Jay Burgherr Reply

        Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

      3. Justin Reply

        Azrul,

        Jesus was not powerless like us. In fact he performed many witnessed miracles and exorcisms as stated in the bible.

        Additionally, Jesus was tempted but never sins and died on the cross for our sins. Our savior ascended into heaven and has been worshiped over 2000 years.

        In fact, Jesus birth was prophesied well before his birth occurred. This includes the time and location which is document in Jewish scripture.

        Compare Jesus to other wanna to be gods. I select Mohammad since this thread discusses Islam.

        1) was Mohammad’s birth foretold/prophesied years before it occurred? No

        2) was Mohammad a sinner? Yes, in the Quran it says he sinned twice.

        3) Did Mohammed perform miracles? No. There is nothing to indicate in the Quran that he ever performed or had a witnessed miracle.

        4) What happened to Mohammed body when he passed away? Did he ascend into heaven? No, his body is in Suadi Arabia.

        1. kelia Reply

          Very well said.

      4. charbel Reply

        azul, god incarnate him self as human in our lord Jesus to get near the people, because with all the prophet before our lord Jesus, all the juth did not believe in the prophet john or any prophet , so to make it clear as the statement he send his son our lord Jesus.
        now Jesus prayed to god to teach us to pray, and Jesus ask forgiveness to teach us love, because in the god and our lord Jesus are one, and with our lord jesus it started the new testament.

      5. Jean Potts Reply

        You just don’t get it Azrul.You are muslim and can’t see beyond your nose.We don’t need to try and convince you your mind is clogged.

      6. Martha Minchala Reply

        Azrul, Jesus is the word incarnate, meaning to say, He who was, is and will always be became one of us to bring salvation to the world. He came to show us how to have faith in our heavenly Father; how to pray to him, how to forgive and how to lay down your life for tbe life of others. He showed his divine powers through the healings of the sick and afflicted, resurrecting Lazarus, walking on water, multiplication of bread and fish when there was a large crowd of people and little bit of bread and fish. So many more! 2000 years and more has come and gone and Jesus is in the life of millions of people who offer their life for love of him and in appreciation for having given his life up for us. We will never fully understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity because our human mind is so limited compared to that of God. Jesus Christ lives on and he died for all, believers and non-believers. He is love is pure and his mercy is abundant. Peace!

      7. Fel Salazar Reply

        What about the words that Jesus said to Philip. ” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10″Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.…

  8. Maria Calise-Block Reply

    Jesus said that when you pray, pray like this…Our Father, who art in Heaven….He also said he came not by His will but by the will of his father. When he was suffering in the garden that was a repeated prayer. Not my will, but thine be done.

  9. Diffal Reply

    What this person’s brother forgets is that Jesus was BOTH God AND Man, this fact is central to understanding who He is and why He could pray. Although He was one person He had both a human nature like you and I, and also a divine nature. In addition to the two natres it follows that He also had a human will and a divine will. It is in the bringing of our hearts(that is properly speaking our willed desires) and minds to God that prayer consists and it is in his human nature and will that Christ was ablt to and in fact di pray to the father.

    A lot of ink was spilled on this issue espically during the Oecumenical Councils of Chalcedon(451) Constantinople (680)

    1. dyde Reply

      exact.

  10. dyde Reply

    From Jesus:I am powerless like humans,and i pray to myself,not because i am alone,but to communicate with the Father.@men.

  11. Miki † Reply

    Yes . JESUS is GOD and islam is evil

  12. ANDREW EBOT Reply

    My analogy about Christian God(The Trinity) is like a triangle-having 3 sides equal with each other.How come we know this?It was Jesus himself who revealed it to us.It is in the Gospel.I dont need to quote.Here I put it in simple term.”Why do you need to ask,show us the Father?When you have seen me,you have seen the Father because Im in the Father and the Father is in me.”Now,who has that authority to speak such words considered blasphemious if he is not divine?.Besides other words of divine authority that he spoke,he proved it with miracles and the greatest of all was that he raised Lazarus already dead for 3 days alive.No other prophets had ever done that.His coming into the world was prophesied 740 years before he was born.When the day came,the Jews rejected him as not God as so are the muslims.He once said,”When I came into this world,very little will know me.Only those who are chosen will know me because Im not of this world.”Note that I use small letter to replace the second person singular of Jesus because here on Earth he took up human nature.

  13. Hensem Siregar Reply

    Azrul, let me ask you this simple truth and fact, Human beings are all sinners but there is only ONE MAN who is SINLESS of all time. WHO is HE? The Holy Bible is very clear on this and you shall find the answer too in alquran, When you do find it, embrace HIM and seek for HIS forgiveness because HE is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE. I am a sinner, I may have the power and everything in this world to create a book or anything that touches millions lives including you, draw them into my belief and world but not into HIS, but I myself know the facts that I cannot save them in the afterlife. Would you still follow and stick with me? Would you stand by me, defending me?

  14. edwin Reply

    Azrul, The mistake we human beings make is to want to understand God the way we would our fellow men. He is beyond us and in whichever way HE decides to reveal HIMSELF to us we just have to accept and believe.

  15. bm Reply

    ok further confuse the matter..in the beginning there was the word..and the word was god and the word was with god john 1:1 so you can be both god and with God..ie seperate…for any christian to call islam evil is totally missing the point of christianity…namely love one another…the christians had the crusades the muslims now have jihad…..neither of these please God..and before it kicks of i’m christian

  16. Yaaser Reply

    Hello everyone!

    I am a Muslim and I would like to respectfully explain the Muslim view about Jesus.
    First off, Jesus is mentioned way more times in the Quran than Muhammad is. The Quran actually explains many of the miracles of Jesus. And as Muslims, we MUST believe in those miracles. So we don’t deny that Jesus could produce miracles. Furthermore, the Quran commands us to love Jesus as much as we love Muhammad.

    So really, Muslims don’t have anything against Jesus at all. The issue here however, is that Muslims simply don’t believe Jesus is the son of God. Of course, I have many arguments I can bring up regarding this discussion, but all I wanted to do was just let everyone here know what Muslims think about Jesus 🙂

    Oh and btw, Jesus wasn’t the only man that could produce miracles. Muhammad could as well. So did all the past prophets.

    Thanks for reading! Sorry if this was kinda long…

    1. Manny Cuaresma Reply

      Yaaser,
      That’s a very clarifying answer regarding muslims and the Quran. I wish people will just have a better understanding of everyone’s faith and respect them as it is. Christianity, Muslims, and other religions is vague and everything falls down to “faith”. Everyone has the right to question things that we don’t fully understand like Azrul in these comments, and he should be respected on his views. Maybe his doubts will set him free to find the truth. If his beliefs leads him to Christianity or the Muslim faith or any other beliefs, then let it be.
      As a Christian, I believe in Christ but I also respect those who has other beliefs.

  17. Yaaser Reply

    Oh, and one more thing. Based on what I’ve read here so far, many of you believe we worship Muhammad. I just wanted to let you know that that’s completely untrue.
    We believe Muhammad was simply man – nothing more, nothing less. He is the one that received revelation from God and he simply preached what God showed him.
    Of course, Muslims love Muhammad, but that doesn’t mean we worship him.
    Muslims simply believe in one Allah.
    (Allah is just the Arabic word for God)
    So please don’t ridicule the name of Allah because He is actually the same God Christians worship – the only difference is that you refer to him as “the Father.”

    1. kelia Reply

      Well said Yaaser, i respect Islam and Christianity for they all fall on same point: God is Love and We only worship one God. Only the difference is that the Holy Trinity in Christian belief. The important there is the common teaching on how to do good and perfect ourselves to be able to go to heaven and be with God.

  18. yaGhousAlMadad Reply

    to all you fools out there. …The old testament – not interested in the edited chopped and changed new testament, came down in a aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. So much was lost in translation To English. The prophet became son, the Lord became god and so on ….and now you silly Christian fools follow the English bible and the 100s of its versions as if it was the truth.

    You guys just sound silly. God is 3. Then he is 1. Then there is the 2nd. Eish. By 2500 AD there will exist a quad god.

  19. Muneebah Reply

    So if God is one being, who is 3 persons, and these 3 persons speak to each other, it would then be correct to say that God is speaking to himself. So if these 3 persons/ one God, prayed and wept like humans do, this would be the same as God praying and weeping to himself. This does not make sense at all. You only have to read the opening statement to see how misguided (I’m sorry to say this) Christians are. As human beings we will never be able to comprehend what God actually is, but we have been given so many signs, we have been given the best of guidance – Quran. If only you would open your eyes and search for the truth. I’m not here to judge anyone regarding their religion. I just want you to know that the truth is out there, if only you could see it. Don’t blindly follow the masses based on years of indoctrination and tradition.This is your soul you deserve to know the truth. Search it, understand Islam understand it’s teachings do not focus on media or masses. Islam is truth, Islam is the way of life and in islam we too, love Jesus peace be upon him.

  20. ali Reply

    Your brother converted to jiahdis racist islam

  21. gine Reply

    Whatever it is i believe in only in one god that is Jesus Christ…

  22. Fabio Reply

    God has not taken to Himself a son, nor is there any other deity besides Him; otherwise, each god would have walked away with what he had created. They would surely have tried to overcome one another. Glory be to God, above all that they ascribe to Him.

  23. Abner Reply

    No more argument in this conversation i’m a Christian,I only do one thing, to respect what they are believe this is the way of peace..God Bless Us Brothers and Sisters..

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