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Rob Bowman's IRR Discussion on Prayer


David T

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Rob Bowman has written an article and made a YouTube video with IRR which makes his point of attack clear that Mormons are going against the Bible because we don't direct our prayers to the personage of Jesus.

I watched the video, and read the article, and don't see any place where it is mentioned that we direct our prayers to the Father due to the direct instruction and example of Jesus Christ, in Matthew 6, and its parallel in 3 Nephi 13.

I think any sort of argument made against the so-called unbiblical practice we are said to have in addressing our prayers directly to the Father without addressing Jesus' specific instruction to do so is extremely lacking, and very incomplete. It also leaves out the references to Jesus instruction to ask the Father in the name of Christ.

Invoking the Name of Deity anciently did not, as was intimated by the video and article, refer only to addressing them, or pleading with them! It often (and usually) involved invoking the power and authority or rights held by such a Name that had been vested or granted to the individual. While we as fallen man don't merit anything from the Father, (even the ability to come before him for requests! ) Jesus merits all, thus we approach the Father vested in the Name, Merits, and Rights of Jesus that have been extended to us in approaching the Father through Grace.

All of our prayers directed to the Father are specifically involving and recognizing our relationship with Jesus as our mediator and Savior. Without His Infinite Atonement, there would be no access to the Father. The very act of approaching the Father in prayer is recognizing our dependence upon Christ, and His role as Redeemer.

To say that Mormons take Jesus out of the prayer equation, or make light of our usage of the statement that our prayers are said "In the Name of Jesus" misrepresents our sacred view of prayer, and the Savior's role therein.

Also: The point made to our supposedly not worshiping Jesus was taken from a BYU devotional by McConkie (which, as you pointed out, even contradicts something he said at another time), and ignores the corrective and clear definitive statement by the President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, as presented in an official Church setting, and reprinted here and here.

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nackhadlow,

I'm sure you know that evangelicals pray to the Father, as Jesus instructed us to do. But this doesn't mean that we should not also pray to Jesus. He didn't say, "And when you pray, pray only to the Father, not to me." There was no need for me to address Jesus' instruction to pray to the Father because I agree with it. Likewise, we do pray to the Father in Jesus' name; that isn't the issue.

Your explanation of what it means to "invoke the Name of Deity" doesn't agree with biblical usage of the expression "to call on" or "to call on the name of" a deity. In biblical usage, this means to appeal to that deity (in prayer), to ask that deity for something. The Liddell-Scott lexicon defines the Greek word epikale? to mean "to call upon a god, invoke, appeal to"; Friberg's Analytical Lexicon gives "invoking God's name in prayer"; and other lexical reference works have similar definitions.

Besides, I cited several other New Testament texts that refer to praying to Jesus that don't depend on that word.

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nackhadlow,

I'm sure you know that evangelicals pray to the Father, as Jesus instructed us to do. But this doesn't mean that we should not also pray to Jesus. He didn't say, "And when you pray, pray only to the Father, not to me." There was no need for me to address Jesus' instruction to pray to the Father because I agree with it. Likewise, we do pray to the Father in Jesus' name; that isn't the issue.

So would you acknowledge that the key way we do pray is scriptural, and is indeed instructed by Jesus in the Bible?

My understanding would be then that you acknowledge this would be valid Christian prayer.

Your explanation of what it means to "invoke the Name of Deity" doesn't agree with biblical usage of the expression "to call on" or "to call on the name of" a deity. In biblical usage, this means to appeal to that deity (in prayer), to ask that deity for something. The Liddell-Scott lexicon defines the Greek word epikale? to mean "to call upon a god, invoke, appeal to"; Friberg's Analytical Lexicon gives "invoking God's name in prayer"; and other lexical reference works have similar definitions.

To clarify, are you saying you believe a meaning of invoking the merits, power and authority of the deity in question is necessarily textually and historically excluded by the usage of the word/phrase?

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This article seems to be written as more of a defence of a certain practice then an attack upon the LDS church. More specifically taht a prayer to Jesus is just as valid as a prayer to the Father. To Which I agree. However when Christ instructed us he instructed us to pray to the Father.

I see that Rob used an arugment that I frequently use, and that argument is that Christ did not specifically say not to pray to him.

I think some of the artilce could be written a little better as when I read it part of me thought that Mormons are praying wrong.

I get that from this

"'We should pray to God and to no one else. We do not pray to any other being or to anything made by man or God' ...This statement, which is correct in and of itself, raises an important question about the LDS view of prayer."

What important question? In light of the artilce I would rather see only refernces to "Why can we pray to Jesus". BRM taught such and such and he was wrong here, here, and here. I have no issue if some one wants to pray to Jesus.

But as Jesus is the great exampler he only offered prayer to that Father, as such I will follow his example. If some one else doesn't want to, more power to you.

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nackhadlow,

Praying to the Father is scriptural, yes. Refusing to pray to the Son is not scriptural.

I'm not going to bandy about possibilities concerning the range of a particular word. I cited a large number of biblical texts that speak of prayer to Jesus, many of which do not use the expression "to call on the name." You yourself must admit that believers in the Old Testament prayed to Jehovah, and you affirm that Jesus is Jehovah. No New Testament text says that practice should be discontinued. We have specific instances of Christian leaders in the New Testament addressing Jesus in prayer. Let's deal with the whole picture here, please.

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So how does RB account for 3 Nephi 19:18 "And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God."?

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I don't find prayers to Jesus offensive, or less efficacious. I don't believe He does, either. You are correct, in that it was normative in the Old Testament, and even in much of the Book of Mormon. I also will state clearly that If I was in His presence, I, too, would fall down on my knees, worship him, and address (pray to) Him.

However, I do think the manner Christ instructed us to pray does teach us something extraordinary about His role as our Savior and mediator. Also of interest is that he directed us to pray to the Father as he revealed Him and His relationship to us and Him, something I do not believe was revealed with clarity in the Old Testament and majority of the Book of Mormon.

In other words, it may have even be seen as an extreme act of humility and deference, much like John the Baptist when he said, concerning Christ's prominence, "He must increase, but I must decrease." - Jesus, who had been known as (and was) the God of Israel, was deferring to who He proclaimed as "my Father, and your Father; ...my God, and your God.", who, as Jesus said, is "greater than I." - He was showing the true source of all blessings, and was making clear that through Him, access is now given to the Throne of the Most High God. Vested in the Name of Christ, even the most sinful of mankind can approach the Father of all to petition, and he desired all to do so. It was an acknowledgement of the source of Christ's authority and power.

I am reminded of a man I taught on my mission, concerning prayer, instructing him that we do not pray to Mary, or anyone other than God. The man refused to have it. At one point, I asked him, "What if Mary didn't want you to pray to her?" His reply, "Then that would be a sign of her humility, and I would want to pray to her even more." I replied, "What if God himself told you it was not His will, or necessary, that you pray to Mary, but that you can and should come directly to Him?" His reply was immediate: "I'd tell God that this was a very selfish thing for him to say and do, and keep on praying to Mary."

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USU78,

You wrote:

So how does RB account for 3 Nephi 19:18 "And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God."?

What do you mean, how do I (assuming here that RB is Rob Bowman) account for it? I'm not the one denying that Christians should pray to Jesus.

The fact that the Book of Mormon speaks of praying to Jesus is if anything a problem for LDS, not for me.

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What do you mean, how do I (assuming here that RB is Rob Bowman) account for it? I'm not the one denying that Christians should pray to Jesus.

The fact that the Book of Mormon speaks of praying to Jesus is if anything a problem for LDS, not for me.

What I'm saying is that you fail utterly in your analysis of things Mormon if you cannot account for this scripture.

USU "No way you were unaware of it" 78

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USU78,

You wrote:

What do you mean, how do I (assuming here that RB is Rob Bowman) account for it? I'm not the one denying that Christians should pray to Jesus.

The fact that the Book of Mormon speaks of praying to Jesus is if anything a problem for LDS, not for me.

Alas, how is it a problem for LDS? I am unaware of any thing from a GA that tells us taht if we pray to Jesus it wont be heard and answered. And I think I have stated the LDS position fairly well. And that is that we should pray to the Father as Christ instructed us and as he prayed to the Father. If you disagree, that is no skin off my nose.

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Alas, how is it a problem for LDS? I am unaware of any thing from a GA that tells us taht if we pray to Jesus it wont be heard and answered. And I think I have stated the LDS position fairly well. And that is that we should pray to the Father as Christ instructed us and as he prayed to the Father. If you disagree, that is no skin off my nose.

Whaddya think, Mola? Should we "ease his pain"?

RB: The answer is pretty simple, unless one is bound to a dastardly spin on every detain of Mormonia.

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Whaddya think, Mola? Should we "ease his pain"?

RB: The answer is pretty simple, unless one is bound to a dastardly spin on every detain of Mormonia.

Lol!!

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Whaddya think, Mola? Should we "ease his pain"?

RB: The answer is pretty simple, unless one is bound to a dastardly spin on every detain of Mormonia.

Rob did cover it. He aknowledged it when he recognized that many LDS view it as a special case when the Savior is physically in their presence.

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A strange topic. Why would any Chritian have a problem with doing what Jesus specifcally directed us to do...pray to the Father in Jesus' name. Did Jesus teach us to pray another way? If Jesus did not teach us another way, does that mean we can choose another way and that it would still be acceptable? Should we attack those that teach or follow what Jesus has specifically told us to do?

To pray to Jesus confuses the role Jesus plays in the Godhead and conflicts with Jesus' command or directions on how to pray. If I choose to pray to Jesus couldn't I also choose to pray to Mary and it be acceptable to God? Would it not also be helpful to pray to the Saints who have lived such righteous lives to assist me in pleading with God on my behalf? This is a slippery slope when we choose to ignore the directions Jesus so plainly gives us and begin to create alternatives ways simply because we choose to do it.

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Rob did cover it. He aknowledged it when he recognized that many LDS view it as a special case when the Savior is physically in their presence.

True in part. Let's see if Rob can overcome the superficiality of his kneejerkiness and acquire the ability to see the simple answer.

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USU78,

I have no idea what you think I have missed. Unfortunately, I'm going to be tied up for a while now, probably the rest of the day. Perhaps we can pick this up later. Meanwhile, feel free to explain why 3 Nephi 19:18 is a problem for what I wrote.

True in part. Let's see if Rob can overcome the superficiality of his kneejerkiness and acquire the ability to see the simple answer.

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To pray to Jesus confuses the role Jesus plays in the Godhead and conflicts with Jesus' command or directions on how to pray. If I choose to pray to Jesus couldn't I also choose to pray to Mary and it be acceptable to God? Would it not also be helpful to pray to the Saints who have lived such righteous lives to assist me in pleading with God on my behalf? This is a slippery slope when we choose to ignore the directions Jesus so plainly gives us and begin to create alternatives ways simply because we choose to do it.

After reading Rob's paper I thought of this same thing. Why can I not pray to whoever I want as long as it is in the name of Jesus?

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USU78,

I have no idea what you think I have missed. Unfortunately, I'm going to be tied up for a while now, probably the rest of the day. Perhaps we can pick this up later. Meanwhile, feel free to explain why 3 Nephi 19:18 is a problem for what I wrote.

Rob, have a great weekend, we will see you when you get the time.

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You know sometimes I think we are a lot more "trinitarian" than we like to admit.

The Book of Mormon of course refers to three persons in one God- a very trinitarian way to phrase it all, but perfectly Mormon as well.

We often speak of Jesus being the father of our salvation and in other ways, and we also know he is a comforter- the Second Comforter to be precise. So in a very real way, Jesus is both the Father and the Comforter as well as being himself also of course.

And of course we commonly use the term "God" just as the creedal Christians do- to refer to the Godhead. It's just for us, "God" is both a singular and a plural word- "God" is a committee of three persons as it were, as well as bundle of characteristics- specifically the characteristics of being exalted- when applied to a single member of that group.

I really see very little practical difference between us in this area- and what differences there are, are not rationally explainable except by using words which mean nothing like "Nature" or "Substance" or "Being". I really can't see what the fuss is about.

Can we think of another Biblical example for a term translated as "God" being both singular and plural at the same time? How about the Hebrew "Eloheim"?

Just a coincidence of course! :P

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So how does RB account for 3 Nephi 19:18 "And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God."?

He already addressed that with this statement.

". . . they teach that Christians should direct prayer and worship to Heavenly Father alone, not to Jesus." :P

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nackhadlow,

I'm sure you know that evangelicals pray to the Father, as Jesus instructed us to do. But this doesn't mean that we should not also pray to Jesus. He didn't say, "And when you pray, pray only to the Father, not to me." There was no need for me to address Jesus' instruction to pray to the Father because I agree with it. Likewise, we do pray to the Father in Jesus' name; that isn't the issue.

Your explanation of what it means to "invoke the Name of Deity" doesn't agree with biblical usage of the expression "to call on" or "to call on the name of" a deity. In biblical usage, this means to appeal to that deity (in prayer), to ask that deity for something. The Liddell-Scott lexicon defines the Greek word epikale? to mean "to call upon a god, invoke, appeal to"; Friberg's Analytical Lexicon gives "invoking God's name in prayer"; and other lexical reference works have similar definitions.

Besides, I cited several other New Testament texts that refer to praying to Jesus that don't depend on that word.

Rob I'm a lttle confused here. Straighten me out. Do you not equate Christ and HF as one and the same person as a diety?

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handys,

You wrote:

Rob I'm a lttle confused here. Straighten me out. Do you not equate Christ and HF as one and the same person as a diety?

No, I do not equate Christ and Heavenly Father as one and the same person. They are one God, but not one person.

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Avatar,

As I have already explained, I left out no crucial information. No one disputes that Christians should pray to the Father. It's the LDS claim that we should pray ONLY to the Father that I argue is unfounded. The Lord's Prayer simply does not address the question of praying to Jesus.

A critic of the Church leaving out crucial information in his attack. I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!

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