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To understand Jesus as God on earth praying to His Father in heaven, we need to realize that the eternal Father and the eternal Son had an eternal relationship before Jesus took upon Himself the fo...
Prayer is communication with God for a purpose. Either to seek help / favor or get directions / instructions. The Lord Jesus' prayers to the Father have never implied inferiority with regards to His divinity but displayed His subordination to the Father. He displayed what kind of relationship He has with the Father. His prayers in John 11:42; 17: 1 & 5 show this. "And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." "Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that the Son also may glorify thee." " And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." His intimate relationship with the Father is like nothing else. Here is clearly shown that the Lord Jesus is not praying to himself. But that He was coexisting with the Father in a very close and intimate relationship even before He came in the flesh.
Before I provide a direct answer to this intriguing question, I will like us to consider the following background. The word of God, the Bible, is the truth, John 17:17. If we stick to the Bible, we shall know the truth. The truth is that Jesus, the Son of God, is referred to as Mighty God, Isaiah 9:6,7; His Father, Yahweh, or Jehovah, or simply THE LORD, is referred to as Almighty God, Revelation 1:8. The truth is that both Jesus and Yahweh are divine. The one who became Jesus on the earth came down from heaven through Mary's womb by the instrumentality of the holy spirit of God. He was sent by the Father to carry out an assignment. Before Jesus came down from heaven, he was subject to his Father, he being granted to have life by the Father, John 5:26. Even after Jesus was exalted by the Father to a superior position after his retun to heaven, Philipian 2:9,10, Jesus still subjected himself to the Father, calling the Father " my God", revelation 3:12. And, according to 1Corinthians 15:25-28, after the Millenium reign, Jesus will still subject himself to the Father. In John chapters 6-8, Jesus clearly stated that his FAther was superior to him; Jesus never did or said anything on his own initiative. He said or did things that his Father directed him to say or do. And according to Revelation 3:14, Jesus described himself as the Faithful and True Witness (of God). Furthermore, Jesus told us that his Father was greater than him, John 14:28; and described his Father as " the only true God", in John 17:3. Paul wrote as follows: "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17 KJV) We also learn from the Bible, in Acts 2:24,32, that God resurrected Jesus from the dead. In the introduction to virtually all Paul's epistles, Paul mentions that God was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and always imply that God the Father was a separate personality from Jesus Christ. Here are a few examples: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Timothy 1:1-2 (KJV). "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness" (Titus 1:1-2KJV). "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour"(Titus 1:4 KJV). Daniel 7:13-14 supports the individuality of God and Jesus. Yes, Jesus said in John 10:30, that himself and the Father are one. But he also prayed as follows: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" John 17:20-23 (KJV). So, the "oneness" of Jesus with the Father does not imply that they are the same person; rather, it means unity of purpose and agreement. Or, are we to understand that Jesus followers are the same person with Jesus and with God? From the above, it becomes clear that even though Jesus is divine, his godship level is subject to that of God the Father. It was Son of God that came down to the earth to die for our sins; God the the Father spoke from heaven while Jesus was here: that "This is my son, the beloved, whom I have approved". God the Father raised Son of God from the dead. So, Jesus was not praying to himself when he prayed; he was praying to his Father in heaven, whom Jesus views as his own God as well.
We all tend to to misunderstand who and what God is, as we are limited in our understanding and to this time/space. Remember that God said His ways are higher than our ways. Although we are mistakenly taught that God is a Triune being, we must understand that scripture doesn't exactly say that. Scripture does, however, indicate that our experience here is limited to three parts of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, in a practical sense we can consider, to a point, that He is Triune. Revelation speaks of the seven spirits of God, so I suspect He is much more complicated than we can imagine. He does tell us that there is only one God, and that there are none others. In that light we come to the understanding that Christ is the Right Arm, or creative part, of God. We may look at God as: Father = command center Son = creative center Holy Spirit = communications Similar to our bodies, Yeshua could be seen as the artistic center and the creative hand of God. Since that creative part is so much higher than our arms/hands, we can expect that it can communicate on a much higher level than our hand. If you put your hand on something sharp or hot you may find it recoils before you can give it any conscious thought, and then it communicates why it acted that way ("Hot!"). Your arm doesn't "want" to endure pain, but if you force it to - say, in order to save your beloved child from the fire - it will obey you, even though the pain is great and is wanting "you" to let it get away from the pain. Your command center will over-ride the recoil reflex because your child is more important than your pain. Is your arm "you"? Certainly, but the mind must be in control over the rest of you, yes? So, Yeshua the Messiah is God, and is the way God creates and reaches us. John 1 tells us that all things were made THROUGH Him (Yeshua). He is the fulness of God in that He is fully connected to and subservient to the Command Center, the Father. Hope this helps, especially those of you who are Muslims and think that true Christ followers have more than one God. God is one God. He is just much more complicated than we give Him credit for.
We can understand the bible if we walk in the Spirit and not in the understanding of our fleshly minds. Everything in the Spirit is understood by the physical things God has made. A parable is a good example, taking the earthly understanding to understand spiritual things. With that in mind, in the bible one of the images of the Spirit of God is like a fountain of living waters (John 7:37,38). Or you can say the Spirit of God is like water it moves and flows from it's head. In God's spirit is the word of God. Like blood is the life in the body, so is the word is the life in the Spirit. Parable: The Spirit of God is like unto a large pitcher of water labeled God's DNA then the water is poured into two glasses one labeled Jesus and the other labeled Holy Spirit.There we have the Trinity, three in one. As we know water takes the shape and form of whatever it enters. So, does the Spirit of God once it enters into its container the Spirit takes that form. The Spirit of God flowed from the throne of God into Mary's womb taking the shape of a human being. On the day when Jesus was being baptized God's Spirit flowed from his throne into a form of a dove. While God's Spirit was speaking from his throne, his Spirit was also in a form of a man being baptized and in a form of a dove all this took place at the same time. The same spirit but different forms that allows then to communicate with each other. This is how Jesus can pray to God. The Spirit of God is still seating on the throne today where rivers of living waters flowing into the hearts of men and women who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The spirit of God is like unto a river where it flows from God and those who believe drink of that water, are filled with his Holy Spirit
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