I’ve always been told that we as humans cannot pray directly to God because we are sinful beings. God, being so pure, cannot be associated with us. This is why Jesus is our intercessor. Am I wrong about this? A friend told me that after we are mature Christians we can speak directly to the Father. I’m confused. Can you clear this up for me?
First, let me categorically state that the idea of “after we are mature Christians we can speak directly to the Father” it completely and utterly false, without any Biblical support whatsoever, and in fact, is contrary to Scripture.
There is some truth to the idea that sinful humans cannot be in God’s presence, hence the need for salvation and justification. So in light of that, unBelievers have no “direct access” to God.
It is a trickly issue to say when/if God hears “all” prayers or “no” prayers of a particular person or group. There are times when God hears the prayers or calls of unbelievers (Acts 10:31), because 1) God hears all, and 2) God chooses to hear and respond to the unbeliever simply because GOD CHOOSES TO. That is all the reason He needs.
There are other times when God chooses not to hear the prayers of Believers, such as when a husband is not honoring and loving his wife (1Pet 3:7).
In reality, there is a difference between God “hearing” (He hears all) and God listening to and responding to prayers. He hears all because He is omniscient and omnipresent, but may for various reasons not listen or respond to a prayer.
As for Christians, here are some verses to clear up your questions about prayer and Jesus the Intercessor (emphasis mine):
- Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (NKJV)
- Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (NKJV)
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJV)
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NKJV)
Jesus is our Intercessor in the sense that He prays for us, on our behalf. Of course, He knows exactly the right thing to pray and what a GREAT encouragement that is. I know that Jesus is praying the right things for me, even if I’m way off the mark myself.
Jesus is not a “broker” or “filter” for our prayers. Our prayers, as Believers, our lifted up to, and heard directly by God. Jesus’ intercession is in addition to our prayers. He is not an intermediary in the sense that we prayer to someone, then that “someone” forwards our prayers to God on our behalf. That is more of a Roman Catholic idea (ie. praying through Priest, or to “saints”, or the “virgin Mary”).
Be blessed dear Christians that you have direct access to the Father from the moment of salvation, and that Jesus Christ our Saviour Himself is offering up additional prayers on our behalf!