Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christomonism and Prayer

Do you find yourself praying almost exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, then you are unwittingly committing the error of Christomonism.

What is Christomonism? It is a de facto denial of the Trinity by virtue of the ignorance of the distinct roles that each Person of the Godhead plays in the economy of redemption. In the area of prayer, it manifests in the ignorance of the ramifications of the biblical model of prayer as outlined by Christ in the aptly named "Lord's Prayer".

Scripture reveals in its hallowed pages that prayer is chiefly directed to God the Father, through God the Son, and enabled by God the Spirit. There are only three instances in the whole of the New Testament that prayer was addressed explicitly to the ascended Christ, and these were peculiar cases, namely: Stephen's response to the vision of Christ just before dying a martyr's death (Acts 7:55—60), Paul on the Damascus road (Acts 9:4—6), and John in an apocalyptic vision (Rev. 22:20).

Now, I'm not categorically stating that it is wrong to pray to Christ or to the Holy Spirit, for praying to One is also to be in touch with the Others since God is united. But if we are to be faithful to Scripture, we must pattern our prayers after its clear teaching on the matter. Consider this: every true believer is united to Christ by faith, is part of His body, and is even now seated with Him in the heavenlies. Christ, as the one and only mediator between God and man, intercedes for us, as this is part of His role as the Redeemer of the elect. It is then the Holy Spirit's role to enable us to pray and to do so in accordance with the will of God by leading us to Scripture and illuminating our spirits to its truths. And it is the Father, whose ultimate will it was to enact the plan of redemption, who receives the glory in all of this.

This puts into clearer focus the intercession of Christ as it makes us see that the only kind of prayer that is acceptable to the Father is the kind made by His Son, and since we are in Christ, it is as if our prayers are Christ's prayers, hence we pray "in His Name". Of course, it is plain enough to see how ludicrous it would be for Christ to pray to Himself. Such is the wonderful, magnificent and awesome nature of His identification with His people.


  1. The example of Scripture is definitely that God's people would typically pray to the Father and not the Son. Like you said, it's not an egregious error to pray to Christ, but once we learn to direct our prayers to the Father, we become better informed pray-ers :)

  2. Indeed, bro. That is why theology, or the knowledge of God, is so important to prayer, as the deficiency in the former is substantially a deficiency in the latter.

  3. Hey, Google recommended your blog to me, and I'm better off for it. Good ideas here. I need to chew on it a little more. It's not that I want to pray to Christ or to the Holy Ghost, but I just need to make sure I fully agree. I do address my prayers to God. I do accept that Christ is the mediator, but we might also remember the the Holy Ghost prays on our behalf as well, or am I misunderstanding that?

  4. Friends, The Lord's prayer is the basic prayer for all Christians. It can be used as our primary prayer to God. However, the Jesus Prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner", and "O Heavenly King" (the prayer to the Holy Spirit), "O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who art everywhere, and fillest all things, Treasury of goodness, and Giver of Life, come and dwell within us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One", can also be prayed, as they are prayers of the True Church (Orthodox). In Erie Scott R. Harrington


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