Many professing Christians have been taught to “praise Jesus.” However, the Bible does not teach that Jesus Christ is to be praised or thanked or addressed in prayer. God, as the Source of every blessing, is the only One to receive our praise, thanksgiving, and prayer. Right from the beginning, the Scriptures tell us that praise goes to God, not to Jesus.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Jesus Christ was the reason the angels praised God, but it was God Who was the Recipient of that praise. After following the angel’s instructions and seeing Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, the shepherds also overflowed with praise to God.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
During the life and earthly ministry of His Son, God continued to receive the praise and the glory. In Matthew 9, Jesus healed a man sick of the palsy. Note the response of the multitudes.
But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Jesus Christ manifested the power, but the praise and the glory belonged to God Who had given him the power. Jesus Christ himself always gave the glory to God. He brought light to the world, but he did not initiate that light—it came from God.
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his [God’s] that sent me.
The disciples of Jesus Christ spoke and responded accordingly. We see this as Jesus entered Jerusalem toward the end of his earthly ministry.
And when he [Jesus] was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.
Jesus Christ was the reason for the praise but not the recipient of it. Jesus never taught the people to praise him or to pray to him. He taught his followers to address the Father in prayer.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
When Jesus taught them about the power they would manifest in the future, he told them “Ye shall ask me nothing,” and then he taught them to pray to the Father in his name.
And in that day [future—after Jesus Christ’s ascension and the day of Pentecost] ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ because Jesus’ life and teaching and accomplishments are the means whereby people come to the Father.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
There are many clear scriptures to document and establish this truth in our day and time, the Grace Administration. The prayers in the Church Epistles show us how the Father wants us to pray. They are directed to Him.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
I Thessalonians 1:2:
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.
II Thessalonians 1:3:
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.
One verse that could seem to indicate that we do thank Jesus is I Timothy 1:12: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” However, in the Greek “Christ Jesus” is in the dative case, indicating “for Christ Jesus”; therefore, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord” is more clearly understood from Greek grammar as “I have gratitude FOR Christ Jesus our Lord.”
One reason for the practice of praising and praying to Jesus may be people’s misunderstanding that Jesus and God are one and the same. But the Bible shows that Jesus Christ is not God; he is the only begotten Son of God. (For further study on our Web site, see the scriptures listed under “Jesus Christ Is Not God” and “One God” in the This Is What God Says section. Also, see our Bookstore section to order the book Jesus Christ Is Not God.)
The evidence of the Word is overwhelmingly clear. Only God, our heavenly Father, is to be the Recipient of our praise, thanksgiving, and prayers. Jesus Christ taught and lived this truth, and disciples in the Gospel and Grace Administrations did the same. We can keep this distinction clear in our own believing hearts, words, and actions, and help others to do the same so that God receives the praise that only He deserves.