Just Exactly who do you pray to? Get this one right.
God the Father has a big technical problem with many of the prayers that people make to God. It seems that many people are unclear as to just who it is that they are supposed to be praying to. Many people start their prayers, "Dear Lord Jesus or Dear Mother Mary" and ignore the explicit instructions of Jesus in the bible as to how you should address your prayers. Jesus said "Pray then in this way, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name," etc.. (Matthew 6:9) There is a good reason why he stated so plainly the exact way you should address your prayers to God. It is because the Father alone is the one tasked with the responsibility and the capability of hearing and responding to your prayers.
Jesus however said that you could end your prayer with "in Jesus name I pray", to make it more powerful if you wished. Can you understand the logic gap in starting a prayer with "Dear Jesus" and then ending the prayer "in Jesus name I pray"? It does not even make sense.
As for praying to the so called "virgin Mary", she is just a normal human person, the human womb that bore Jesus and she does not have the responsibility or even the ability of hearing much less acting on your prayers. God the Father loves his misinformed Catholic pagan children dearly but they do make this very very meaningful error. They make the secular world assumption that if you give a prayer request that is for the son to his mother that she will then "intercede on your behalf" and make sure the prayer is delivered to her son. The big hole in that theory comes from the simple fact that the so called "virgin Mary" was never given the capability of hearing prayers from the Father. She is just a normal human person who has lived in Heaven for over two thousand years blissfully unaware of even one of the millions upon millions of prayers that are flushed everyday by praying to her. We have somehow incorporated the traditions of men as being more important and ignore the clear and exact words that came directly from the mouth of Jesus as to the proper way to pray.
It is important that you know that. If you pray to entities that do not exist you might as well be praying to sticks and rocks like the heathen. That's what you have done. You can't just lob any old thing up to God and assume it must be all good, at some point you cross the line and go into pagan worship. You are no longer really praying to God at all at that point, he cannot bear to listen to that nonsense. You might as well announce that "Elvis has left the building" because when the Father hears a prayer addressed to anyone but him he says, "Oh you did not want to talk to me". "I kind of wish there was somebody else that you could talk to, but there isn't", and then Elvis folds up his tent and he really does leave your building, and now you are all alone, in the dark, offering a unheard prayer sent out to nobody.
When Jesus spent time on this earth he was always doing just one thing, pointing people in the direction of the Father and drawing peoples attention to the reality of the Father's kingdom that was all around them. He wanted you to know that there is only one God and that is the Father.
Jesus said "Pray then in this way, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name," etc.. (Matthew 6:9) We need to emulate this very important lesson and example that Jesus left for us. You pray directly to God, just like Jesus did. The popular question is always asked, "What would Jesus do?". And the answer is that he would always properly address all of his prayers exclusively to God. That's what Jesus would do.
Why is this significant? Well you are dealing with God the Father himself directly when you pray and just like the human beings that he created for his pleasure he has a personality and feelings that can be hurt by such well intended but meaningful errors. It is like you are preparing a wonderful stew full of delicious savory ingredients for your family and then you add in too much salt by mistake, that one error then goes on to taint and ruin the whole pot.
What can we give back to God to pay him back for the gift of our daily existence? Very very little, but the one thing that we can do is be acutely aware that he is a one on one God that is always right next to us. The very best that we can do to show proper reverence and gratitude is to take our time and do a very good job at thanking him for all his provisions and help. That is all we have to offer, our praise and our thanks and that is all he is interested in receiving. It is very frustrating for the Father to be working on every aspect of your life for your benefit and then for you to be actively picturing in your mind and thanking anyone else other than the person responsible when you pray, please stop doing that.
PS. One of the Father's names is "Shekinah". You may substitute the name "Shekinah" for the word "Father" anytime you wish. And God does enjoy being called Shekinah. It gives God a more personal contact with his children.
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