Can Christians pray to other gods?

Are there any other gods?

The Bible teaches that there is only one God, and that Christians should not worship any other gods. This belief is based on the following biblical passages:

  • In Isaiah 45:5-6, God declares: “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
  • In the New Testament, Paul said, ‘So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.”’ (1 Corinthians 8:4)

What are idols?

“The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.” (Psalm 135:15-17)

Another definition of an idol is found in Jeremiah 10:5, “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”

How do we know that there is only one God?

In the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (a god worshipped by the Canaanites), found in 1 Kings 18:16-40, the 450 prophets of Baal lost the challenge by Elijah. In verse 21, Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”  In verse 24, the test was to “call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

The prophets of Baal could not get any response from him. Then Elijah prayed, “Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (verses 37-39)

The above event convinced the people that the LORD is the one true God.

Should we pray to other gods?

The Bible clearly teaches that we should not pray to other gods.

In the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-3), God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

In John 14:6, Jesus also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Conclusion

Since there are no other gods except the LORD, and it is His Commandment that we should have no other gods before Him, then why would Christians pray to other gods?

Instead, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

The Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13)

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Martin Cheah

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