Recently a Methodist friend, made a comment to my wife about praying directly to God. She said that you couldn’t pray directly to God that you must go through Jesus. Both my wife and I were raised Catholic and don’t understand this. I have read different apologetic books, but have not found a strong enough response to this non-Catholic belief. Could you please help me by explaining this belief and possibly providing some scriptures in the bible that I can take back to this friend? Thank you.
It is important to make the distinction between prayer addressed to God the Father and prayer having access to the Father.
We know from Jesus’ own teaching that prayer may appropriately be addressed directly to the Father. When he taught his disciples how to pray he said, “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…” (Mt. 6:9).
However, we should understand that our prayers have access to the Father only through Jesus for he proclaimed, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).
For more on this see The Way of Prayer.