Trinitarianism holds that Jesus Christ is composed of one divine Person (the Son or Second Person of the Trinity), who possesses two Natures (human and divine). Yet a glaring problem arises when the New Testament says that Jesus prayed to God.
First, and most obviously, since God is omniscient and omnipotent, it is logically inconsistent to picture God praying to himself, or having a need to pray to himself. The plain meaning of Jesus’ praying to God is simply that Jesus is not, and cannot be, God.
Second, Trinitarianism attempts to circumvent this issue by saying that Jesus was only praying “in, or from, his human Nature”. However, this immediately creates a new problem, one that violates the pre-established condition that Jesus is only one Person.
As with dancing the tango, prayer requires (at least) two persons to engage in the activity.
Now, if Jesus is only one Person – the divine Trinitarian Son – then as God he cannot be praying to God the Father, for the simple reason that both Persons are already God and have no need to pray to one another. This would be a case of one “God-part” praying to a separate but equal “God-part”. So an ontologically divine Jesus praying to the heavenly Father is no different from “Jesus-God” praying to himself. The aforementioned logical inconsistency triumphs here and defeats the Trinitarian claim.
Recalling that Jesus is only one Person, we can only think of him praying to God as a human, not a divine, Person. Of course, Trinitarianism will not permit us to do so, because Jesus has a human Nature, but he is not a human Person. He is God – a divine Person. So Trinitarianism does not allow us the naturalistic and plausible picture of Jesus (say) as a devout Jewish mystic praying to, and being spiritually “one” with God or God’s Spirit. No: Trinitarianism insists that a divine Person is praying to another divine Person.
At this point, a third conundrum implicitly arises:
Trinitarianism claims that God incarnated in Jesus. But Trinitarianism is clear that neither God the Father nor God the Holy Spirit was the Person who explicitly and particularly incarnated. The divine Person who incarnated in the human being called Jesus is held to have been precisely the Trinitarian, ontological Second Person, the eternal “Son”. This immediately opens a new question, namely:
Why is it, if it was the Trinitarian Son who incarnated, that Jesus prays only to the First Person (Father) or the Third Person (Holy Spirit)? That is, if Jesus is “praying to God from/in his human Nature”, then why is not his human Nature praying to the single one closest manifestation of the incarnating God nearest to hand – namely the Trinitarian Son?
Jesus’ human nature – his “flesh” – is supposedly the vessel for the incarnating Trinitarian Son, yet Jesus never once prays to – nor does he ever mention the existence of – this divine being Who is (purportedly) so utterly entangled with Jesus’ own “flesh”. The biblical Jesus prays to his heavenly Father and on occasion to the Holy Spirit. But he never acknowledges the Trinitarian Son who is, we are invited to believe, God’s specific incarnation within him. The plainest solution to this quandary is that there is no biblical Trinitarian Son, and that the biblical, if not the historical, Jesus was a divine union mystic in the stream of Jewish mysticism, “one with” God the Father, and conversant with the Spirit of Yahweh who was said to have descended upon and dwelled within him.
This simple scenario explains Jesus’ “I am” statements as well as his sense of mission, his cures, exorcisms, claims to know the secret things of God, his sense of sharing in God’s timelessness (“before Abraham, I am”), his oneness with God (“the Father and I are one; who sees me sees the Father”, his “authority to forgive sins” (as God’s adopted “son” and messianic agent), as well as a host of esoteric Jewish-sectarian items which seem possible, even plausible – granted Jewish monotheism and Second Temple mysticism – without needing to inflate and pseudo-sacralize them with the hot air of Trinitarian claims.