George A Paul gives a Scriptural answer to the critics who ask, "Prayer shows the person needs something and also shows a person is dependent on someone. God is all sufficient and does not need anything nor is dependent on any one. Jesus Christ prayed, which shows he is dependent and is in need, therefore Jesus is not all sufficient hence He cannot be God."
A person contending, Jesus Christ is not God because he prayed must show that praying and asking would necessarily and always bring a change in nature. What do I mean is this: Have you seen your friend change and become a dog after asking you something? I haven't, my friend after asking and even before asking remains a human by nature. So asking it self does not change the nature of anyone, neither dose asking make one less in nature, my friend does not change from full human to 50% human being after asking me for help.
Similarly, God asks many questions, for example in Genesis 3:11; He asked Eve, "Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?" after such asking did God change in His nature and become a non-God? No, He did not change in His nature. Didn’t He know that eve has eaten the fruit? No, He was not ignorant. Thus, neither has God changed in Nature by asking nor does He not know. Further, when God saved Israel through Moses was God helpless without Moses? No, God was not helpless. Moreover, from Philippians 2:5-8; we learn that The God of the Bible can serve without ceasing to be God. Hence we conclude, the all knowing God has the ability to ask even when He knows without changing in His nature, and though God does not need human or angelic help to save people, yet He can work by using men and angles without ceasing to be God, and the all powerful God of the Bible can become a servant without ceasing to be all powerful God.
Further, a father by giving his son his property would not make his son a non-human, but rather such giving speaks about rightful ownership of the son on account of his relationship with the father, the son being in very nature a human being just like the father. A Dog crying and howling for food is not equal to a human baby crying for food. It is not the asking that determines the nature but it is the nature that determines in what sense we ask. In John 17:1-5; Jesus Christ asked in the sense of being in one nature with God, he asked as a rightful owner, as a Son, who is by nature like the Father. Thus, being of like nature with the Father He became a servant and in Hebrews 5:7; he asked also as one who became a human and a servant.
We have seen that receiving would not change anyone’s nature. Further we can also say that even giving would not change our nature neither the nature of anyone. Warren buffet gave $37billion in charity; by being charitable, did he change and become a non-human or a God? No, he did not. Further, there are various kinds of giving, we can give to people who do not have, and there is also a giving to rightful owners. E.g. rent to the landlord, transfer of property to legal hair, worship to God, etc. Giving to rightful owners does not mean the receiver lacks or does not possess what is given but rather it is a sort of receiving because it rightfully belongs to that person. Similarly, whenever and whatever the Father gives the Son (Jesus Christ), he gave because it rightfully belonged to the Son, this we see in John 5:19-23, 26; in verse 23 & 26 Jesus Himself tells us why the Father gave Him all things, “that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.” And in John 5:26; says “He has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” Hence, even when the Son of God became Son of Man, neither the Father who gives, nor the Son who receives are lesser in nature to each other, but both are of the same one nature or essence, that’s why all should honor the Son just as they Honor the Father, and because He being of one nature with the Father was also a Son of Man, He received from the Father what was rightfully His. Hence, Jesus Christ did not grab as a thief what the Father gave Him but received it as an rightfully owner to whom belongs all things, as stated in Philippians 2:5-8 and Colossians 1:16,17;
Further, the above question is not just about God who is Spirit, who always remains a Spirit. But the question is about God who is Spirit who became a man. Therefore the question has to be rephrased as, "Prayer shows the person needs something and also shows a person is dependent on someone. God who became a man does not need anything nor is dependent on anyone. Therefore God who became man will not pray if he prays he is not God. Jesus Christ prayed therefore he is not God."
By rightly framing the question we see that the questioner comes with an assumption that God cannot become a man. And the assertion of the questioner may be stated as; if God becomes a man then he ceases to be God. However he forgets that there is a third possibility that God can become man, and when God becomes a man He would be both God and man. This is proved to us in Gen 18:1,2,&22; Judges 13:6, 21&22; where God appears as a Man without ceasing to be God, and when He thus appeared He was both God as well as Man. From this we see God can become a man and when he becomes a man he has two natures, the nature of God and the nature of man.
The Holy Bible in Heb 2:14; Joh 1:1; Joh 1:14; Rom 1:3; Rom 8:3; Gal 4:4; 1Ti 3:16; 1Jo 4:3; 2Jo 1:7; Phil 2:5-9; declares, God the Son has in fact become a man. In Phil 2:5-9; we are told that God choose to be a servant when he became a man. Since, Jesus Christ being God was also a servant, he prayed. Thus proving that he was indeed a man and a servant apart from being God. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Heb 5:7; (Days of his flesh means: Being God when he became a man and implies He had days of non-flesh which would be days of Spirit)
The scripture in Jer 17:5; pronounces a curse on the one who trusts in man. However, the scripture in Isa 42:1-4; Matt 12:18-21; Rom 15:12; Psa 22:27-28 asks us to trust a man who is a servant. This shows that the man and servant in whom we need to trust is God. If he is not God then we are cursed. Moreover, Jesus Christ in John 14:1 said, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. We see that Jesus asked us to trust him as a person would trust God. Similarly in Matt 18
:6; Mark 9:42; John 10:38; Jesus Christ by asking us to trust him just as a man would trust God, was claiming that he is God who became a Man. Jesus Christ did not ask people to trust him with empty claims but proved that he is worthy and powerful to be trusted just as a person would trust God. This we see in John 14:14 where Jesus says, If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If God is the only one who can answer prayer. Then Jesus by saying he will answer prayer was claiming to be God. From this we conclude, that Jesus by praying as in Heb 5:7; proved that He was God who became a Man, and by asking us to trust him for answers to prayer was claiming to be God who is all sufficient who can answer our prayer, and by answering prayers as in Acts 3:1-9; Mark 6:7,13; Mark 9:38-39; Acts 9:33-35; and many other places proved that he is God.
One may accept what has been stated above as a fact and may still argue; even if I agree that, God can become a man and when he becomes a man he will be both God and man. To whom was such a God who became a man praying to? Was he praying to himself or someone else? If he was praying to someone else then he must have a God above him? God does not have a God above him therefore Jesus is not God. In fact the scripture itself declares there is no other God beside God. Exo 20:3; Deut 4:35; Isa 44: Isa 44:6, Isa 44:8, Isa 45:5, Isa 45:18, Isa 45:22;
In reply, we accept that there is no other BEING other then God who has the nature of God. However, the scripture also instructs us that there are other persons in the one being of God who are called God because they have the nature of God. This we see in Ps 110:1; where God himself calls another as Lord and in Ps 45:6&7; God anoints another God with oil. From this we learn that there are more then one person who has the nature of God and God is God even to another person who is God by nature. The scripture calls more then one person as LORD (yehôvâh) in Gen 19:24; and in Ps 45:6&7; two are called el-o-heem (God). And in Isa 48:16; there are three persons who are called and equated to God.
From this we can be sure that there are more then one persons within the nature of God but they are not Gods but God. Hence, Jesus Christ did not pray to himself but to the other person who is also God. Just as from Psalm 110:1 we learn that one person who is God talks to the other person who is God. Similarly, we learn from Heb 5:7 that it was in the days of his flesh (Days of his flesh means: Being God when he became a man), Jesus Christ being God who became a man prayed to another person who is God, by doing this he proved that he was also a man. Just as in Psa 45:7; God by anointing another person who is God does not cease to be God. Similarly, Jesus by praying does not cease to be God but proved that apart from being God he was also a man.