ANSWERS: 26
  • A person cannot answer this question as it is asked, because it makes wrong assumptions. The question of intercession is answered specifically in the Bible in many places, and it is a valid and honored method of talking to and getting answers and help from God. Furthermore, it is erroneous to believe that the only link between heaven and earth is Jesus. I assume you are referencing the passage in 1 Timothy 2:5 that states that "Jesus is the only mediator between mankind and the Father"(KJV). True enough. Jesus is the only mediator between all others and the Father. However, heaven is more than God. All the saints reside in heaven through the sacrifice of Jesus, and they can assist you in getting prayers answered by talking more directly to God and directly delivering answers to your prayers. You might not be aware of this, but things can happen to prayers on their way to being delivered, such as being delayed or stolen. Think of Gabriel on his way to deliver the answer to Daniel's prayer. He was delayed for days. Also, intercession among living men is a directly stated practice in the letters of Paul. How Christian is it to think that once a good Christian gets to heaven, they give a big "sucks to be you" to all the people they know and love that are still on Earth? Of course they want to help out their loved ones and all people who believe. It's perfectly acceptable to not ask for assistance from the saints, of course, because in the end, it is only God who grants and answers prayers. But it can be a comfort to some people to know that someone in heaven is willing to help you out who has been there, and can relate. However, let me say that when you pray to a saint and especially Mary, you are praying to heaven, and God will hear your prayers because they will be presented by the person you are praying to. No good Catholic believes any saint or Mary in and of themselves grants the prayers, but they are granted through their specifically taking the petition to the throne of God and asking God to grant this specific prayer. I singled Mary out of the saints, although she is one, because she has a special capacity no other saint has. She has the commandment "Honor thy father and mother" on her side. If she sees fit to make a request, and because she is in line with God in heaven, she will not make a request which contradicts God's will, Jesus will grant it out of respect. That is part of the reason why many people pray to her. Now, let me get biblical. Two specific instances of intercession come to mind, and oddly enough, they both relate back to Jesus and Mary. 1 Samuel 25. David sent his men to Nabal and Nabal treated his men inhospitably and with ignorance. David got mad, and was going to kill Nabal and his household. However, when Abigail, Nabal's wife, heard what happened because a young man took her aside and told her, she rushed down to David and smoothed things over so that Nabal didn't live up to his name and get himself killed for his ignorance and foolishness. Sounds like intercession to me, especially in line 35 "..."Go up in peace to your house; see I have hearkened to your voice, and I have granted your petition" (RSV). And due to certain words and characters found within the text, you can tell this is an allegory of what happens later with Jesus and Mary. King David of course is a archetype of Jesus, as he is the great legendary king. That's just a theme running through the life of David. But the text here includes words which tells you that Mary is being referenced in Abigail. Riding on the donkey to meet him (like before Mary meets Jesus for the first time at his birth), calling herself his handmaid (like she does in Luke 1) and her being blessed (again in Luke 1). Also, John 2 illustrates intercession at the wedding feast at Cana. Mary saw that the wine was low. No one asked her, but she observed with her own eyes that there was a problem. So she asked Jesus to fix it, and she walked away. The man throwing the feast undoubtedly knew there was a problem, and probably knew it was in power of Jesus to help, but he did not request help. But because Mary cared and did not want the feast to be ruined, she asked him for help and she knew that he would do it because he was obedient to his mother.
  • You begin your question from a fallacious premiss. Let's clear this up... Praying to the Saints The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century. Can They Hear Us? One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us. Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them! In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding. One Mediator Another charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). But asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a mediator. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us. Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses was the mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20). The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something "good and pleasing to God," not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator. "No Contact with the dead" Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed" (Deut. 18:10–15). God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, "Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now." The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf. Overlooking the Obvious Some objections to the concept of prayer to the saints betray restricted notions of heaven. One comes from anti-Catholic Loraine Boettner: "How, then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different languages, all at the same time? "Let any priest or layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one place at a time and to do only one thing at a time. "How, then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?" (Roman Catholicism, 142-143). If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life. This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God. The problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer to the saints follows. "Directly to Jesus" Some may grant that the previous objections to asking the saints for their intercession do not work and may even grant that the practice is permissible in theory, yet they may question it on other grounds, asking why one would want to ask the saints to pray for one. "Why not pray directly to Jesus?" they ask. The answer is: "Of course one should pray directly to Jesus!" But that does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately, the "go-directly-to-Jesus" objection boomerangs back on the one who makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian on earth to pray for us. Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44). Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth. Also, God answers in particular the prayers of the righteous. James declares: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit" (Jas. 5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious. Having others praying for us thus is a good thing, not something to be despised or set aside. Of course, we should pray directly to Christ with every pressing need we have (cf. John 14:13–14). That’s something the Catholic Church strongly encourages. In fact, the prayers of the Mass, the central act of Catholic worship, are directed to God and Jesus, not the saints. But this does not mean that we should not also ask our fellow Christians, including those in heaven, to pray with us. In addition to our prayers directly to God and Jesus (which are absolutely essential to the Christian life), there are abundant reasons to ask our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us. The Bible indicates that they are aware of our prayers, that they intercede for us, and that their prayers are effective (else they would not be offered). It is only narrow-mindedness that suggests we should refrain from asking our fellow Christians in heaven to do what we already know them to be anxious and capable of doing. In Heaven and On Earth The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. Thus in Psalms 103, we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20-21). And in Psalms 148 we pray, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!" (Ps. 148:1-2). Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3-4). And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth. NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004 IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004 Further reading: http://www.catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp http://www.catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp http://www.catholic.com/library/Saint_Worship.asp
  • The Bible teaches that the citizens of heaven take an active interest and (within limitations) intervene in the affairs of men. Eph. 2-19: Now therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners but FELLOW-CITIZENS WITH THE SAINTS, and of the household of God. Acts 12-7: And behold the angel of the Lord came upon him and a light shined in the prison; and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying: Arise up quickly. And his chains fell from his hands. Heb. 1-1-4: Are they not all ministering spirits, set forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Luke 15-10: Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over on sinner that repenteth. Hence that Catholic Church is most consistent in enumerating angels among men’s protectors, patrons, well-wishers. The same may be said of God’s saints in Heaven.
  • It is our fellowship of believers and the groanings of the Holy Spirit who intercedes on our half. God wants us as a community to pray for others because it gathers strength,gives encouragement and teaches us to rely on the Lord. Matthew 18:20. The Holy Spirit intercedes when we don't even know what to pray for. Romans 8:26. The bible does not call for dead people to pray for us, especially if your not sure if they are in purgatory or in heaven. God alone is the only one we are to go to for all our needs in Jesus' name.
  • "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Titus 2:5) The Bible NEVER gives an example of humans praying to other humans, nor to dead people. The Bible DOES give loads of examples of praying to God. Matthew 6:7-9 would be my answer to this question.
  • To simplify...have any of you ever asked a friend to pray for you? Same thing. We're asking those (saints and Mary) to pray for us. We're not praying to them.
  • I love questions such as these. It's not to cause an argument but a discussion to entice your mind with Godly things. Hopefully. Of course, no one on Earth will ever fully know the answers to the many questions in the Christian life...but simply said, it is all beautiful and in God's design. Before I begin, it is important to recognize that the only defense against the heresy of false doctrine is a solid grounding in the Word of God. As a tree without roots is easily blown over in the slightest breeze, even so a Christian without a foundation of knowledge established upon the Word of God is susceptible to being moved about by whatever direction the current doctrinal wind is blowing. But anyways, I'd hate to just give a discussion such as this without prayer, so I pray to God, by the power of His Holy Spirit through the resurreciton power of Jesus Christ that He will reveal and clarify His Truth to all of us as we seek and knock at his door encountering doubts, skepticism, confusion and misinterpretations that may come about from His Holy Word, as well as the Christian walk. Amen. (interpreted from anonymous website(s)) Although this response doesn't directly relate to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the principle applies to the overall question of praying to or asking intercession from beings in heaven other than God. I respect and honor Mary as one of the most important women in the Bible but any form of prayer to her (and to the dead saints) were not mentioned nor was it done in the New Testament. Although, it is clearly implied in the New Testament that we pray for one another while here on Earth, it is not mentioned once to pray to or ask for intercession from any of the dead saint/martyrs. And with regards to prayers to loved ones who have passed away into eternal life - how do we know they are in heaven or hell? As God said in the Bible, that it is appointed for a man once to die and after that the judegement. Basically heaven or hell no waiting inbetween. But only God knows. I think it's safest to pray directly to God only. And so you might not disturb the spirits in heaven or hell. I believe John was disturbed once when his spirit was invoked. One thing to keep in mind also is the prayer format/model Christ gave as an answer to a disciple who asked Him to teach them to pray, as John the Baptist also taught his disciples. It begins with a worship to Our Father, God, with no mention to other prophets or even figures such as Moses, Abraham, Elijah, etc. Prophets were probably just as valid back then but were still not included in the prayer. Some think it may not hurt simply ask a saint or Mary a prayer request. But prayer is a form of worship and remember, God is a jealous God. He alone is worshipped and praised. So, once again, it's best to just pray to God as Jesus and the Holy Spirit is intercessing on our behalf. Let's look at this section of scripture from the Roman Catholic perspective and then analyze their position. Verse 8 says speaks of the "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Verses 9-10 speak of a new song sung in heaven. Verse 11 speaks of those around the throne of God and verse 12 says that they were saying "Worthy is the Lamb..." Verse 13 mentions every created thing in heaven and earth saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." We have no problem with those in heaven hearing what is said on earth. Many Christians deny that this is possible, but it seems to be clearly taught here. Does this justify the Roman Catholic teaching of praying to those who are in heaven? Not at all. Let's take a look at the verses. First, regarding verse 8, can the prayers be authored by those who are already in heaven? It doesn't say. There are different interpretations on exactly who the saints are because their identity can't be precisely demonstrated; after all, Revelation is a highly symbolic book. Therefore, if it cannot be conclusively demonstrated who they are, then it cannot be conclusively demonstrated whose prayers they are, either. Nevertheless, verse 9 says "they sang a new song." Who is the "they"? It would have to be either the the four living creatures and/or the 24 elders since "prayers of the saints" don't sing, "creatures" and "elders" do the singing. In verse 11-12 the angels, the creatures, and the elders who were all around the throne (which means they are in heaven) were praising God directly. In verse 13 it says every created thing in heaven and earth was praising God, then the elders fell down and worshiped, v. 14. Second, just because those in heaven can hear the prayers of those on Earth does not mean that is okay to pray to saints. If they can hear the prayers of people, it is because God grants that to them. Think about it. Can those in heaven hear the prayers uttered without speech? Can they read minds? It is only God who knows all things and only God can grant anyone to hear or know what the prayers are of those who pray in silence. Let's not give the saints superhuman powers similar to omniscience. Nevertheless, all the text is saying is that they can hear the praise and worship of God. It does not say that they are to be prayed to, nor does it imply praying to them is permitted. All it says is that they can hear the prayers and praise. There is nothing suggesting that those on Earth are requesting the prayers or intercession of those in heaven. Nothing like this is in the text or even hinted at. Third, even if the case can be made that prayers are authored in heaven, and that those prayers are mingled with the prayers of those from Earth, it still does not justify those on Earth praying to those in heaven. At best, all that we can say is that the prayers of those in heaven and the prayers of those on Earth are mingled. To say any more than that is to read into the Scripture what is not there. Fourth, can the saints in heaven hear every prayer of every creature all the time? The Roman Catholic Church prefers to say that it's possible; otherwise, it would not be possible to legitimately pray to Mary. The standard Protestant objection is that praying to the saints implies a type of omniscience on the hearers' part. The Roman Catholic Church replies that we do not know what the state is of those in heaven and that we should not therefore conclude that they cannot hear all of our prayers. But this is an argument from silence. In other words, we don't know what it is like so we conclude it's possible. It is an argument based on what we don't know, not what we do know. This is a very very weak way of trying to present a position. Ultimately, it is an admission by the Roman Catholic Church that the Scriptures do not teach in any direct way their dogma of praying to the saints. The Roman Catholic Church must infer it from Scripture and read into the text in order to support its error. Who should we pray to? There is no biblical teaching at all that states we are to pray to those who once were alive on earth and are now in heaven. Revelation, the same book used by them to justify their position says the following: "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). John wants to bow the knee and worship the angel. But the angel tells him not to do that because he is a fellow creature. If the angel says that he is a fellow creature like John, and that John is not to bow to him, then neither should anyone else bow to an angel, or any creature so as to offer worship. Worship includes prayer. Therefore, no one should pray to any created thing. Biblically, prayer is always offered to God, and is a form of worship. All religions view prayer as an act of worship to their gods since they contain petitions, confession of sin, requests of intercession, etc., things which are received and answered by God, not by created things. Also, prayer is not the same thing as talking to someone face-to-face. Prayer is a humble petition to the Lord in and not to a friend who's in the same room with you or on the other end of the phone -- or in heaven. Prayer is offered to God, never to any created thing. To do so is to offer worship that should only be directed to God, which is idolatry. Prayer should be offered only to God. And be wary that the praying to the saints is susceptible to a false and idolatrous practice.
  • Before Jesus Christ died for our sins and opened the gates of heaven there were no saints in heaven. Therefore there are no Old Testament writings that would mention them. Very few of the new Christians died before most of the New Testament was written. Therefore there is little in the Bible about asking saints to pray for us. However the last book of the Bible does talk about the saints in heaven praying. Revelation 5:8: Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones. Revelation 8:3-4: He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel. The Holy Spirit guided the early Church in many things not explained in the Bible including how does the Body of Christ (believers) living on Earth relate to the Body of Christ (saints) living in heaven. We are still one Body. Catholics share the belief in the Communion of Saints with many other Christians, including the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopal, and Methodist Churches. The Communion of Saints is the belief where all saints are intimately related in the Body of Christ, a family. When you die and go to heaven, you do not leave this family. Everyone in heaven or on their way to heaven are saints, you, me, my deceased grandmother, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. As part of this family, you may ask your family and friends living here on earth to pray for you. Or, you may also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Andrew, or your deceased grandmother living in heaven to pray for you. Prayer to saints in heaven is simple communication, not worship. Asking others to pray for you whether your loved ones on Earth or your loved ones in heaven is always optional. For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 946 and following: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9p5.htm#946 With love in Christ.
  • My perception of this is that it is all a mute point, IF we really inspect the Holy Scriptures carefully. We are instructed to "study to show ourselves approved, workmen of God that need not be ashamed". To me that means that many scriptures relate to each other, and to know the TRUTH, we must correlate scripture properly, and NOT try to make it say what we hope it reads, or presume that religious dogma can be justified. Some scripture is very point blank, leaving NO speculation, such as 1st Thessalonians 4:16 posted below. Since it appears that dead Christians are asleep until Christ makes his final return, then it would be impossible for anyone that accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, had their "sins washed away in the watery grave of baptism", and been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to hear any prayers at all, including Mary His earthly Mother. Also remember, He told us He was "going"...to..."prepare a place for us". How do we know He is finished preparing??? It is likely that He is not finished, as He has not returned....but we really don't know, so how can we pray to folks for intercession, if we don't know if He has Heaven ready yet, and has them there??? Therefore, I will continue to follow the HUGE and overwhelming substance of scripture that explicitly says to pray to our Abba Father God, through His Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Christ even gave us a wonderful model prayer to go by. See Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2. I would rather be wrong on this earth about this "issue"...by erring on the side of caution, than to practice this, and be wrong. Christ tells us to be prudent in all things, and teaches us to pray for wisdom in all things, and I believe it is wise AND prudent to stick to inspired scripture as shown us, rather than justify, or "speculatively interpret", or cling to dogma of any sort, from any source. Based on scriptural fact, the dead in Christ, will be the first raised as we prepare to ascend to the new Heaven, and the new Jerusalem......then if we are still living and not among them, we will meet Him in the air along with "THE DEAD IN CHRIST". I look forward to that day, either way. All praise and glory to God the Father, through Christ Jesus His Son. www.christnotes.com ((("1 Thessalonians 4:16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first"))) Respectfully submitted to my loving Catholic family, friends, and brethren. Ross L. Gillum Snohomish, WA.
  • Don't confuse the Catholic definition of prayer with the Protestant definition. Catholic prayer, especially to the saints, is merely communication. Not worship. You ask your friends and relatives to pray for you, don't you? Same difference.
  • Short answer: Catholics don't give a shit about Biblically.
  • It's cool how you managed to combine a question with a statement and turn it into a classic loaded questions. Congrats +5 for being my spin doctor of the day!!
  • 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; I would say there would be quite a bit of difference in me asking a LIVE friend to pray for me, and a dead person since according to Jesus they agree on earth. Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
  • Alright, so. Is it biblical to to ask saints in Heaven to pray (intercede) for us? So you'd probably say, no way. 1 Tim. 2:5: "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." The Communion of the Saints all has to do around the teaching that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. "For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, through many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another" (Rom. 12:4-5) How is it that, if we are "parts of one another," that Christians in Heaven should be exempt from this teaching? But St. Paul is not the only one who spoke of this unity. The Lord Himself alluded to this unity when he prayed: "May [they] be as one, as we are one, I in them, and You in Me, that they may be brought to perfection as one" (John 17:22-23) He used an analogy of Himself as a vine and Christians as its branches to illustrate the organic bond Christians share (John 15:1-5). St. Paul: "But now in Jesus Christ you who once were far off have been brought near the of Christ. For He is our peace, who has made us both as one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that He might create in himself one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end." (Eph. 2:13-16) He also wrote: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:27-28) Christ Himself spoke often of this mystical unity that all Christians would enjoy through union with Him. "I do not pray for these only, but also those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and Thou in me, that they may become perfectly one" (17:20-22) "Credo in unum Deum... et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam." "Give peace, O sovereign Lord our God, to the souls of all who dwell in the tabernacles of the saints... Give peace to their souls and deem them worthy of the kingdom of heaven" In spite of Protestantism's various, often anti-Catholic objections to the fact that physical de';ath does not destroy the unity of Christians (and all that that teaching entails), the creeds of Protestantism actually support this teaching, though implicitly. Classical Protestant confessional statements and writings by the Reformers actually recognize this Catholic principle, tough they don't admit it explictely. In 1537 Luther described membership in the Church this way: "We do not concede to them [the Catholics] that they are the Church, and that they are not [the true Church]; nor will we listen to those things which, under the name of the Church, they enjoin or forbid. For, thank God, [today] a child seven years old knows what the Church is, namely, the holy believers and lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd. For the children I pray thus: I believe in one holy [catholic or] Christian Church. This holiness does not consist in albs, tonsures, long gowns, and other of their ceremonies divised by them beyond Holy Scripture, but in the Word of God and true faith." Smalcald Articles, chapter 12. The implication of Luther's admission that (at the very least) membership in the Church consists in being one of "holy believers and lambs who hear their Sheperd" is clear: Mary and the saints in heaven thereby qualify par excellence as "holy believers" (cf. Rev. 5:8, 8:2-4). But this means that if they are members in the Body of Christ, their ongoing participation in the Body of Christ is a fact. And this is exactly where the Catholic teaching of the communion of the saints becomes bothersome to Protestants. De';ath does not seperate Christians. Because of Christ's victory over de;'ath, a victory in which all Christians may share (cf. 1 Cor. 15:25-26, 54-56, 2 Cor. 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:10), mere physical de';ath can't seperate Christians from Christ or from each other. That's why Paul exulted, "What will seperate us from the love of Christ? .... I am convinced that neither de';ath, nor life.... will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 8:35-39) Let's look closer. When Paul says, "the love of Christ" he's referring to more than just Christ's love for His people. After all, to be in Christ's love means to be in Christ Himself - i.e., in His Body, the Chruch (cf. Rom. 8:1-2). Those who are "in Christ" are inseperable from Him so long as they don't voluntarily choose to seperate from Him (cf. Matt. 18:23-35; 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 11:22-23; Heb. 10:26-31) Since de';ath has no power to sever the bond of Christian unity, the relationship between Christians one earth and those in heaven remains intact. Therefore, when we read biblical passages about how members of the Body of Christ need each other or are obligated to assist and pray for one another, Catholics recognize that they apply to Christians in heaven, too. St. Paul chides Christians who think they don't need other Christians: "God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as He intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The cannot say to the hand, 'I do not need you,' nor again the head [say] to the feet, 'I do not need you'....God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts shall share its joy" (1 Cor. 12:18-20, 24-26)
  • It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Catholics do not pray TO saints or Mary, but rather that Catholics can ask saints or Mary to pray FOR them. The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible says we should pray directly to God: (Hebrews 4:16) "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (1 John 5:14) "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." The Bible says that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only mediators/intercessors between us and God the Father. Since the are both part of the Godhead, we are still praying directly to God when we pray to them asking for their intercession.
  • For the same reason that the other whack jobs think that they have an invisible sky daddy they can pray to and their wishes will be granted. You're probably too ignorant to realize that it's all the same delusion with different manifestations.
  • Eph. 6:18, 19, Catholic Jerusalam Bible: “Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel.” (Here encouragement is given to pray for the saints but not to them or through them. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. XI, p. 670, acknowledges: “Usually in the New Testament, all prayer, private as well as public liturgical prayer, is addressed to God the Father through Christ.”)
  • Rom. 15:30,Catholic Jerusalem Bible: “I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Spirit, to help me through my dangers by praying to God for me.” (The apostle Paul, himself a saint, asked fellow Christians who were also saints to pray for him. But notice that Paul did not address his prayers to those fellow saints, nor did their prayers on his behalf replace the personal intimacy that Paul himself enjoyed with the Father by means of prayer. Compare Ephesians 3:11, 12, 14.)
  • Jesus Christ said: “You should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, . . . ’” So prayers are to be addressed to the Father. Jesus also said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.” (Matt. 6:9; John 14:6, 14, JB) Thus Jesus ruled out the idea that anyone else could fill the role of intercessor. The apostle Paul added regarding Christ: “He not only died for us—he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.” “He is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him.” (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25, JB) If we truly want our prayers to be heard by God, would it not be wise to approach God in the way that his Word directs?
  • Networking. Or, It's good to have friends in high places put in a good word for you.
  • The saints are cool - and mother Mary is the Supermom of all time. Why not ask for them to put in a good word for you?
  • This is a very good question. I think that it depends a lot in the way you were raised up.Since a child my boyfriend was raised in catholic church and ever since up till now he prays to saints and the statues they have there at his church.in the other hand my family comes from Christian church and we do not pray to statues of saints or a cross with a jesus or the virgin Mary because the bible says that the statues have ears yet they dont hear us ect and so on but its delicate subject most of the time when we talk about religion.I agree that biblically the link between Heaven and Earth is Jesus because we as Christians study the bible a lot and thats one point my uncles and my other fam members try to argue but its a story of never ending. So i respect either Catholic or Christian or any other religion as long as they have Jesus christ in their hearts and recognize him as our savior. My boyfriend and i respect each others decision in religion and until now we've never argued over that.
  • Mary mary, what a raining town, i'd prefer Santa Catarina
  • It's like when a child asks his father and he says no, then asks his mother in hopes of her saying yes...
  • As a Catholic, my understanding is that we do not pray TO the saints, but THROUGH them to God. The saints put a "human face" on divinity, which makes it easier for many of the faithful to address them for various needs, though ultimately we are praying to God.
  • Hi i`m a Born again Christian and I believe because of that I can speak directly to God through the power of the Holy spirit.I don`1t feel that I need to ask a priest to forgive me of my sin`s.Only God can do that,but on the other hand I do respect the Catholic Churches view on a priest being God`s representative on earth.Perhaps if we took more time to find out about different denominations believe,things could be a little bit different in " Church circles"

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