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Question Why do Catholics believe you should pray to saints? (Posted by: Anonymous )

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As a matter of fact, Catholics do not teach that Christians should pray to saints. What they do teach is that we should ask for saints' intercession.

In the case of Catholic prayer "to saints," Catholics ask saints or a particular saint to pray on their behalf. They might say "Please pray for my roommate whose lung has collapsed. I know that you are in heaven with Jesus, and so I ask that you pray to him for me." The common response to this is, why not pray to Jesus Himself? Why not go directly to the source? Why are intermediaries needed, when the Bible says there is no mediator between God and man?

To answer these questions, let's consider the process of intercession. In most evangelical churches, there are prayer chains, prayer partners, and intercessory prayer teams. These people are responsible for listening to the prayer needs and concerns of the congregation, telling these concerns to others if necessary, and praying for these concerns. To give an example of this in action, when my roommate's lung collapsed, I asked my mom to pray for her. My mom, in turn, asked her Bible study to pray. This is an example of intercession. When I asked my mom to pray, I was not praying to her; rather, I was asking her to pray on my behalf. Why not go straight to God? Because I wanted more people praying for my roommate. Because I wanted the support of my faith community, the Church. Because I coveted the prayers of godly people. I was not asking for a mediator between myself and God; rather, I wanted someone to walk alongside me in prayer. The only difference between this familiar process and Catholics who pray to saints is that those saints are dead.

The next problem is precisely that: if the saints are dead, how can they hear us?

First, consider the resurrection. Those saints are not dead, but risen. We believe that Christ rose from the grave, killing death for all the saints. The promise of resurrection is the promise of life.

However, one may believe in the resurrection and believe that those in heaven must be happy, otherwise what use is heaven? Hearing our prayer requests would burden them, making Heaven an unhappy place. Doesn't this contradict the teaching that the saints are glorified?

Not quite. In the book of Revelation, the saints express many emotions, but impatience features more prominently than happiness. In Revelations 6:10, the martyrs cried "Oh sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" In other places the prayers of the saints are thrown to the earth by angels in a golden censor. Moreover, in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Lazarus looks into hell and sees the rich man suffering and hears his petitions to save his family from hell (Luke 16:19-31). While this parable is likely meant to be taken symbolically, there is no assumption that those in heaven are completely oblivious of earth or hell.

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She's right. We don't believe you should pray TO saints, but ask them to pray with you and for you. It's no different then asking your Bible Study group to pray for you, or putting someone in need on the prayer list at your church. It's just simply that the people your asking are not living on earth; they're living in heaven. And the last time I checked, living there is a lot closer to God than living here. It's like calling your friend that lives around the world from you and saying "hey, can you pray for so-in-so? Thanks." its not much different. if this didn't help you understand the communion of saints, then try asking Jesus about them. I'm sure he'll be glad to help you understand. I know I'll ask him for further understanding. By Anonymous on 29-04-12 at 11:47pm
Praying for dead people to intercede for us is very different than asking people that are alive to pray for us. When a person dies, he goes to heaven or hell and he has no authority to do anything on earth. The bible says that God is omnipresent (present in all places at all times) and not the saints. David said that God's presence couldn't be eluded through space Psalm 139:8. jesus said I am the way, and all should come to me to rest. He gives us the holly spirit to comfort us and to give us peace and joy. We do not need dead people that need saviors themselves to pray for us. Please direct people to Jesus and not the saints or anything else. It is simply not biblical. Thanks. By Nina on 06-02-13 at 07:27pm
As a Protestant clergy, I found the answers were very illuminating. It was all very helpful. Thanks and blessings. By Rev. Wayne G. Smith on 01-11-13 at 02:33pm
You gave an illustration - a logic of man not by the scriptures. Let scripture interpret scripture. The Bible only said that we pray only through Christ. Also, how can the Saints Pray for you? they are dead. The promise of resurrection is not resurrection to Heaven, but on Earth and is yet to happen. Resurrected people will reside on a new paradise Earth, not heaven (Psalms 37:
9). By Anonymous on 10-01-14 at 09:50pm
Many scriptures speak against communing with the dead. Where is ANY example in the bible that deceased persons, saints or otherwise, were ever called on to pray for the person requesting prayer? The bible alone is our guide by example and direct instruction. I just find no bible for this at all. Please advise. By Anonymous on 31-01-14 at 12:58am Catholics also believe that there is truth in Buddhism. And while they will not condone using Buddhism as any valid source for faith, they still respect certain aspects as truth and believe that truth can only come from God and they only believe in the one true God. So there is much more to being Catholic than meets the eye. Never judge ones heart and make sure every decision you make derives from your own heart... God bless! :) By Anonymous on 06-06-14 at 05:41pm
But if there would be no need to pray to dead people (resurrected) for help to pray for a friend or family member then why pray to Jesus which also died and resurrected. All your really doing is asking for additional people (whether live or dead) to pray for what you yourself is going to pray for. WHICH WAS STATED ABOVE TWICE. Praying in groups is always good cause it gives strength to the prayer. By Anonymous on 14-06-14 at 10:38pm
As it written prayer of a righteous man is effective(James 5:16).Saints in heaven are not dead because Christ said that whoever follow his word will not die(John 8:51).All people here in earth are not sure to be righteous because all of us are sinners and prone to sin.Saints in heaven is we can assure that they already glorified and in front of our God, so their prayer is more effective than those we assume to be righteous. By Anonymous on 13-07-14 at 11:50pm
Saints are the people who have won Gods favor by their deeds and action and the very fact that one believes that there are saints, the more reason to ask for their intersessionS. Many people are bold to ask their pastors to pray for them. If pastors who are still here on earth and sinful can pray for you what about the saints who have won Gods favor? SAINT LAWRENCE, PRAY FOR US!!!!!! By LAWRENCE SUNDAY on 29-07-14 at 04:41pm
As a former Catholic, I can say that I never heard a single nun or priest or bishop say, "Saint _____, we ask you to pray WITH us." No, every time it was a prayer directed TO the saint, "Saint _____, please give us this or that." By Anonymous on 14-11-14 at 06:27pm
In responsetothe last comment - If you check the Litany of the Saints it always says the name of the saint and then "pray for us." Just saying... :) By Patti on 05-01-15 at 05:15pm
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