Skip to comments.It’s Biblical to Ask Saints to Pray for Us
Posted on 09/15/2013 1:37:28 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
(This was originally shared here on AnsweringProtestants.com, as part of a longer post.)
There is nothing wrong with asking the heavenly saints to pray for us.
Many Protestants argue that asking the saints to pray for us is unbiblical, while throwing around verses like 1 Timothy 2:5. But they are incorrect.
1 Timothy 2:5 the infamous one mediator between God and men verse refers to salvation, not prayer. The verse reminds us that it is only because of the graces found through Christ (God Himself) that we are able to have any real relationship with God and reach Heaven. It does not, however, absolutely negate relations with angels or heavenly saints. After all, it was an angel (Gabriel) that spoke to Mary before Christ was conceived in her body, not God Himself.
I was raised in several Protestant denominations. They all placed a major emphasis on Christians praying for each other which is encouraged in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and other passages. I would contend that a saint, one who is holy and in Heaven with God, would have a lot more sway with God than a rebellious sinner on earth would.
To put that another way, if someone asked you to do something for them, would you not be more likely to help them if they were your best friend, as opposed to a complete stranger? Of course, you may very well be willing to do something for a complete stranger, but you would probably be more willing to do something for your best friend.
And there is evidence in the Bible of the saints praying to God.
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angels hand. Revelation 8:3-4
The word for saints in that passage comes from the Greek word hagios. Thayers New Testament Greek-English Lexicon says that the best definition of hagios is most holy thing, a saint. This would seem to undermine the Protestant assertion that saints in this context can only refer to people on earth.
Now, what would the saints be praying for? Themselves? Doubtful. They are in Heaven, so they do not need anything, as eternal life with God is perfect. That really only leaves one option: they are praying for us. And because they are praying for us anyway, how could it be wrong to ask them to pray for us about something specific? It is like interacting with a DJ at an event. Hes playing music anyway, so what is the harm in asking him to play your favorite song?
Heres my Scripture-based defense of the practice that should answer most Protestant objections:
Matthew 17:3-4 & Luke 9:28-31.
Moses and Elijah (who are clearly heavenly saints, not saints in the way Paul would sometimes use the word) are with Christ during the Transfiguration.
The martyrs can talk to God.
From those three passages, we can gather that the saints in Heaven interact with God.
The angels and saints (who, in Luke 20:35-36, Christ says are equal to the angels) are aware of earthly events.
1 Timothy 2:1 & James 5:16.
It is good for Christians to pray for one another.
Now, if the saints interact with God and are aware of earthly events (and can therefore hear us), why wouldnt they pray for us, considering that it is good for Christians (which the angels and saints definitely are) to pray for one another?
Nothing imperfect will enter into Heaven.
Psalm 66:18 & James 5:16.
God ignores the prayers of the wicked, and the prayers of the righteous are effective.
Because the saints have reached perfection (they are in Heaven), their prayers are more effective than the prayers of those that are less righteous, so thats why one might ask them to pray instead of asking another Christian on earth or simply doing it themselves.
(All verses are from the NASB translation.)
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Is it Biblical for men to raise another man to be a Saint?
if we determine that ‘saints’ means dead Christians despite the way Paul uses it (in scripture)
and we see that they pray to God
and we impose upon them what they are praying about
we can therefore claim it is scriptural to pray TO them
i see that
since a saint is someone known to be in Heaven, of course it’s not possible for a man to raise a soul to saint status
A few flaws in your logic -- you can't impose what they pray about, you can't force them to your will. Even if it were possible, they cannot answer prayers by their own power, merely pass them on to God. So how would it make sense to pray TO them, when they have no personal ability to answer prayers?
Is the saint acting as an intermediary between us and Jesus or does one asks for a saint’s intercessory prayers on our behalf and vice versa?
Of course not, driftdiver. But it is certainly acceptable to recognize someone’s virtuous earthly life, in this case via the process of canonization.
Since certain men claim to "know" that someone enters Heaven, driftdiver's question is all the more pertinent.
Aren’t there any saints on earth?
>>1 Timothy 2:5 the infamous one mediator between God and men verse refers to salvation, not prayer.
OK, but that doesn’t tell me to NOT pray to the Father in Jesus’ name either. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us, and that connects us directly to the Father through Jesus. What is the value of praying to dead humans when I have a direct line to a living and true God?
Arent there any saints on earth?
by the grace of God, there are
We talk to God and ask for things in Jesus’ name; we do not talk to the dead. That is not biblical unless one twists its words.
only for those who chose to ignore God’s miracles. Which makes nothing but sense for a Christian, because The Lord never utilizes miracles. You are so very right, thanks for your input.
Good question, madameguinot. One would ask for a saint’s intercessory prayers on his/her behalf or on behalf of someone else. The saints’ intercessions, however, are no replacement for a personal relationship with God. Oftentimes, though, we can get closer to Him through the heavenly saints.
ever hear of the eternal soul? It’s kinda the whole point of everything. Too much necrophilia in these threads.
I answered that in the post.
“Because the saints have reached perfection (they are in Heaven), their prayers are more effective than the prayers of those that are less righteous, so thats why one might ask them to pray instead of asking another Christian on earth or simply doing it themselves.”
“Too much necrophilia in these threads.”
Yeah- we protestants are way too into relics and prayers to the dead and stuff.
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