ASKING THE SAINTS TO PRAY FOR US… “FROM THE SCRIPTURAL PERSPECTIVE”

THE INTERCESSION OF SAINTS

Dear friends, this is how to respond to anyone who
challenges your faith saying:
“It is forbidden to pray to the saints. You can
only pray to God. The saints are dead, and it is forbidden to contact the
dead.  Besides that, in 1 Timothy 2:5, the Word of God says that there is
ONE Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.”
RESPONSE:
The pious and historic Christian practice of asking the saints in heaven
to pray for us have been under constant attack by the fundamentalists
(non-Catholics); thus, jettisoning the “intercession of Saints and rendering it
absurd. In this article, I shall make clear …
1. WHAT DOES IT MEANS TO “PRAY”
In
Genesis 30:14, it says, “Then Rachel said to Leah, “Give me, I pray, some of your son’s
mandrakes.”  In Genesis 40:8, the bible says that Joseph prayed
to his fellow captives as follows: “They said to him, “We have had dreams,
and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do
not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, I pray you.”  To
pray
means merely to ask; it does not mean to talk to
God only. Look it up in the dictionary.
Having said
this, I shall make clear that the saints are not dead, and are aware of the
happenings on earth.
2. ARE THE SAINTS REALLY DEAD; CAN
THEY HEAR US?
Fundamentalists often say that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our
prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not
true. The saints are not dead, they are alive. Jesus says that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the
living” (Matthew 22:32).  The letter to the Hebrews says that we are
surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, in Hebrews 12:1.  Witnesses have to be
alive in order to testify on our behalf to the supreme judge.  In
Revelation 6:10, we learn that the saints in heaven know what is going on down
here on earth.  In Luke 16:24, we learn that dead people in hell can even
communicate with the very dead Abraham. In Mark 9:4, the “dead” Moses
and Elijah appear to Jesus and communicate with Him regarding his exodus from
earth. People who believe that being dead in the body is also dead in the soul
are called atheists, not Christians. It would be sinful to conjure up a dead
person, like Saul did with Samuel (1 Samuel 28:14), in order to gain hidden
knowledge (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).  But asking for intercession (1
Timothy 2:1) from holy people is very biblical, due to the power they have
(James 5:16). Revelation 5:8 and 8:3 plainly state that the saints and angels
present our prayers to God in the form of incense.  Saints pray
alongside of us to Jesus as our intercessors. They do not stand “between”
us and God.
  They only pray with us and for us to Jesus who is
the MEDIATOR and the WAY. 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. 
Having clarified this, I shall also explain that mediation role of Jesus
Christ between God and man, which is completely different from the prayers we
address to the saints.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONE MEDIATOR
Fundamentalists are also preoccupied with the fact that asking the
saints for their intercession also 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). And what is He the mediator of? 
In Hebrews 9:15 and Hebrews 12:24, we learn that Jesus is the mediator of THE
NEW COVENANT. 
A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more
parties.  In the biblical setting, Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to
redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus. The
manifestation of that covenant occurs in our world in a sequence of additional
covenants that God made with individuals: Adam (Gen. 2:15-17), Noah (Gen. 9:12-16), Abraham (Gen. 17), the Israelites at Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28), believers in the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-37), etc. How do we know that Christ is the New
Covenant? We know this from the Eternal Covenant mentioned in Heb. 13:20, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the
eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd
of the sheep”.  In this covenant, God the Father and the Son made an
agreement regarding the elect.  This covenant was made before the universe
was created, and it consisted of the Father promising to bring to the Son all
whom the Father had given Him (John 6:3917:924).  Above all, let us take a look at the very words of
Jesus in the last supper: “…Take this, all of you, and drink from it; this is the cup of my
blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you
and for all so that sins may be forgiven…” (see Mark 14:22-24; Matt
26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25)
.
Having
seen the mediation role of Jesus Christ in relation to the “New Covenant”, we
come to understand better that asking the saints to Intercede for us to Jesus Christ does
not equate to being the mediator of the New Covenant; they are 2 entirely
different things. Let us consider further objections.
FURTHER OBJECTIONS BY THE FUNDAMENTALISTS
Some of our separated brethren often say: “How, then, can Mary and
the saints 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?” does it mean that they are also omnipresent and omniscient
like God?
A simple response to this is: If being in heaven were like being in the
next room, then, of course these objections would be valid. This really shows
that those who make these objections possess a childish view of heaven; they
have failed to understand that those in heaven are not restricted by space and time. Space and time are only
qualities of this material universe. 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; for
time and space only makes meaning in this life and not in the life hereafter. This
does NOT imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God
is; it is only through God’s grace that they can communicate with others
in heaven or with us. And the 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 languages? After all, it is God himself who gives the
gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. To be in heaven is to enjoy
the fullness of God’s graces and benefits. Therefore, it is by God’s grace and
benefits that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are able to understand the
numerous languages on earth and at the same time. Surely those saints in
Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God. 
If only the fundamentalist (our separated brethren in the faith)
understood the scriptures properly and what it means for saints to intercede
for us, they would not have raised objections to this pious practice.

SPREAD THE FAITH!!!

Leave a Reply