Friday, March 2, 2012

Is Prayer to Saints / Mary biblical?

This is one of the highly sensitive topics that any Christian born in a Catholic background will even to dare to look into. The majority of the sect will even consider thinking such a way is heretic.Today I can answer my fellow catholic folks and others who dangle in confusion on the topic of prayer to saints and Mother Mary.

Let’s see the Answer below:

The issue of Catholics praying to saints is one that is full of confusion.

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 official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for you. However, the practice of many Catholics diverges from official Roman Catholic teaching. Many Catholics do in fact pray directly to saints and/or Mary, asking them for help – instead of asking the saints and/or Mary to intercede with God for help.

Whatever the case, whether a saint or Mary is being prayed to, or asked to pray, neither practice has any Biblical basis. The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in Heaven for their prayers.

Why, then, do many Catholic pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers?

Catholics view Mary and saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:5-6

There is no one else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY mediator, that indicates Mary and saints cannot be mediators. They cannot mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Hebrews 7:25

With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Who would God listen to more closely than His Son?

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27

With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in Heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?

Let us examine that claim.

(1) The Apostle Paul asks other Christians to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19. Many Scriptures describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3). The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in Heaven to pray for them. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in Heaven praying for anyone on earth.

(2) The Bible gives absolutely no indication that Mary or the saints can hear our prayers. Mary and the saints are not omniscient. Even glorified in Heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people?

The one instance when a "saint" is spoken to, Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:7-19, Samuel was not exactly happy to be disturbed.

It is plainly clear that praying to Mary or the saints is completely different from asking someone here on earth to pray for you. One has a strong Biblical basis, the other has no Biblical basis whatsoever.

God does not answer prayers based on who is praying.

God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will 

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
(1 John 5:14-15).

There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in Heaven to pray for us.
Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in Heaven has any greater access to God's throne that we do through prayer

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16).

Pray to Jesus our Savior

Recommended Resource:

The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God by James McCarthy.

courtesy :