edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
We believe that the intercession of the saints is 100% valid. I do believe this ofourse and I always ask the intercession of the saints, particularly St. Mary, and I find my prayers are answered more when She intercedes for me. However In the bible it says "Again I say to you that if two of you agree ON EARTH concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:19-20).

why does the Lord say ON EARTH if we always ask intercession from saints who are not on earth. Its like he is putting the condition that the person must be on earth.


  • The verse doesn't prohibit you from asking the intercessions of the saints...
    But I think what's meant here is that our prayers for eachother can have a result. In Egypt, many times when you're talking to people they say: "saleeli" (pray for me) and many of us ask others to pray for us too. We believe that by the prayers of others who are more deserving and better people than us (I mean that's what we should think in humility) God might help us. Also, we as a church are all members of the Body of Christ, we are sad when others are sad, and we rejoice when they rejoice...

    I think the verse means if we gather together to pray for a certain someone then God will answer us. Like this true story of a girl in Egypt who left christianity to be with a muslim guy, and a group of young servants at church heard about it so they decided to pray for her together every day. The priest at their church himself fell into the sin of hopelessness when he told them: why still pray, it's too late, she's been gone for 4 months now... Then after a while the bishop of the eparsheya (diocese) called some priests together and it was because this girl wanted to speak.
    She said after I left christianity I kept hearing this tarneema in my ears every day, until I couldn't take it anymore... I want to come back, will you accept me??? Ofcourse, they accepted her. And her coming back was because of the prayers of those young servants, although they were ON EARTH...

    God Bless
    Please pray for me
  • [glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father+and of the Son+ and of the Holy Spirit+, The One True God. Amen[/glow].

    Matthew 18:!9-20 is talking about Apostolic Authority. The Lord gave the Holy Apostles spiritual authority to forgive sins, minister the Sacraments and become our bishops. This is the main context of the chapter. Notice the Lord Jesus is discussing the handling of disciplinary issues. St. Peter was given the same "binding and loosing" authority as the rest of the Apostles (Matthew 16:19).

      The Lord Jesus works thru His people- the Church:  St Peter resurrected Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:40-41), the sick even wanted the 'shadow' of St Peter to fall upon them for healing (Acts 5:15-16).  The intercessions of the Saints is possible IN Christ, BY Christ and THROUGH Christ (Acts 3:12-13) and it GIVES glory to Christ!

    Plus in past posts I have explained how being the Mystical Body of Christ means that the living and the 'dead' both pray for each other. If a holy person dies, do they stop being a member of the Body of Christ? No! God says to love one another. Praying for one another is a great example of this Commandment! St Paul says nothing can separate us from the love of God "... neither death nor life ...can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37-39)." Death has no power over God's people. Didn't He come to defeat death by His death? Isn't He the God of the living, not of the dead (Matthew 22:32)? Plus aren't we all, dead or alive, a royal priesthood (1 peter 2:9, Rev. 20:6)and what does a priest do? Prays for others!

      Plus in heaven the Saints (including the Angels) intercede for us (Revelation 6:9-11). Hope this helps a bit. This doesn't include the tons of early Church Father's writings and archaeological discoveries of the catacombs asking for the living members of the Body of Christ to pray for the 'deceased' ones. Amen.   
  • Meena ~

    as a non-Orthodox, i asked this same question of an Eastern Orthodox man in another forum. basically, "are we following Christ if and when we pray to saints, or ask for their prayers, seeming as Christ commands us to only honor the Father, and to honor Him (the Son) as we honor the Father?"

    his response was pretty amazing, and worth reading imo.


    There is, as we say in the Creed, 'One Church', not a church of the living and a church of the departed. Through icons and relics, we can converse with those saints to whom we feel some attraction and with whom we develop a relationship; St John of Kronstadt said that we can call upon them, thank them, and converse with them as with living people. Christ commands us to love one another (John 15:12); He does not tell us that we can stop loving one another when some of us have departed this life. From what Christ and His Holy Church have told us, we are doing what Christ asks us to do if we pray to and ask prayers from those in heaven; indeed, if we do not, we are not doing what Christ asks us.

    Andreas Moran


    pretty remarkable and striking answer! especially the part in italics. God bless you, and i hope Brother Andreas' answer is helpful to more poeple, too.
  • true, gracia, your going to have to stop calling yourself 'non-orthodox'  ;)

    it's also good to pray with those who are still alive on earth, we encourage each other when we pray together.
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=6978.msg113774#msg113774 date=1272230496]
    true, gracia, your going to have to stop calling yourself 'non-orthodox'  ;)

    it's also good to pray with those who are still alive on earth, we encourage each other when we pray together.

    lol, i know. maybe someday. but Andreas' response does make a lot of sense. they are alive in Christ and alive to God, and are people we can learn from, love, relate to, venerate, and see as our role models as Christians.
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