praying to saints

hi I was just wondering if you can pray to saints, and they will pray for you and help you..because this is what my mom said... but I go to a baptist school.. and one of my teachers said that if you pray to saints, then nothing can happen and you're honoring them too much. now i am very confused! ??? ??? please give me some thought on this..

--God bless


  • lets say you have two friends and you want something from one of them. Now you want to ask friend#1 for whatever it is, but you know that friend#1 loves friend#2 so much that they would probably say yes to them so you ask that friend to ask friend#1 for you. the same concept applies with the saints. God loves the saints so much that when they ask on your behalf, He will probably answer your prayer. i hope that answers your question and didnt confuse you any more. :)
  • [quote author=daughteroftruelight link=board=4;threadid=735;start=0#msg13540 date=1098832522]
    God loves the saints so much that when they ask on your behalf, He will probably answer your prayer. i hope that answers your question and didnt confuse you any more. :)

    no thank you very much! ;D that didn't confuse me any more.
    This helps me distinguish how the churches strayed away from the original beliefs of the coptic orthodox church.

    --God bless!
  • Just to add some additional thought to the subject, may I suggest the reading of the following verses of scripture. After praying for understanding, see how the Lord will lead you in growing in your prayer life:

    1. John 16:23-26
    2. Mark 11:22:-26
    3. Matt 6:6
    4. Ephesians 1:17
    5. Ephesians 3:14
    6. Acts &;59-60
    7. John 14:13

    I firmly believe that after praying before reading these verses, that the Holy Spirit will bring understanding to the issues expressed regarding your prayer life.

    May the Lord bless you in your studies.
  • Hey LauraForChrist

    Let me try and break it down simply for you. Im just going to summarise the points that Pope Shenouda makes in his book on comparative theology, so if you need me to elaborate on anything please let us know.

    Here are the following keypoints:

    1) Praying for one another is a Biblical concept: 2 Thess. 3:1, Heb 13:18, Eph 6:18 (and hundreds more...)

    2) God requires people to seek the intercession of the righteous for them.

    Examples: Note that many of these examples show that God's forgiveness to these sinners was actually dependent upon the prayers of the righteous.

    a) Genesis 20:7 - "Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. "

    b) Job 42 7 - "After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

    c) Genesis 18:26-32 - " The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." ..."If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
    29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"... "I will not do it if I find thirty there."..."For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

    In the above example, God would spare a whole city for the sake of the righteous. The sinners and righteous will be spared alike, all because of the righteous prayer which is acceptable unto God.

    d)God will even spare and have mercy on people for the SAKE of those who are dead - so how much more so when those dead are praying before the Lord: (1 Kings 11:12-13, 31-34

    3) THE DEPARTED ARE LIVING, and thus they have the ability to pray for us just as those who are still on earth:

    Matthew 22:31 - 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'[1] ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

    4) The ability of those in heaven to know our condition:

    - Undoubtedly knowledge in heaven us greater than knowledge on earth: 1 Corinthians 13:12

    - Angels know our condition (Luke 15:7-10, Matthew 18:10) and they know our prayers because they carry them to Gods throne (Rev 8:3-5).

    -The twenty four elders likewise know and raise our prayers before God (Rev. 5:8)

    -Abraham (who was departed by this time) had known the evil things suffered by Lazarus and the good things which he had received (Luke 16:25).

    -Elijah, after his departure knew matters of earth even after his departure, and even sent a letter to Jehoram warning him that the Lord will strike him (2 Chronicles 21:12-14).

    Theres also many examples of where God discloses to living men the hidden things, how much more will man know when his soul is free in heaven with God?!!!

    I hope this helps,


  • Dear Hkelley

    May i remind you, that we dont pray TO saints. Rather we ask for the saints to pray FOR US on our behalf for the reasons briefly summarised in my post which directly followed yours. This is the concept of intercession.

  • Iqbal:

    Thanks for that thouht. It was my understanding about praying to saints for intercession. I think that belief comes because of the theology of the communion of the saints.

    In His grace
  • we ask for the saints to pray FOR US

    Since I dont know much about your liturgy perhaps you can clarify a certain point.If you ask the saints to pray for you are you not in effect praying to the saints?To ask them to pray for you is to engage in communication{prayer} with the saints is it not?If you could enlighten me on this subject I would greatly appreciate it.

    God bless you. :) :) :)
  • To ask them to pray for you is to engage in communication{prayer} with the saints is it not?

    Well, if the mere act of communicating a request for prayer, qualifies as a prayer in itself as you have just postulated, than we would have to conclude that St Paul was praying to the Thessolonians in 2 Thess. 3:1, as well as to the Ephesians in Ehp. 6:18, we would also have to conclude that St James was praying to us in James 5:16..(theres many more examples).

    Now, if at this stage you want to try and propose an argument, that requesting the prayers of the righteous departed, is what qualifies as a "prayer" in distinction to the above examples on the basis that they are "dead", than i will simply refer you back to my initial post, which has proven that the position of those righteous who have departed is such that they are able to hear our requests and know our conditions. God favours the righteous, and their supplication on behalf of the sinner before the almighty God is indeed effective as scripture proves.

  • :) :) :)

    Brother Iqbal,

    Thank you very much for your excellent explanation.

    May God continue to bless you.
  • I just simply would like emphasise, that "intercession is an advantage; whoever denies it loses it for nothing in return" - Pope Shenouda III - Comparative theology Volume 1 pg 143. Its not considered a necessary element of our salvation or anything like that, rather just an effective form of "extra help" so to speak.

    The great protestant writer and Christian apologist C.S.Lewis (famous for his book "Mere Christianity"), wrote in his book titled "Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly On Prayer" on pp.15-16: ". . . devotions to saints . . . There is clearly a theological defense for it; if you can ask for the prayers of the living, why should you not ask for the prayers of the dead? I am not thinking of adopting the practice myself; and who am I to judge the practices of others?"

    Requesting the prayers of the righteous departed (in addition to the above Biblical defense) has been one promoted by and defended by many of Christianity's great defenders of the faith, such as St Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St Gregory of Nazianzen etc. and has been widely accepted practise carried out since the inception of Christianity.

  • Iqbal:

    Did C.S. Lewis say what that specific theological defense was? I unfortunately do not have that particular Lewis book.

    Elder Kelley

  • Did C.S. Lewis say what that specific theological defense was?

    Well your question implies that there is some range of theological defenses of which a specific one was being referred to. He is referring to 'the' theological defense for the practise which i have argued in my initial post - its an argument based on certain Biblical premises. This is confirmed by the latter part of that quote in which he finds there to be no reason to differentiate between supplication to the living and supplication to the dead, which is one of the fundamental arguments for the practise. Once it is established that the departed have the ability to know our conditions and hear our requests (even to a greater extent than those living here on earth), then the Biblical fact that God favours and gives special attention to the righteous, making their requests effective, and acting specifically for their sake and on their behalf, coupled with this, gives us a very good reason to in fact adopt this beneficial practise. If i would make C.S.Lewis elaborate on anything, it would be to ask why he makes a point of not feeling the need to adopt this advantagous practise if he finds it a theologically valid one.

  • Would we say that theological validity and biblical validity are one in the same thing?

  • :) :) :)

    Iqbal,You have given me much food for thought.I will have to think more deeply on the subject.Thank you.
  • Would we say that theological validity and biblical validity are one in the same thing?

    Sure. The two are obviously inseparable and inter-dependent i.e. one would necessitate the other. The 'theological validity' of a concept would have to be absolutely dependent on its 'Biblical validity'...since theology by definition is the science of God ('religion' is the more preferable word....) it is the knowledge derived from scripture and the systematic exhibition of revealed truth - which in our case would be the 'Biblical truth'.

  • In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The One true God. Amen. The Bible says to love one another (John 15:12). Do we stop loving our brothers and sisters just because they are not with us physically? Do they stop being members of the Body of Christ? St Paul says this well :

    14For in fact the body is not one member but many.
    15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased... 1Corinthians 12:14-18 NKJV.

    The dearly departed in Christ ares till part of the Church!! Death doesn't amputate them form the Curch which is the Body of Christ! Our Lord Jesus Christ says that God is the God of the Living not of the dead:

    32"I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?[3] God is not the God of the dead, but of the living...(Matthew 22:32 NKJV)"

    So based on this, we see that those righteous in Christ who in paradise (The Church Triumphant) show their love for us by interceding for the rest of the Body of Christ on earth (The Church Militant). In the Bible we also see glimpses of heavenly intercession:

    2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand....(Revelation 8:2-4 NKJV)

    9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed...(Revelation 6:9-11 NKJV)."

    Plus, all baptized in Christ share in the priesthood of Christ :

    1 Peter 2
    "9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

    Thus when we pray for one another we are exercising that Priesthood in Christ Jesus. What does a priest do?
    He intercedes for his people to almighty God:

    1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness...(Hebrews 5:1-2)

    Well. I hope this helps . Please pray for this big sinful gamuz.Moooooooooo!
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