30 Seconds - Intercessory Prayer / Communion of Saints


#2 - If you’re on an elevator with a protestant who questions the Catholic tradition of praying to the dead (Saints), how do you refute him/her by the time you get to the lobby floor?

Your response - including specific biblical citations, if necessary, must be readable within 30 seconds.


  1. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Mt. 22:32; Mt.17:3)

  2. The righteous saints surround us, and therefore hear us and our requests (Heb.12:1; Mt. 17:3)

  3. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (Jas. 5:16)

  4. The righteous saints bring our petitions to God (Rev. 5:8)


Do you ask others to pray for you?

Does your Church/Bible Study Group/Faith Community take prayer requests?

Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead?

If these folks are alive, can they not take a prayer request as well?

This is my floor, have a great day!


The Bible forbids speaking to the dead, as in spiritually dead, not physically dead. If we were not allowed to speak to those who have died in God’s Grace, Christ Himself would have been sinning at the Transfiguration, when He conversed with Moses and Elijah, who were both physically dead.

So if we’re allowed to speak with them, can we pray to them? First, prayer to the Saints is not asking for them to do something by their own power. It is asking them to pray that God might do something. There is no difference between this and asking a friend to pray for you, as Christ Himself did in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked His disciples to pray. And who better to get to pray for you than someone who is perfectly attuned to God’s will?


I would ask him, “Could you rephrase that without the word ‘prayer?’ That is, just what is it specifically that we do that you find objectionable?”

Of course, this would be a better opening to a long conversation, but here it should stump them enough that I could walk away satisfied.


I would also mention that “to pray” means “to speak to” not “to worship.” This is a big stumbling block for many. I had this conversation with my brother a year or so ago. At the end of the conversation he agreed with me.


Brian hit the nail on the head earlier.

Almost all denominations profess a belief in the “communion of saints,” but the Catholic Church is the only one who actually believes it.

If I can ask my friend to pray for me now, and there is only “one faith” (not 2 faiths: one in heaven and one on earth) then what says we are not in communion when he dies?

you can even point your friend to St. Augustine’s writings, since most Protestants accept him as a reliable early Church authority.

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