Why do catholics pray to the dead? Is it biblical?
Welcome to the forums. In short, for the same reasons we ask anyone alive to pray for us. This does a much better job, including biblical references
they sure do! Here’s a very quick explination:
Do you ask for other Christians to pray for you when you are in need of prayers? Of course you do, and especially the people you know are closer to God. As St. Paul said, all are alive in Christ, even those who have passed from this world. Those with Christ in Heaven are closer than anyone on earth, and so their prayers are so much more helpful for us! Don’t forget: prayer is not always worship. Prayer is simply a communication. That communication can carry worship (is, when we direct it toward God), but not all prayer does.
Does Calvinism teach “soul sleep” or “soul annihilation”? If not, then why do you think that souls are dead?
No, we absolutely do not pray to the dead.
Rather, we pray to the living, with the living, for the living. We as Christians believe in eternal life. The part of the Church here on Earth is known as the Church Militant. We are united in the Communion of Saints, both with those in Purgatory waiting for Heaven (the Church Suffering) and those already enjoying the Beatific Vision in the glory of Heaven (the Church Triumphant). We can ask any of these brothers and sisters to intercede for us with God. Some are powerful intercessors for certain causes, for example, St. Jude is known to be especially helpful for lost and hopeless causes, while St. Christopher is extraordinarily powerful for those who find themselves traveling anywhere. Among all God’s creatures, Mary is singularly well-placed for our veneration (hyperdulia) and supplications, and she pleads for us in a special way with Christ Himself.
If we believed those in Heaven (and Purgatory) to be truly dead then our prayers would really be in vain. However we believe them to be more alive than ever, joined in solidarity with the whole Body of Christ, eternally exchanging prayers and petitions to be heard at the Throne of God the Father.
Because we don’t believe the saints ARE dead. They’ve risen to everlasting life with Christ. Since they are members of our Christian family who have seen God face-to-face, we ask them to pray to Him on our behalf.
Welcome to CAF! I like pizza a lot.
Consider the last two words in John 3:16.
Or just consider the whole verse.
Then marry that to Jesus being with us always, Jesus teaching us how to pray, and you’ll quickly see how a conclusion to ask for assistance from a very alive person is not only possible, but recommended.
Did God not come to redeem us and give us ETERNAL LIFE? The martyrs and saints who have gone before us, did God not also come to give them eternal life? Our God is the God of the living. They are not dead.
Well…where is it in the Bible that those in heaven are dead?
And not only is this Biblical…is jewish in roots:
Saints and Relics as Biblical
As I explored this conundrum, the first thing I began to appreciate was just how biblical the practice really was. I realized that the veneration of relics, belief in their miraculous powers, and in the intercession of departed saints and angels was deeply Hebraic and Jewish. We find testimony to it in such places as 2 Kings 13:20-21, 2 Maccabees 15:12-16, and Tobit 12:12-15, considered especially in comparison to Revelation 5:8. (At this point, it was immaterial to me whether Maccabees and Tobit should be considered canonical texts. It was enough that they expressed a historic Jewish belief in these concepts.)
I think it is more correct to say that we pray FOR the dead, not to the dead. We pray for souls who have left their borrowed bodies, and await final dispensation.
Since you have opened one of the common doors of Catholic misconception, allow me to address a few others.
-We in prayer, ask Mary, mother of God being closer to Christ to pray on our behalf. We do not worship Mary, we revere her, as she had a very special relationship to Christ, and God.
-We do not worship plaster, bronze, or stone statues.
-We do not worship Saints, but revere and recognize their status in heaven, and ask that they too pray for us, especially those who had special missions, causes, and ministries while on earth. The Saints are not worshiped, they never have been.
In Daniel 3:86, the three young men in the fiery furnace called out to the dead saying, “Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.” Sounds like a prayer to the dead to me.
That verse may not be in your abridged Protestant Bible but it is in the Bible used by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.
There seems to be some problem with your post. I only saw the first line. When I went to add more explainations to your post I found that some of the things I was going to say were already in your post though I cannot see it on the site.
In addition to what’s already been said (excellent posts, by the way!) we have to remember the definition of the word prayer.
Not all prayer is worship.
In modern English, it’s easy for us to forget that the word pray simply means to ask someone else for something, or to do something.
A good illustration of this is Shakespeare. We hear things like “I pray thee…” which simply means “I request that you…”
When we pray to the dead, what we are really doing is praying to them, asking them to offer their own prayers to God on our behalf—just as we might ask a friend to pray to God for us for some particular intention.
If you’ve ever said to someone “please pray to God for me,” then you’ve actually prayed to that person. You just might not be aware of it because the word just isn’t used that way in our everyday vocabulary like it used to be.
So, while we certainly do not worship the departed, we do ask them to pray to God for us.
Yes, Jesus did die on the cross … But he has risen, allelua - allelua! Certainly, we pray to Jesus. Do you? Is Jesus Biblical? If we don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead, the. Our faith is dead (Corinthians); if we don’t believe Jesus is the way for all souls we at not in faith.
The Roman Church defines the Word Saint to mean those who are heaven with God.
Therefore the Saints are the Angels and those who have died but are with the Lord.
Therefore If you pray to Pope John Paul II you are praying to saint in heaven who also happens to be dead has far as his mortal body is dead.
Christian who do not pray to the Saints in Heaven argue that you should pray only to the Father through our mediator Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
These same Christians (evangelicals mainly) Define the word saint to mean those “born again” Christians both on earth and in heaven. Notice how Paul addresses the living congregations in his time. 2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:Ephesians 1:1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
It is clear that Paul addresses the believers as saints.
So why do Catholics pray to saints for intersession.
Catholics argue that the saints are in the presence of God and will carry their prayers to him.
Evangelicals contest that we have an open line to God and praying to the saints is heaven is too similar to pagan practices of praying to dead ancestors.
Conclusion: No one in Scripture prays to the dead. Trying to talk to the dead is a sinful practice involving pagan mediums usually. King Saul was cursed for summoning Samuel.
My personal feeling is that there is no reason to pray to the saints in heaven because we do have a direct line to God through our only mediator Jesus and even if the Saints can hear our prayers it is only through the power of God that they hear. When we ask the saint in heaven to pray for us we have to go through God to get to the Saint. Doesn’t make much sense. What does make sense is that we living people come together as a group to pray. Scripture says there is much power in that.
Let’s think about this for just a moment. Praying to those who are actually dead would be irrational. Praying to those who are alive in the spirit, however, is quite another thing. Why do we believe that those whose bodies are in a grave are actually alive?
**Jesus said so! **
Let’s pagre over to Luke 20:3 for starters:
"…for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.[a] 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.”
So, regardless of what man believes, the dead are alive to God. And, which is more important, God’s reality or ours?
Except for the “Roman” slur, OK so far.
But I thought that the spirit gives life and the flesh avails nothing (John 6:63, 2 Corinthians 3:6). Are you saying that the flesh does avail something?
There are certified miracles of healing through his intercession. I guess that you have a problem with that?
Because we believe in the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 12, and that neither life nor death separates us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Also, because it has been revealed to mankind and it works.
Never mind the Book of Revelation (5:8, 8:3-4). Find the Book of Tobit (Chapter 12) online and have a read.
Consider: Pagans have gods, Pagan pray. Pagans gather to worship. By your own standard, evangelicalism sounds awfully pagan.
Which verse in the bible tells you that all of God’s revelation is in it? Not one! I must point out that no one in scripture has “church services”, “altar calls”, “bible alone” or the “sinners prayer” either.
You ignore the “why” of what Saul was doing. Look once again in your bible (Luke 20): Jesus said that, to God, all are alive. The bible says we have a great cloud of witnesses. The bible says that we are all parts of Christ’s Body and that neither life nor death separate us form the love of God. The cloud of witnesses cannot witness if they are “dead” as you claim they are. God says they are alive. You say they are dead.
I say that’s a problem.