Intercession of the Saints is more effective than direct prayer to God?

Hello,
How do you explain that intercession is more effective than if I would pray directly to God? Since God is not deaf, why is intercession so efficient, compared to direct prayer?
Is it because in the Communion of the Saints, the Saints are closer to God? But then we get back to the first problem, since God doesn’t need anyone to report or advocate, so that He might know more, change His mind and so on.

I hope i am just missing or forgetting an important point, but as an example it could be :

Me: Lord, thank you for all, please give me strengh for tomorrow’s exams
The Lord answers by a no
Saint Peter says: but Lord, that’s all he needs to succeed…
the Lord says…well, ok.
It can’t be so. But on the other Hand Abraham intercedes in a sense for Sodom, and points out to the Lord that there might be a Just. ANd God states what he will do if it is so. So God doesn’t need that pleading strictly said.

Thank you for giving me an enlighting analogy. :blush:

Besides scripture saying that the prayers of the just (saints) are especially efficacious, I tend to see it in a certain way.
We can go to God directly. It is true and we should. However, that does not mean we should neglect the rest of the Christian family (saints). Saints are praying in heaven for a reason, one of which is definitely for our sake. If God has put out ways to help us get closer to God through intercessory prayer, then in what mind should we reject those other ways to help us get closer to God? We as Christians are called a body for a reason. If you need help, and a family member offers you help, you don’t reject it. You graciously accept and hope to grow further in Christ. If it can help you grow further in Christ, there is no reason to reject it.

However, this does NOT mean you only do intercessory prayers. In that case, then you are rejecting another great way God has put out to bring us closer, direct prayers to Him. Use both ways to bring us closer to God because God gave us both direct prayer and the saints for our benefit.

And in terms of your example, I think we have to understand that God is omniscient. He knows what we will do. So if God says no to you but yes to an intercessory prayer, there isn’t a contradiction. He may have said yes because he knew you would go the extra step for the intercessory prayers. I feel omniscience of God is key and that He has a plan set in motion for all of us.

We can’t see how the whole plan works or makes sense, but it is God’s plan. Everything has a purpose for completing God’s plan for us all. I believe this song does this aspect justice.
youtube.com/watch?v=oG0a9WFkgzU

Hope this helps.

God’s answers are final. How can he say no and then yes, because it was indirect?

For the rest, i am not doubting the communion of the saints nor neglecting it, I just wonder why the efficinecy of the prayer is greater when through intercession.

I think you aren’t understanding what I’m saying.
It’s like saying a person prays to God He says no. Then after much more prayer He relents. Does that mean He just changed His mind on a whim? No. He is omniscient. He knew He was going to relent after you prayed more. However, understand the effects of what He may choose to do. If He said yes initially, then you wouldn’t have done those extra prayers which are obviously good for us in our spiritual life. I’m saying that God is omniscient, and we as finite beings cannot see the effects of all of God’s decisions. Especially all we need to know is that we trust Him and that all of His decisions are for the benefit of us all. It’s just that we can’t see that giant picture. But God does.

And for your second thing, it’s simply that the prayers of many are more efficacious than the prayers of a few. Prayer alone is not as good as prayer also with someone close to God. If there was a King, not everyone can see Him. However, as a person went up the ranks, the person would then have more contact with the King. That’s why we should all strive to be holy to be closer to God. Also, we can ask those already close to the King to send a message for us. Not necessarily because the King doesn’t know in God’s case, but a King is more likely to listen to a close adviser than a stranger.

I’m probably not the best guy to answer this question, so hopefully someone else answers this question :smiley:

I see what you mean, just i can’t translate it in simple words. But i will try:
That “no” would be temporary, or not expressed, so not “issued” as a response to my prayer, so that i could pray more, like jesus said that if we persevere we are rewarded, like with the woman before the judge, who listened because he was tired of her begging.
I have no problem nor misunderstanding of foreknowledge, but nevertheless the fact that <god relents means that it was a “yes” from the beginning? Just I had to do the step?

I like to think of the saints as mentors who know what I’m up against and can give me advice.

When I pray to a saint for assistance with my problem-at-hand I contemplate how that saint handled the same problem. Maybe the saint was more patient than me, or tried a little longer, or put more effort into the task. Maybe the saint kept out of trouble by refusing to let others take advantage, or handled unreasonable people more deftly so as to create a win-win situation for everyone.

When I do more than just pray for the saint’s help, when I also take a lesson from the saint’s example, I am more likely to receive my requested blessing.

Attorneys have a saying here: The man who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Now the same holds true before God Almighty. While we have every right to go right to God for whatever it is we need, why not gather one or more powerful advocates who already have His attention in Heaven?

This is not to say that prayer directly to God is foolish or unpopular. The entire Holy Mass is addressed to God the Father. Likewise the Divine Office in its entirety is addressed to the same God. It is really only in private prayer and devotion (in particular the Rosary) that we find prayer to Mary and the saints being popular.

But I think it is a very efficacious way to pray to God for our petitions and requests. To many of us, the notion of an all-powerful, all-knowing God can be intimidating and impersonal. It is hard to develop a direct personal relationship with God the Father, the Holy Spirit, or even Jesus. It is much more apt and likely that we will form relationships with human persons who have walked this Earth, have had the same kinds of experiences and desires and sins that we all have, and people we can look up to, for having attained the ultimate in personal holiness, now glorify God forever in Heaven and intercede powerfully for us at His side.

Because it seems to me that saints can influence God, a thing that no one believes.

I am no theologian, so for me it’s quite simple. The Church is the Body of Christ and is populated by Christians (here on earth or in heaven), so asking someone to join my prayers with theirs makes sense.

Who ever said it was more effective to go though Saints?
I’ve never heard that taught anywhere.
We ask the Saints to pray with us for a shared intention.
Simple as that.

St. James did

James 5:16b

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

We are instructed to seek out the righteous and ask them to pray for us. That does include our pastors, the religious, but most importantly, the Saints in Heaven.There and non more righteous than the Saints in Heaven.

Doesn’t sound like he said it was MORE effective to me. :shrug:
I’m all for the saints…I don’t disagree that we are called to ask them, and other are to ask US.

Just because He hasn’t answered yes yet, doesn’t mean it was a no. It could be a ‘not yet’. Just because something is denied today, doesn’t mean it will continue to be denied tomorrow. It’s in His time, not ours.

It sure makes sense, but I am elsewhere :smiley: : the efficiency seems greater when through Intercession. We only have to see how the Son Himself said to ask in His name to the Father. That is true with saints too. I agree. Why is it different (in efficiency) than direct prayer?

I agree, if you intend the “no” to mean “not yet”. Then it could mean that God wants us to confess or to show we need halp by praying, in a sense that we can progress in charity.

But the thing remains, once God doesn’t answer, then He does. Is it because saint prayed with me? Is it because when we ask in communion (2 or 3) we will be answered?

But again, I may persevere alone (like the woman before the judge in the gospel) and be answered. In fact, I am answered in my prayers and I almost always ask directly. I do not just ask, that is clear :rolleyes:

So it seems that intercessions may need also perseverence like when we are alone, so that’s why I don’t get why the prayer of the just is so effective, even if I agree that per se if someone’s pure he pleases God.

I think in one respect, it helps us to show humility, to know that we need others and their prayers, to ask the Saints to pray with us to God. They have already achieved their goal of reaching Heaven, and who better to guide us?

I agree with you about the guidance. :thumbsup:
They don’t however guide our prayers. They sure are guides to God, but intercession isn’t such a thing.

We do have many saints that can guide us in prayer, starting with their writings that were left behind, such as Sts. Faustina, Augustine and Ignatius. They can pray along with us, and help us strengthen in prayer by following their earthly examples.

I agree again, and see i have to repeat my question : Why is the intercessory prayer greater than direct prayer? Is God “more pleased” that way? I know we cannot give human attributes to God, but as an analogy. Does that have to do with God’s nature maybe?

God did not put us on an island. In scripture Jesus did not always heal someone when the sick person requested it but when friends took steps on behalf of the sick person Jesus did take action. The story of the paralyzed man comes to mind who was lowered through a roof by his friends.

On a practical note take a simple example. I’m driving the family in the car and my wife
asks if we can go out to dinner. My initial response maybe a no from time to time and when the kids appeal then I may change my answer to a yes. Such is the case when saints put requests to God on our behalf. They are more alive and more holy than we are so I’m calling upon my friends in higher places to ask Jesus just as I will ask Jesus for something. Hope this helps.

Thank you, but not really :slight_smile:

I know for sure intercessionary prayer make us experience that we are part of a family, of a commmunion.
And it is clear also that we can pray to God directly, or through Christ or other Saints.
But why is this kind of prayer more effective than direct prayer? Why does that help?

The exampe of the Father isnot exactly accurate because a father may really mean no and then yes, where God meant yes when he said no followed by a yes, because of his foreknowledge.

So very simply, why is an intercession more effective? Maybe I am wrong, it is not more effective per se, but it is pedagogy. But James wouldn’t have said that the prayer of the Just (Saint) is so powerful, compared to other prayers.

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