intercession


#1

Hi,
This forum has me looking at facets of my faith that I had not considered before. Like intercession. When I intercede for someone, I pray to God on their behalf. Dear Lord God almighty, in Christ Jesus’s name I pray to you. Hear my pray my heavenly Father, Mr x is in need of help etc. Now I only pray to God, I seem to be firming up on this, where once I may have prayed to Jesus, but as Jesus says, pray to the Father. Jesus also said, " I go to the Father who is greater than I." However when I worship( I do this daily after shaving and showering and putting on clothes set aside for worship so they are not dirty), I worship God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate (entities) and I worship the unity as “I Am”.
I believe Roman Catholics pray “to” the saints and Mary and ask them to intercede for you. Can you give me your support for this please.
I see a big difference in the words “pray to” and "pray for"
I see ‘pray to’ as a request to a higher entity, God and
"pray for’ as a request from God.
As Jesus calls us brothers, I suppose that is one of the reasons I pray only to God, but in Jesus’s Holy Name.
Christ be with you,http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
walk in love
edwinG


#2

Hello Edwin

You are right. Pray to is an act directed to God. Pray for is an act on the part of the one praying to intercede with God on behalf of someone else. Scripture advises us to do pray [intercede] for one another as St. Paul himself tells his audience to pray for him in Colossians 4:3 : "and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison".

If indeed we can pray for one another, how much more those who are already in heaven.

Peace

Gerry :slight_smile:


#3

[quote=RobedWithLight]Hello Edwin

You are right. Pray to is an act directed to God. Pray for is an act on the part of the one praying to intercede with God on behalf of someone else. Scripture advises us to do pray [intercede] for one another as St. Paul himself tells his audience to pray for him in Colossians 4:3 : "and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison".

If indeed we can pray for one another, how much more those who are already in heaven.

Peace

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Thank you Robed,
I hope you don’t mind my using your nick name. Can you explain more for me about the "How much more’ those who are already in heaven.
I am fuzzy on this.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#4

Hi Edwin,
You may run into “Catholic shorthand”. Catholics do say pray to Mary. But when they say that, they do not mean it in the same way we say pray to God. It is Catholic shorthand for saying “Ask Mary to pray for you, adding her prayers to yours to God”= “Pray to Mary”. Catholics know and understand this. When talking in “mixed company” I always try to say it the long way. However, when with other Catholics, I do say Pray to Mary or any of the Saints. I know they understand the difference and do not think I am telling them to pray like I pray to God. Pray to in Catholic terminolgy depends completely on context. Praying to the saints is asking them to add their prayer to yours to God. Praying to God means asking and worshipping Him.

I hope this helps.

God Bless,
Maria


#5

I suppose the best way to explain the prayers “to” the saints would be Biblical reference. These are some of the more (NT) relevant:

James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Revelation 5:8 - And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Revelation 8:3 - And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 8:4 - And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

The saints of course are already with God in heaven, their prayers and intercession are by virtue of being heavenly, perfect.

Of course there are plenty which call us to pray for each other, to intercede for one another. I believe intercession is the most spoken of subject in all of Scripture. See also:

Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Romans 15:30 - Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

2 Corinthians 1:11 - Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

2 Corinthians 8:4 - Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

2 Corinthians 9:14 - And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

2 Corinthians 13:7 - Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Ephesians 1:16 - Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Colossians 1:9 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 4:3 - Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

1 Thessalonians 1:2 - We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1 Thessalonians 5:25 - Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 - Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

2 Thessalonians 3:1 - Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

1 Timothy 2:1 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 Timothy 1:3 - I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

Philemon 1:4 - I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

Hebrews 13:18 - Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.


#6

[quote=MariaG]Hi Edwin,
You may run into “Catholic shorthand”. Catholics do say pray to Mary. But when they say that, they do not mean it in the same way we say pray to God. It is Catholic shorthand for saying “Ask Mary to pray for you, adding her prayers to yours to God”= “Pray to Mary”. Catholics know and understand this. When talking in “mixed company” I always try to say it the long way. However, when with other Catholics, I do say Pray to Mary or any of the Saints. I know they understand the difference and do not think I am telling them to pray like I pray to God. Pray to in Catholic terminolgy depends completely on context. Praying to the saints is asking them to add their prayer to yours to God. Praying to God means asking and worshipping Him.

I hope this helps.

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

Hi MariaG,
Yes that helps, to understand the “Catholic shorthand”. This type of shorthand does cause confusion, but it still leaves me confused. In my bible the only three references to intercession in my concordance are these.
Hebrews7;25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Romans 8;26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought , but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Isaiah 53:12 " … And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Firstly , we have God, in the form of the Holy Spirit helping us(in intercession) in the first instance, then God, in the form of Jesus Christ, ( in intercession) helping us at the next stage. God is the next stage. First the Holy Spirit, secondly Jesus Christ and God Himself, and He tells us that He is our redeemer. I dont see any room for anyone else in the heavenly realm. Note in Hebrews it says that Christ ALWAYS LIVES to make intercession. Do we need more than the Holy Spirit and Jesus to intercede. What more can be done that they can not do.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#7

[quote=Tom]I suppose the best way to explain the prayers “to” the saints would be Biblical reference. These are some of the more (NT) relevant:

James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Revelation 5:8 - And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Revelation 8:3 - And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 8:4 - And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

The saints of course are already with God in heaven, their prayers and intercession are by virtue of being heavenly, perfect.
[/quote]

[quote=]Wow Tom thank you for the scripture and the time you have put into your answer.The “of course” is the bit I have trouble with. As I read those verses I just read them as the saints on earth or who were on earth before they died. Do we have bible passages saying the saints in heaven pray.
[/quote]

[quote=]Of course there are plenty which call us to pray for each other, to intercede for one another. I believe intercession is the most spoken of subject in all of Scripture. See also:

Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Romans 15:30 - Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

2 Corinthians 1:11 - Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

2 Corinthians 8:4 - Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

2 Corinthians 9:14 - And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

2 Corinthians 13:7 - Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Ephesians 1:16 - Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Hebrews 13:18 - Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
[/quote]

Thanks again Tom,
I read all of these passages and am blessed by them. One of the real advantages of being a member of this forum is to read scripture and to read it along side scripture that you haven’t seen it in context with previously.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG
Ps, My reply was too long and I had to shorten it so some of the quotes had to go. Hopefully all is " go " now


#8

Even praying directly to a saint is perfectly accptable, so long as one knows that the source of their powers is God himself.

If I knew that a certain Christian (say, a holy priest like Pade Pio) was in town, and I asked him to heal my daughter, it would be understood that I was aking God to do it through him, though the exact words may not be said.

Likewise, if I pray directly to Jesus, its understood that I am in fact going to the Father through Jesus, though my actual words may not explicitly express this.

Or if I pray, “God, help me get a part in this play!” its understood that I want God’s will, and not my own, to be done. Though again this need not be explicitly mentioned.

And on and on.


#9

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Even praying directly to a saint is perfectly accptable, so long as one knows that the source of their powers is God himself.

If I knew that a certain Christian (say, a holy priest like Pade Pio) was in town, and I asked him to heal my daughter, it would be understood that I was aking God to do it through him, though the exact words may not be said.

Likewise, if I pray directly to Jesus, its understood that I am in fact going to the Father through Jesus, though my actual words may not explicitly express this.

Or if I pray, “God, help me get a part in this play!” its understood that I want God’s will, and not my own, to be done. Though again this need not be explicitly mentioned.

And on and on.
[/quote]


#10

Peace be with you!

I have a question:

How can you talk to a DEAD ( in flesh ) believer?

In Love,
Yaqubos†


#11

[quote=edwinG]Thank you Robed,
I hope you don’t mind my using your nick name. Can you explain more for me about the "How much more’ those who are already in heaven.
I am fuzzy on this.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG
[/quote]

Those in heaven certainly enjoy the presence of God much more fully[the beatific vision for instance] than those of us still on earth. Mary and the saints are certainly in heaven. They thus understand and commune with God in ways far more profound than we can ever hope for on earth. Hence they who are in this sense nearer to God can certainly pray for us on earth. If we, who are sinners can pray for each other, why shouldn’t the holy saints in heaven do so as well?

Gerry :slight_smile:


#12

Edwin, always a pleasure. I know what you mean about reading Scripture in a different context. We are all blessed by each others faith. I have learned so much about my faith by looking at Scripture from another’s point of view. As far as your concordance (I hope I can say this in a non-offensive way), it was written by Protestants, who, would not want to promote a Catholic teaching that they did not agree with. Seeing only 3 references to intercession should be a first clue. Was this for the entire Bible? Old and New Testament? Certainly reading the OT would provide ample proof that God does use humans, angles, and saints for intercession. As I said it’s probably the most referred to subject in Scripture. God didn’t change the rules when Jesus came to us; He still uses us as intercessors, as He uses the saints. Revelations appears to me to refer to saints in heaven and not on earth. I’m at work at this moment and don’t have my Bible handy, but truly, you can’t read Scripture and not see intercession. It’s in every book of Scripture. Most Protestants would like to minimize the use of intercession to any other than Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but God uses us all.
May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ be with you
Tom


#13

Yacbos, aren’t the “dead–in flesh” believers alive in God?

Corinthians15, 12 If Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead, how (can) some among you say that (there) is no resurrection from the dead? 13 If (there) is no resurrection from the dead, (then) Christ has not been raised. 14 If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is [also] empty, and your faith is empty. 15 So, we are discovered (by others) as false witnesses (in the name) of God, because we witnessed according to God that he raised the Christ, whom he did not raise if truly the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless, you are still in your sins, 18 then the ones having fallen asleep (in death) in Christ are also lost. 19 If in this life we are only placing our hope in Christ, (then) we are the most pitiful of all men.

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead as the first fruit (for the harvest sacrifice) of those having fallen asleep (in death).

15:12-13 “resurrection from the dead” The word for resurrection was “anastasis” in Greek, meaning “standing up.” This was a popular word for resurrection in the New Testament.

So, if Christ has been raised, those who have died in Him will also be raised.

What makes you think that, now that death has been conquered by Christ, that those who die do not likewise conquer? That their immortal souls are not fully conscious of the beatific vision which is the full knowledge of God?

BEFORE the resurrection of Christ, people died indeed, and went to a sort of “waiting station” which in some texts is rendered hell, in others limbo, in others such as “the bosom of Abraham”. When Christ died, those who had died and been judged were able to go to one of three places. TWO of those three places will exist forever–heaven and hell. The THIRD place–that place which was “abraham’s bosom”, we Catholics call “purgatory”. Purgatory will NOT exist after the Last Judgment at the second coming, because purgatory is ONLY for those SAVED, who WILL ENTER HEAVEN WHEN THEY ARE CLEAN. No one who goes to Purgatory will leave it to go to HELL, only to HEAVEN.

Purgatory is spoken of in Macabbees; it is scriptural. It is also common sense. Obviously, after Adam and Eve’s sin NO ONE was able to enter HEAVEN until Christ’s sacrifice–correct? Equally obviously, NOBODY who enters HELL will ever leave–correct? So, WHERE WERE ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE BETWEEN ADAM AND JESUS? They weren’t in hell. They weren’t in heaven. They WERE somewhere–waiting–until THEY WERE JUSTIFIED/ CLEANED through Christ’s sacrifice.


#14

[quote=YAQUBOS]Peace be with you!

I have a question:

How can you talk to a DEAD ( in flesh ) believer?

In Love,
Yaqubos†
[/quote]

To add to Tantum Ergo’s post:

Luke 20:37-38
Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed at the bush, when he called the Lord: The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.


#15

Hi Edwin,

Intercession used in this context means praying for others. There are many places in the Bible where Paul and others ask for believers to pray for them. The difference is that Catholics believe those who have died walking in His love, are not just sitting around on a cloud eating bonbons. They are actively interested in what is going on in this world. As believers, they would still pray to God. But their prayers are more perfectly united with God now.

The difference is in that non Catholic Christians do not think those who have died can still pray for those of us on earth. Catholics cannot understand why you think this is not possible, because all things are possible through Christ. There are many Bible verses as have been shown, as well as many early records of the Catholic Church showing this has always been done.

God Bless,
Maria


#16

[quote=MariaG]Hi Edwin,

Intercession used in this context means praying for others. There are many places in the Bible where Paul and others ask for believers to pray for them. The difference is that Catholics believe those who have died walking in His love, are not just sitting around on a cloud eating bonbons. They are actively interested in what is going on in this world. As believers, they would still pray to God. But their prayers are more perfectly united with God now.

The difference is in that non Catholic Christians do not think those who have died can still pray for those of us on earth. Catholics cannot understand why you think this is not possible, because all things are possible through Christ. There are many Bible verses as have been shown, as well as many early records of the Catholic Church showing this has always been done.

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

Hi Maria,
Am I correct in reading that you are worn out in quoting passages leading to the prayers of the saints in heaven. LOL " There are many Bible verses as have been shown" Ok I accept your " worn out status" How about explaining this one to me.

“But their prayers are more perfectly united with God now”

Romans8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do no know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. "
Now how can the saints in heaven be better than the Holy Spirit aiding us in our prayers?
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#17

[quote=edwinG] When I intercede for someone, I pray to God on their behalf.
[/quote]

That’s entirely praiseworthy, and I hope that when you are in heaven, you will continue to pray to God on behalf of your fellow Christians on earth.


#18

[quote=RobedWithLight]Those in heaven certainly enjoy the presence of God much more fully[the beatific vision for instance] than those of us still on earth. Mary and the saints are certainly in heaven. They thus understand and commune with God in ways far more profound than we can ever hope for on earth. Hence they who are in this sense nearer to God can certainly pray for us on earth. If we, who are sinners can pray for each other, why shouldn’t the holy saints in heaven do so as well?

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hi RobedWithLight,
Thanks for being here,
I guess in a nutshell, why should they. I say this because we already have the Holy Spirit making intercession for us. Do you believe that His intercession and that of Jesus is insufficient.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Note the words. to the uttermost and always
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought , but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
So we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit doing their best. Can you explain to me why we need more than this?
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#19

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Even praying directly to a saint is perfectly accptable, so long as one knows that the source of their powers is God himself.
[/quote]

I agree. “Pray to” does NOT equal “worship.” It only means “speak to”, or “ask”.

If I were a contemporary of St. Paul, I would have no hesitation in asking him to pray for me. (That is, I would “pray to” him by speaking to him directly.

Since he’s now in heaven, he remains my contemporary, by being incorporated into Christ, so I can still ask him to pray for me. Which means I have no hesitation about “praying to” St. Paul.


#20

[quote=JimG]That’s entirely praiseworthy, and I hope that when you are in heaven, you will continue to pray to God on behalf of your fellow Christians on earth.
[/quote]

Hi JimG,
We must be cousins. The three of us MariaG JimG and edwinG.
Well they are exciting times, here on earth and I will be off to heaven in due course and Yes I will be doing God’s will in heaven and full of Love, Holy Fear and reverence for Him.
Christ be with you
walk in love http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


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