Isn't prayer to saints idolitary?

This question is directed for the Catholics out there.

Prayer is highly regarded as a form of worship.

Just curious how you guys/gals biblically justify praying to Saints.

Praying to saints is not the same as praying to God. It is asking them to pray with us and pray for us. It is the same as asking someone on earth to pray for you.

We pray for them to make intercession for us. Especially Mary, because Jesus will always grant to his Mother what she asks of Him.

We don’t pray to saints like we do God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

We are merely asking them to intercede for us. Since we believe they are in Heaven in the presence of God, we believe they have God’s ear so to speak.

It is similar to asking someone you know to pray for you.

Before you ask it, or state it, no, we don’t worship or pray to statues. They are visual reminders, which help us to stay focused during our prayer.

Here is a great link, from right here at CAF

catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp

If you were ill, you’d ask your friends and family to pray for you, right? Praying to saints is the same thing. You ask them to interceed, that means to ask Jesus, to grant your request. You pray to them because you believe they are in heaven due to their holy lives.

Does that make sense?

-Jeanne

Prayer is a form of entreaty or petition and not exclusively worship.If I ask you to pray for me,I am "praying"to you;I certainly am not worshipping you.When Catholics pray to the Saints or Angels we are asking them to pray for us.As they are with God and part of the Church Triumphant their prayers are powerful…"The prayers of a Righteous man…Etc."We are not worshipping the BVM,Saints or Angels as Adoration and Worship especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass(True Worship)is EXCLUSIVELY God’s.To worship the created rather than the Creator is a grevious mortal sin and certainly is Idolatry.One cannot worship a creature ACCIDENTALLY.:wink:

Prayer for Protestants IS regarded highly as form of worship as it is their ONLY way of worshipping Christ.

Not for Catholics.(Thank God;))

You might want to ask questions like this in the apologetics section then.

Prayer is highly regarded as a form of worship.

Only by protestants, who as a whole make up about one third of christians in total. Catholics understand that there are multiple types of prayer, these being:

Adoration - a form of worship praising the glory of God, reserved for God alone
Expiation - recognizing sin and asking God for forgiveness, reserved for God alone
Petition - we ask something either of God or a saint, if from God we ask for what we want, if from a saint our intent is that they pray for us to God.
Intercession - we pray to God on behalf of someone else (or they pray for us)
Thanksgiving - praying to God in thanks for his gifts, may be given to a saint as thanks for their prayers on our behalf.

Of these, only adoration represents a form of worship. The problem is that protestants ONLY recognize adorative prayer. To me this is a true shame, as there is SO much more to worship than that, and so many other types of prayer to be found as well. (that list above is by no means complete either).

Just curious how you guys/gals biblically justify praying to Saints.

For that there are several questions we need to answer:
1) Are the Saints alive?
A: yes, they share eternal life in heaven and pray constantly to God. In fact, revelations represents the saints as bringing prayers to God.

2) Are the saints capable of praying for us?
The book of revelations certainly seems to think so. We should also note that Christians are COMMANDED to pray for one another. Simply because we have entered eternal life does not mean that God’s command is invalidated (if it did, that would mean God’s will is not perfect, universal, or eternal… which in turn would mean there is no God). Ergo God’s will that we should pray for one another does not cease. As such, we can conclude the saints pray for us.

3) Can the saints hear us here on earth?
Certainly. Jesus, Elijah, and Moses talked together for a period when on the mountain during the transfiguration.

4) Is it morally acceptable to communicate with the saints?
Of course. Jesus is our perfect example. We can never go wrong by following the actions of Christ in our own lives. If it were immoral to communicate with the saints, then Jesus would have done an immorality, and therefore would not be God. Since that is not the case, we must conclude that Jesus chose to communicate with the saints, that He chose to do this in front of the disciples so they could see His example, and therefore that said action is morally acceptable.

Check out Praying to the Saints and Saint Worship?

Only by protestants, who as a whole make up about one third of christians in total. Catholics understand that there are multiple types of prayer, these being:

Adoration - a form of worship praising the glory of God, reserved for God alone
Expiation - recognizing sin and asking God for forgiveness, reserved for God alone
Petition - we ask something either of God or a saint, if from God we ask for what we want, if from a saint our intent is that they pray for us to God.
Intercession - we pray to God on behalf of someone else (or they pray for us)
Thanksgiving - praying to God in thanks for his gifts, may be given to a saint as thanks for their prayers on our behalf.

Of these, only adoration represents a form of worship. The problem is that protestants ONLY recognize adorative prayer. To me this is a true shame, as there is SO much more to worship than that, and so many other types of prayer to be found as well. (that list above is by no means complete either).

I don’t think dyluck’s statement would be affirmed by all Protestants. The Protestants I know make each of those kinds of prayers.

I’m from a Southern Baptist background and think this area is completely misunderstood by Evangelicals. Evangelicals ask friends and family to pray for them. With Catholics, the saints are alive in Heaven and are being asked to pray for us and come to our support. They aren’t prayed to in worship as Jesus and God would be.

Yeah, but I get tired of typing “only by many protestants, but certainly not all denominations thereof, or even by some but not all of the non-denonimational worship communities contained in the christian church but not calling themselves protestant.”

At some point, PC factor has to take a bow to the fact that it gets too long to please everyone. I thought what was intended was clear. Apologies if it wasn’t and caused offense :slight_smile:

And to add to that, while it is true that protestants almost universally make all of those kinds of prayers, the conscious distinction between the varying types and what they represent AND even whether or not they constitute worship is not something many protestants focus on. I think it’s safe to say that protestants who think prayer = worship probably attribute all types of prayer as being adorative in some manner

Prayer to the saints is idolatry (note the proper spelling) only if your asking your friends and others to pray for you is idolatry.

In a sense, they are. If you see God as worthy of asking for forgiveness, or for help, or of receiving our thanks, then you are implicitly ascribing to him a certain amount of worshipful power.

I disagree because by definition the word prayer does not necessitate communication with those in heaven or even with God. If you’ve ever thanked someone or asked someone for something (living or dead) you’ve prayed to them. Prayer is a form of communication, not necessarily a form of worship.

Exactly - Gertrude in Hamlet says to her son ‘Pray thee, Hamlet, do not go to Wittenberg’ (if memory serves) she is neither worshipping Hamlet nor ascribing any sort of supernatural or ther power to him in so doing. However she IS praying to him - prayer being the making of a request of some kind.

Our saints glorify God, and so do our prayers to them because we are gathered in His name.

I used to write out long responses to questions such as these. Now I have just one response.

Look up the origin of the word ‘‘Pray’’. It may surprise you.

God bless.

By the way, dyluck, Catholics aren’t particularly obligated to provide Biblical justification for their beliefs and practices, because they believe that Tradition is an equal (and prior) source of the Truth to Scripture.

And here’s a brief history of the word “pray,” to help you out with LDN’s recommendation.

Good point. This issue has been one of the issues the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabi have raised. They believe seeking intercession is idolatory but i agrre with you. The scriptures says we should not worship other gods besides God.

However there are people who consider Jesus as God.

I see it your way since asking people to pray for us when they are alive is the same as doing so when they are dead. Its not a theological issue since the asker has the same intention but a question of whether the dead can hear and respond. Even if he can’t then at most the asker is wasting his time, but I don’t see why this would be idolatory.

Of course we know the story of Abraham in Luke 16:

Verses 19 to 31

[19] “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
[20] And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz’arus, full of sores,
[21] who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
[22] The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
[23] and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz’arus in his bosom.
[24] And he called out, Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' [25] But Abraham said,Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz’arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
[26] And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
[27] And he said, Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, [28] for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' [29] But Abraham said,They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
[30] And he said, No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' [31] He said to him,If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”

I found this verse in the Koran also:

2.247. Their Prophet said to them: “(Allah) hath appointed Talut as king over you.” They said: “How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted, with wealth in abundance?” He said: “(Allah) hath Chosen him above you, and hath gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: Allah Granteth His authority to whom He pleaseth. Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things.”

2.248. And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith

So if the relics left over by Moses and Aaron and the Arc can have influence over events on Earth then why shouldn’t asking Aaron and Moses themselves. Some might say that this verse is about a sign rather than an intercession, i however see it can interpreted both ways.

Isn’t it Christ being the only way to the father. Christ being the only one whom can interceed on our behalf especially before the father?

Romans 8:27; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Job 16:19; and 1 John 2:1
There is another verse that is totally awesome but I can’t find it.

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