I have a problem: I am a Catholic and the Church teaches us to pray to the saints and Mary, but prayer to me is worshop due to God (the Trinity) only! I did a Bible search on prayer and found that prayer in the Bible was always directed to God. How can I pray to anyone else?
First, it may help to understand that not all prayer is worship. The noun prayer comes from the verb to pray and can, in its most general meaning, be defined as “to make a fervent request or entreaty” (source).
Second, consider Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Luke 16:19-31). In his story, Jesus portrays the rich man begging Abraham for Abraham’s and Lazarus’s intercession. Abraham and Lazarus are unable to help the rich man (vv. 25-26), but the story does not teach that the rich man did anything wrong by requesting their help.
When Catholics pray to Mary and the saints, they are requesting the intercession of Mary and the saints before God, something that the Book of Revelation says that the saints do for us in heaven (cf. 5:8). For more information, please see the recommendations listed below.