I have heard Jimmy Akin answer a question several times on the radio show about how saints hear or are aware of our prayers for intercession. Akin says the most likely answer is that God tells the saints we are praying for intercession. I find this answer unsatisfying. If God is telling a saint that a person is praying to that saint for intercession, it now seems pointless for the saint to actually go ahead and ask God for something on the praying person’s behalf since God knows and was the one to tell the saint. An analogy would be I meet a couple on the street and tell the husband to say hello to his wife for me (who is standing right there).
Yes, but God also knows what we want before we start praying, and we pray to Him anyway.
Then what is the point of saint intercession unless an omniscient God can somehow be persuaded to do something?
The point of prayer isn’t to conform God’s will to ours, but to conform our will to His.
Take someone who’s parent is dying who will probably pray “God please heal them.” Well, perhaps it’s God’s will to heal them. But if it’s not, prayer will help the person have peace in accepting God’s timing for their parent. Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind.
Anyone interceding for us is just more help to achieve God’s will for the situation. Not to mention this verse from James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” Who is more righteous than those already deemed worthy of God’s presence?
Also, I think you’re slightly misunderstanding Jimmy. I’ve heard him say that God could choose to allow the Saints to see events unfolding on Earth. (And why would He not if doing so could help bring about our salvation?) This is different, slightly but also meaningfully, from what you described. God doesn’t (necessarily, we don’t know for sure) go up to saints and say “Chessnerd321 is asking for your intercession, St. Joe.”
Yes, the saints all have a miraculous knowledge of when somebody is praying to them through God’s power.
What other explanation could there be? Creatures have no power except what God gives them.
What is the point of talking to your parents or children or friends?
You love them.
Focusing only on God is against God’s will. That is not what Earth is like and it’s not what Heaven will be like. The Beatific Vision isn’t just gazing at God in a druglike state of ecstasy. It is community and fellowship.
How else could it be? A saint in Heaven is not an independent entity that can do anything without God knowing/willing.
Another thing to consider is there are time when we are the ones blocking God’s grace.
Maybe we have an interpersonal conflict and we want it fixed.
So we go to God and beg Him to change the other person.
The other person may be doing the wrong thing, truly, but maybe we’re also making it worse by being tense and over reactive.
Sincere prayer and surrender to God can let Him work in us to fix the ways we’re blocking His grace.