Prayer to saints

I’m trying to tell a staunch Protestant that prayers to saints is very much biblical
Can you guys help me with what verses to use and how to present the argument clearly

The Saints Can Hear Our Prayers Proved From Scripture

1. Jesus teaches from the Old Testament

“Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” (Mark 12:26-27)

In this teaching, Jesus tells us plainly that the Father is the God of the living.

2. Speaking with the “Dead” - Jesus teaches by parable

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”(Luke 16:19-31)

In this parable, Jesus has two of the “dead” characters in his story talking with one another, and one of the “dead” men intercedes on behalf of his living relatives.

3. Speaking with the “Dead” - Jesus teaches by personal example

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:1-3)

At the transfiguration, Jesus was talking with two “dead” people, Moses and Elijah. They’re actually alive, though.

4. Speaking to the dead – Peter teaches by example

“Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.” (Acts 9:40-41)

5. Those in Heaven Hear Our Prayers - John teaches through prophetic revelation

“He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:7-8)

The 24 elders in heaven are men, and notice that they each have a golden bowl full of the prayers of the saints. That’s us since we’re all saints! So, how did they get hold of our prayers in order to offer them to God?

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.” (Revelation 8:3)

Here, an angel also offers our prayers along with incense.

Here are a few of the basic passages that support praying to the saints and angels: 1) “Bless the Lord, O you his angels” (Psalms 103:20) “Bless the Lord, all his hosts” (Psalms 103:21) “Praise him, all his angels” – “Praise him, all his host” (Psalms 148:1-2) “Rejoice over her, O heaven, O saints and apostles and prophets.” (Revelation 18:20)These verses show that we can address the saints and angels in heaven when we pray. The difference between the prayer, “Bless the Lord, all his hosts” and “Pray for me, all his hosts” is only the difference between two kinds of prayer. Either way you are addressing the people in heaven, it’s just that if you pray the first way, you’re asking the saints to pray with you, and if you pray the second way, you’re asking the saints to pray for you.2) “[T]he twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb…[with] incense, which [is] the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8) “And another angel came…and he was given much incense to [offer] with the prayers of all the saints.” (Revelation 8:3)These verses tell us two things about the saints in heaven. First, they have our prayers and they bring them before God. This shows that they’ve received them. The “incense” of prayer rises to the saints according to this passage. That shows the saints being prayed to at the very least by some people. Second, the saints in heaven are praying about our prayers. People don’t fall down before God for nothing. Rev. 8:3 makes this clearer by saying that incense-prayer from heaven was added to the incense-prayer from earth. This shows us that the saints in heaven add their prayers to ours. Therefore, they receive our prayers, present them to God, and join their prayers to ours.3) “[Jacob] strove with the angel and prevailed, [then] he wept and sought his favor.” (Hosea 12:4) “[T]he angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.” (Genesis 48:16)These passages show angels being prayed to. Jacob prayed to an angel for his favor and then later asks him to bless his children. The Hosea passage is clarified by Genesis 32:24-29, where Jacob says to the angel, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” Some people argue that the angel was actually God because in verse 30 Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face,” but Hosea 12:4 says it was an angel. Genesis 32:30 could mean that Jacob thought the angel was God, or understood that angels bear with them the real presence of God. It is also significant that God has no body. That means the reference to His face is symbolic. It refers to God’s presence.4) “[A]t your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him; the people of Tyre will sue your favor with gifts, the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth.” (Psalms 45:9-13)This passage is in a messianic psalm and discusses the woman who will stand at the right hand of the Messiah. The woman is Mary and it says specifically that the people of faraway nations “will sue [her] favor with gifts.” This passage shows us that Mary can be prayed to, but it’s also significant because it is a prophecy that is only fulfilled in the Catholic Church. Protestant churches don’t even claim that there is a woman who all the nations seek for her favor, but the Bible says there would be, and she would stand at the right hand of the Messiah.5) “Grace to you and peace from him who is, and was, and is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before his throne.” (Revelation 1:4)In this passage St. John invokes a blessing upon the churches in Asia. He did not only invoke grace from God, but from angels. An invocation is a form of prayer which calls down a blessing on someone. In this passage he calls it down from God and seven angels, which shows us a prayer to the angels.

Let me know if that helps. God bless!

These answers are EXCELLENT. but I might add, that often, semantics is more of the problem. I doubt when confronted with the truth of Scripture that folks will balk.
Maybe try to say rather: we pray WITH the Saints and Angels. Together, as Sons and Daughters of God. The above passages illustrate this as well, and is perhaps easier for people to swallow. Often they have been presented with "Catholics pray TO idols, TO statues, TO Mary, TO Saints,** in order to discredit us.**
Combat it with their own words. God bless you.

I do pray to the saints I don’t praise them in prayer. That is the key because to some prayer is a form of praise.

Yes, but as I said previously, other faiths are not familiar with the concept of the Communion of Saints. Therefore, it sounds like we are bypassing our dear Lord. Which is totally not the case.
Again, these matters of semantics serve to create confusion and misinformation among those who are not Catholic.

The two early posters gave great responses. I’m merely commenting on why non-Catholics sometimes don’t see it that way. :slight_smile:

Next time, just tell them that Mary and Padre Pio are just your prayer partners. :thumbsup:

Exactly but it’s hard to get past the semantics , but hopefully I can help friend understand and the others here really help with there verses which was nice :smiley:

Thanks to everyone

::o sorry my misunderstanding of what you wrote

The Intercession & Communion of Saints

It’s often a case of things being lost in translation.

Once upon a time, people used the word “Pray” in a different manner, a salutation, or a way of asking for something…in general, not just in a spiritual/holy way. Catholics still use that idea of “pray” when they speak of praying to a saint.

For people not brought up in that culture, they hear the word “pray” as in praying to a saint, and their mind goes to the idea of “pray” in their culture…to talk to God.

So when Catholics say “I prayed to St Anthony when I lost my wallet” or “I prayed to the Virgin for guidance” it comes across as the person replacing God with a human in heaven.

The Catholic nuances aren’t common knowledge outside of the Catholic faith.

Provide the facts as to what Catholics mean when they say “pray” to a saint, then let it go. They may still feel it’s wrong, but you have provided the information and they can take it or leave it. You have defended your faith, you are not required to do more than that. You are not required to make people retract their issues with Catholicism.

Some understandings are gifts of the Holy Spirit and if they have not been enlightened to that particular spiritual practice, there is nothing more you can do. Trust the Spirit to bring them around in time if it is the will of God.

Pray to God the Father , not saints

Do you have a prayer chain at your church?

So do we, but some of the people on it are already in heaven. :slight_smile:

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

There’s more, brother.

1 Timothy 2:5-6
5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

Let’s look at additional verses to gain a fuller understanding of the role of Jesus as mediator.

Hebrews 7:24-25
because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Here we see that Jesus “always lives to intercede” for “those who come to God through him.” The role of the mediator and the intercessor are synonymous; a mediator lives to intercede for others.

All Christians are called to be mediators or intercessors for one another because we are all members of Christ’s body as we see from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:22-23
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Paul referred to himself as a co-laborer with Christ when he wrote:

1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s fellow workers.

Paul went further in his understanding of our responsibility as co-laborers with Christ when when he wrote:

Colossians 1:24
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Is anything lacking from the perfect sacrifice that Christ offered upon the Cross? Paul clearly indicates that more is to be done and that he makes up what is “still lacking” in his own flesh.

2 Corinthians 1:6
If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation

Additionally, we know that we are called to share in the priesthood of all believers (cf. 1 Peter 2:5-9), and a priest, by definition, is called to be a mediator between God and men. Each of us is called to this role and to be a mediator or mediatrix for others before God.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit