prayer to the saints

Hello all ,
I was asked a question by a friend and I could not think of a good enough answer to it , perhaps yall can help .
When we pray to the saints asking for thier intercession , can they refuse to “hear” or to take head to our prayer . I ask because my friend was saying what if a person is in mortal sin and living a terrible life ( non repentant etc ) , is the saint they pray to required to hear ?

Would love to hear yall’s ideas

Thank you and God bless

I don’t think it is so much that they are “required” to respond but since the saints are fully in line with the will of God and it is God’s will that each person come to salvation, I would think any saint would indeed want to intercede for the person who prays to invoke their help.

Now it may be that the person is praying for one thing (“let my girlfriend come back to me”) and the intercessory prayer of the saint - which is for what is best for the person -(“Lord give this person what he needs”) may not be the same thing . . . but that’s not saying that the saint or the Lord refuses to hear the prayer.

I think God wants us to turn to Him, even (perhaps especially) when we are in sin.

The saints will hear and help you to be saintly, but not to be sinful or to do sinful things. The saints being more closely united with Christ, intercede with the Father for us, and as they use the merits which they acquired on earth to help us overcome our weaknesses. When we repent our sin and it is forgiven, we still must be purified. That is what purgatory achieves, and each action that results in an indulgence (i.e., prayers for ourselves and others and the dead, service, the sacraments) will purify us more. For example when we pray the rosary we may receive and indulgence, when the attitude is correct, and it is composed of prayers to the Trinity, and also to the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for us. We avoid adversity through our being saintly, although we will endure many trials.

Welcome to the forum.
I think he needs to take a look at what prayer does, whom it benefits. I say this because he sounds like he’s got a strange conception of prayer.
When we pray to God, be it praise, thanksgiving, or request, we are not informing God of anything. He already knows our wants and desires. We’re not helping God understand us any better. He knows how we feel before we tell Him.
When we pray to God, or a saint, we’re helping ourselves. We’re drawing closer to God. We’re accepting His graces, we’re conforming our life closer to what He wants. Prayer benefits us, not God.
Now, God wants us to pray, that’s very plain from Scripture. He wants us to pray because He loves us, and He wants us closer to Him. I hate to use a Protestant term… LOL, but He wants us in a close, personal relationship with Him.
The prayer of a just man availeth much, because it brings him closer to God.
Should we pray constantly? Absolutely.
Now as far a prayer of intercession, again God knows our thoughts, we’re not surprising Him. He gives us saints to help us not Him. They aren’t His errand boys (and girls). He gives us saints for us to look at as examples, to talk to when we’re praying. Why? Because I can speak to a saint, he was human, although in heaven now I can relate. To speak to God however, I don’t deserve to speak directly to God. (please understand I’m exaggerating, I do in fact speak directly to God). God gave us a great treasure in the saints, tell your friend to use them, don’t say “no thanks” to Gods gift.

Thanks to all for the answers , that helps alot . I guesse what my friend was thinking mainly was that a terrible sinner could ask for example Mary for something sinfull and then Mary in this case would be required to " forward " that along to God . Yalls answers help alot and when I see him next it should clear that issue .

On another note let me thank many of you for your willingness to witness to the Catholic faith . Myself I was raised anti catholic , I taught many anti catholic things until just very recently ( while teaching sunday school , preaching etc ) and though I am not Catholic at this moment , let me put it his way I have not swam the Tiber yet but i am puting on my swimming trunks

so again thank you all for the witness to truth

A tidbit from the CC:
2827 “If any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” Such is the power of the Church’s prayer in the name of her Lord, above all in the Eucharist. Her prayer is also a communion of intercession with the all-holy Mother of God and all the saints who have been pleasing to the Lord because they willed his will alone:

It would not be inconsistent with the truth to understand the words, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” to mean: “in the Church as in our Lord Jesus Christ himself”; or “in the Bride who has been betrothed, just as in the Bridegroom who has accomplished the will of the Father.”

jello Hello all ,
I was asked a question by a friend and I could not think of a good enough answer to it , perhaps yall can help .
When we pray to the saints asking for thier intercession , can they refuse to “hear” or to take head to our prayer . I ask because my friend was saying what if a person is in mortal sin and living a terrible life ( non repentant etc ) , is the saint they pray to required to hear ?

Would love to hear yall’s ideas

Thank you and God bless

Very interesting question.

Before I attempt to answer it I would like to add a note that might clarify a bit, why Catholics “pray to Saints” for our non-Catholic Brethern.

While it is completely true that “praying to Saints” is a common Catholic Practice; it might be more easily understood if we removed the word “to” and inserted “THROUGH.”

We do not pray “to” Saints in the sense that these Saints are the end / object of our prayers. Rather we pray THROUGH them asking them because of their “face to face” position with God to present our pleas and petitions to God on our behalf. So we ARE praying to God THROUGH these Saints.

We do this this because by their meritious lives they have been granted an access to God that we too desire. So these Saints on our behalf add their own merits to our request and present them to God for us personally.

***Now to your OPQ…

Saints [capitol “S”] are those approved by rigerous review of their lives activities as having for certain merited Heaven.

In heaven they have two roles, two task.

First and foremost to honor, Worshop, and Praise God and second to act as intercessors on our behalf. All prayers, one can suppose lead one closer to God and therefore possibly closer to heaven.

Someone in Mortal sin is in far greater need of prayer than say, an informed, practicing Roman Catholic. So yes, the Saint will hear and petition God on their behalf.***

Luke 15: 6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

Love and prayers,

The intercession of the Saints is mysterious, as God is mysterious… How exactly they (our heavenly family) intercedes for us on our behalf is different than the way we might intercede for one another. We can chose to reject or accept such a request to pray for another person… But the Saints present before the Lord do not have that free will, or personal choice… because their will is now united completely with God’s will, they share 100% in the glory of the Lord. It is not their (the Saints) place to reject or refuse to “hear” or to take head to our prayers, that’s God’s business… Read Rev 5:8 and Rev 8:3-4. The Saints and Angels offer incense to God which are the prayers of the holy ones… The Saints may offer our prayers to God but it is God who will reject or accept those prayers… not the Saints.

Ask your friend if he/she read about the sinful woman who came to Jesus for forgiveness. Did Jesus refuse? Similarly, if a sinful person turn in to a Saint for help would that Saint refuse to hear? Recall the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was interceding on behalf of his sinful brothers on Earth. So why would a Saint refuse to hear or intercede for the sinful?

The answer to your question is “NO” a saint cannot refuse because Saints are sharing the divine love and mercy of God in which they will be more than willing to share with us who here on Earth.

Saints cannot refuse by themselves for a refusal is a personal act. In my own understanding, saints do not act by themselves. Their whole being has been united now entirely to God. If one saint refuses, that means God refuses.

I certainly have no problem asking the Saints to pray for me. I’ve asked other people to pray for me and others here in the earth realm.

But I don’t do either as much as I probably should. I tend to take things directly to Father, I guess mainly because of Jesus’ sample (and example) prayer in the “Our Father,” and because the author of Hebrews invites us to come boldly to the throne of grace.

“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Heb 4:16 (Amplified)

1 Timothy 1:15 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
John 12: 48 He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not my WORDS, hath one that judgeth him: the WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, the same shall judge him in the last day.

To me that says we better believe the Words of Jesus or the same Words will judge us in the last day. When Jesus says there is only one mediator between God and men, I think we better believe it.

Do you ever ask friends or family members to pray for you :confused:

. We are One Family in Christ in Heaven and on Earth
Eph. 3:14-15- we are all one family (“Catholic”) in heaven and on earth, united together, as children of the Father, through Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters who have gone to heaven before us are not a different family. We are one and the same family. This is why, in the Apostles Creed, we profess a belief in the “communion of saints.” There cannot be a “communion” if there is no union. Loving beings, whether on earth or in heaven, are concerned for other beings, and this concern is reflected spiritually through prayers for one another.

Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; Col. 1:18,24 - this family is in Jesus Christ, the head of the body, which is the Church.

1 Cor. 12:12,27; Rom. 12:5; Col. 3:15; Eph. 4:4 - we are the members of the one body of Christ, supernaturally linked together by our partaking of the Eucharist.

Rom. 8:35-39 - therefore, death does not separate the family of God and the love of Christ. We are still united with each other, even beyond death.

Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30 - Jesus converses with “deceased” Moses and Elijah. They are more alive than the saints on earth.

Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38 - God is the God of the living not the dead. The living on earth and in heaven are one family.

Luke 15:7,10 – if the angels and saints experience joy in heaven over our repentance, then they are still connected to us and are aware of our behavior.

John 15:1-6 - Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. The good branches are not cut off at death. They are alive in heaven.

1 Cor. 4:9 – because we can become a spectacle not only to men, but to angels as well, this indicates that angels are aware of our earthly activity. Those in heaven are connected to those on earth.

1 Cor. 12:26 - when one member suffers, all suffer. When one is honored, all rejoice. We are in this together as one family.

1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 - now we see in a mirror dimly, but in heaven we see face to face. The saints are more alive than we are!

Heb. 12:1: we are surrounded by a great glory cloud (shekinah) of witnesses. The “cloud of witnesses” refers to the saints who are not only watching us from above but cheering us on in our race to heaven.

1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 20:6 - we are a royal family of priests by virtue of baptism. We as priests intercede on behalf of each other.

2 Peter 1:4 - since God is the eternal family and we are His children, we are partakers of His divine nature as a united family.

1 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7 - we are called to be saints. Saints refer to both those on earth and in heaven who are in Christ. Proof:

Acts 9:13,32,41; 26:10; 1 Cor. 6:1-2; 14:33; 2 Cor. 1:1; 8:4; 9:1-2; 13:13; Rom. 8:27; 12:23; 15:25,26, 31; 16:2,15; Eph. 1:1,15,18; 3:8; 5:3; 6:18; Phil. 1:1; 4:22; Col 1:2,4,26; 1 Tm 5:10; Philemon 1:5,7; Heb. 6:10; 13:24; Jude 1:3; Rev. 11:18; 13:7; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6;18:20,24; Rev 19:8; 20:9 - in these verses, we see that Christians still living on earth are called “saints.”

Matt. 27:52; Eph. 2:19; 3:18; Col. 1:12; 2 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:10 - in these verses, we also see that “saints” also refer to those in heaven who united with us.

Dan. 4:13,23; 8:23 – we also see that the angels in heaven are also called “saints.” The same Hebrew word “qaddiysh” (holy one) is applied to both humans and angels in heaven. Hence, there are angel saints in heaven and human saints in heaven and on earth. Loving beings (whether angels or saints) are concerned for other beings, and prayer is the spiritual way of expressing that love.

Are you impying that one in heaven, in the presence of God himself would not care about a person seeking God’s desire/will?

Wow. So heaven dwellers are basically self absorbed then?

how can i not believe the words of jesus, when he says in 1 timothy 1:15 that he is the way, the truth and the life: No man cometh unto the father , but by me. I’m not believing what i like and rejecting what i don’t like, i’m just believeing jesus, who is the truth.

tomjoans, you said:

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

When Jesus says there is only one mediator between God and men, I think we better believe it.

I agree. And to get the full meaning of your quote from Timothy, in 1 Timothy 2 (1-5) we are advised to pray for intercession:

1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: 2 For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus

(Douay-Rheims Challoner 1752)


And now we know the rest of the story :thumbsup:

Surely if you already have an axe in your hand to cut a tree, you won’t bother to use a razor blade to help. The same with intercession, the Bible says Jesus Christ is our mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2v5). And Jesus Christ is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him (Hebrew 7v25). This make praying to the saints in heaven superfluous.

But some say we just ask the saints in heaven to pray to Jesus for us. Well, do we need mediators to the Mediator? Jesus said,” Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11v28). Jesus siad “Come to me”, “I will give you”, these are all personal between Jesus and us directly, no third party involved.
There again, shouldn’t we be a bit modest to ask Jesus indirectly? Hear what Paul said — Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, … ( Colossians 2v18). If the Lord says come, then come!

Don’t we ask people to pray for us? Yes, we do. Asking people to pray for us is similar to asking people for help in the running of our daily lives. But asking the departed to pray for us is different. The Bible condemns communing with the dead (Deuteronomy 18v10-12). Asking the departed to pray for us, is one form of communing with the dead.

God bless


The Intercession & Communion of Saints

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