[quote=facedown]Any Scripture to support praying TO someone else other that God? What foundational teaching in the Bible is used for this practice? How do you feel this lines up with instructions such as the LORD’s prayer, or passages that state it is the Holy Spirit who interceeds for the saints? Why do you believe this doesn’t belittle Christs self-sacrifice removing the veil so that all may come to the Father?
Again, what didactic or narrative passages do you use, if any, for this practice of praying to/for the dead?
You question the reasons for intercessory pray by Mary and the Saints. Please note that in Eph 6:18-19 we read, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me,” and in 1 Tim 2:1 we read, “FIRST OF all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,” In James 5:16 we are also told to “pray for one another.”
Now, it is clear from scripture that we are to engage in intercessory prayer. Moreover, the apostle James tells us that “the prayer of a just man availeth much.” In the book of Hebrews 12:22-23 it says that, “…you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” If the prayers of a just man availeth much, surely the prayers of “just men made perfect” will be of even greater effect.
You refer to all these people as “dead.” This is contrary to scripture. Jesus, himself, says in Matt 22:32 “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” Those in heaven are more alive in Christ than we are. We also read in the Gospels that Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor. At the transfiguration Jesus is seen and heard speaking with Moses and Elijah.
The Catholic bible also contains the entirety of scripture. In 2 Maccabees 12:38-44 we read about prayer for the dead. In chapter 15 verses 11-16 we read about intercession by the saints.
Catholic understandings in this area are the most compatible with scripture, and are fully patterned on what we know of the heavenly members of the body of Christ. This practice in no way changes or modifies our understandings of the Holy Spirit nor does it belittle Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It’s important to keep in mind that we are all members of the body of Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 8:33-39, “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Those who are part of the body of Christ in heaven are still connected to those that are members of the body of Christ on earth.
And yes, through Jesus, they are in some ways aware of what is happening on earth. Those in heaven are as Jesus tells us, “like angels.” And scripture tells us in Luke 15:10, " Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Obviously, those in heaven know something about what’s happening on earth. The bible gives us numerous examples of angels interacting with men. The book of Revelation 6:9 also cites an example of the martyrs being aware that God has not yet avenged their blood. This is not an exhaustive list of passages but it is sufficient to show that this is all part of God’s divine plan. God’s plan works only for good and everything within it magnifies and glorifies the Lord. None of it detracts from God in any way.