Prayers to Saints and for the Dead. Why?


Why do we ask for the intercession of Saints? Why do we pray for the dead? Don’t we believe that God is totally just and will always do what is right? If so, why do we pray for Mercy and not just take what we deserve. Our Lord gives us endless mercy, so isn’t asking for more greedy?


“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).

The bible makes it clear that we are to pray for each other. Why not ask the Saints to pray for us also? If you believe in life after death, then they are more alive being with God than we are. They have a special place with God so we should ask them to pray to God for us. Intercessory pray is in many places in the bible. Even Protestants have “prayer groups”. In fact most Christians have participated in prayer groups asking prayers for one or more. We pray for the dead “so they may be loosed from their sins”, also biblical.


That really doesn’t help. I asked why we are told to pray for one another. Not if it’s Biblical or not. Aren’t we sure about God’s mercy and justice?


Because it is beneficial to us as well as for those for whom we pray. When we pray for others we keep in mind their needs and recognize our own deficiencies in love towards them. God doesn’t need our prayers–we need our prayers.

And the Saints in heaven pray for us because they love us with perfect love and want to see us blessed and filled with God’s grace.


Maybe I can help. :slight_smile:

We don’t pray to ask for more. We pray to ask God to help us do His will. Since God is God of the living and not the dead than it is good to ask those who are already in heaven to pray for us since they are much closer to God than we are. After all they are more fully alive in Christ than we on earth are. They can help us to do God’s will since God wants all men to be saved.


Its like the difference between computers and real life. God may be a perfect concept of perfect mercy and justice, and He may stamp every soul in a detached sort of way like a computerised machine -
this one to heaven stamp
this one to hell stamp
this one to purgatory stamp
And there may be nothing anyone can do about it.
But He is also the Creator of Humanity, of what it means to be Human, He created the family, and human nature. The most perfect human nature, He said, is one which loves so much that it can give its life for its friends. So people take that to heart and try to do everything they possibly can to help others - the sick and the suffering both the living and the dead. I think this kind of concern for others is part of Gods nature too.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a perfect place to learn about Christian Prayer.

Section 1: Christian Prayer

This link is to the Catechism and don’t forget to click “Next” because there is more about prayer on the following pages.:thumbsup:


“Pray for one another that you may be saved.” James 5:16


Because if we love people, we want to talk to them.

Why do we pray for the dead?

Because if we love people, we want to pray for them!

Intercessory prayer places those for whom we pray in God’s hands, which is the best place for anyone to be.



An Episcopalian praying for the dead! Woo hoo!! :dancing:


Prayer is important because God is infinite mercy and grace, but He gives us free will to accept it or ask for it. He won’t force His mercy and grace onto anyone. So, we ask for it, for ourselves and for others.

This is why prayers such and the Divine Mercy Chaplet are so important – to ask for God’s mercy on us and the whole world. He’s just waiting to give it. The more we ask, the more He gives!

We ask the saints to pray for us, because they have made it through all the trials on earth and they want to help us. St. Therese said she would spend her time in heaven doing good upon the earth by praying. The more people we have praying, the more God’s floodgates are opened.

Prayer also causes fidelity to God. We realize how dependent we are upon Him for everything.


I highly recommend the podcast on This Site about Purgatory. It is one of the best explainations of Purgatory and praying for the dead I’ve ever heard. :thumbsup:



Actually there’s nothing unusual about that–we have prayer for the dead in our liturgy and pretty much every parish does it every Sunday.

Asking for the intercession of the saints is less common, but by no means unheard-of either! My parish in NC used the Litany of the Saints at the Easter Vigil and had a weekly Rosary group.



Do you have the Deuterocanonical books in your Bible?


I’ve wondered the same, but isn’t there a parable in one of the Gospels about persistence in prayer? There’s one in particular but I can’t put my finger on it…there are some others that hint around to it, like the woman who kept asking, and Jesus says some reference to dogs, and the woman replies about some scraps?


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