Praying to clay statues


For example, Mr X is afraid to pray to the clay statue because he knew that it would be sinful. Mr Z is not afraid to pray to the clay statue because he knew it is made of clay and so he said he did not sinned. Who is correct?


It depends on what you mean by praying to the statue. If the statue itself is meant to be God then that’s wrong, and idolatry. If the statue is to bring God to mind but is known not to be God, that’s not wrong… and in which case you’d be praying in front of the statue, but praying to God, and using it as a reminder of God but not actually praying to the piece of clay… expecting the clay object to do something.

Edit: the image hadn’t rendered on my phone… I was assuming that you meant Catholic religious statues.


It looks like a statue of buddha


What difference does it make whether it’s clay or marble or papie- mache?


Statues can’t be God, no matter what they are made of or what they depict.

If the image is supposed to remind you of God or one of His servants, it can be useful to pray in front of it, or even take care of it in a similar way to a cherished photograph of a loved one.

If the image calls to mind gods who are false, then avoid it.


‘Idolatry’ is to workship a creature (money, artists, pets, own body, cars, sportsmen, shrines, temples, statues, arks, nature, movies, videogames etc.).

‘To workship’ means ‘to know, to love and to serve’.

‘To workship’ is different of ‘to honor’.

Catholics workship God and God alone.

Catholics honor symbols that represent God, Our Lady, saints, Apostles, angels and so on. This is actually called ‘douleuo’ in Greek, and there is no equivalent English word (‘to honor’ would be the closest)


Are they praying to the statue or to the God the statue represents?


It’s a Buddha statue.


We’re all made of clay - dust of the earth - Jesus also.

A statue - is supposed to bring a remeberance - of the person -
to help the other person - focus - on their personal chosen deity.


@on_the_hill The difference is one person has conscience and the other person has no conscience but by the light of reason deduced that it is only a clay and so he prayed to it.


@pensmama87 Mr Z knew that it can’t be God so he prayed to it without fear of committing sin. What do you think?Did he committed a sin?

@pensmama87 Mr X on the other hand avoided it because like you said this image calls to mind gods who are false.

@Aulef But Mr Z knows perfectly about it. He worship/pray the statue not ‘to know, to love and to serve’ but just for fun knowing that it is just a statue and not real God. So did he sinned?

@Zaccheus Mr X knows he is praying to the God the statue represents so he is afraid to pray to it. Mr Z is praying to the statue without feeling the guilt as he treats the statue as clay material. So who is correct?


Then he didn’t actually pray at all.


I know it is. I hadn’t seen the image when I posted initially.


Which is it, worship or pray?

Your original post just said pray, it said nothing about worship.

Do you believe all prayer is worship or do you agree that Not all prayer is worship?

God Bless


The direct answer to your question is it depends. Here is what St. Paul has to say in regards to your question…

1 Corinthians 8
Food Offered to Idols
8 Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3 but anyone who loves God is known by him.

4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 “Food will not bring us close to God.”[a] We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11 So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed.[b] 12 But when you thus sin against members of your family,[c] and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling,[d] I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them[e] to fall.

So basically, if Mr. Z is just doing it as a joke then it would not be directly sinful. However, if his little brother sees him doing it, not knowing he is joking, and begins to worshiping clay statues instead of God. Well there is a pretty good chance Mr. Z just became a sinful stumbling block to his weak little brother, which would be considered a sin against Christ.

Hope this helps,

God Bless


Mr. Z has no business playing around and praying to Buddha even if he knows Buddha is not God. Mr. Z needs to grow up.


I assume worship and pray both bows down to the statue like a kind of reverence.

In other words, although it is not sinful for Mr Z it is better of Mr Z never do it. Got it.


The Catholic Church uses the words adoration and veneration. Both are worship actually, however only adoration is given to God and veneration is given to saints and good angels.


I think this might be your problem. YOU are ASSUMING you know what is in the heart of the person. Only God can know what is in a persons heart.

You keep adding words that were not in your original post.

Once again it I depends on what you mean by reverence?

The definition of reverence is deep respect for someone or something. It is not equivalent to worship.

There is no way someone can know if someone revering a statue, is worshiping that statue, just by looking at the person.

If someone is kneeling in front of their bed praying would we say “hey look that person is worshiping their bed.”

Nope you don’t got it yet. Let’s keep talking this through so you can understand instead of having to make assumptions.

You are misinterpreting the words of St. Paul. That is not what St. Paul said. He only says don’t do it in front of weak minded individuals who are incapable of understanding the difference.

I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be one of these “weak minded individuals”. So how about you ask some questions and we can help you understand the difference.

God Bless


I don’t know if you did that on purpose, or if it was a typographical error, but the English word “worship” is actually derived from “worth-ship”, now “work-ship”.

Speaking for myself on the topic, I may occasionally kneel in the presence of a statue in a Catholic Church (and, BTW, most statues in Catholic churches are made of clay), but I am definitely not kneeling to the statue; I am kneeling in the presence of God. I may occasionally pray in the presence of a statue, but I am definitely not praying to the statue. And I am definitely not worshipping the statue, or even the person represented by the statue.


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