Where does our belief that Angels and Saints can pray for us come from?
Thanks a bunch:) I am reading some of this stuff right now. I need to find something to give to my Baptist friend who says Angels and Saints can do nothing for you and they certainly can’t pray for you.
The most explicit example of saints praying for others is 2 Maccabees 15:12-14, where dead Onias and dead Jeremiah are descibed as fervently praying for the whole Jewish community.
In Luke 16:19-31, the dead rich man in fiery torment interceded with Abraham for his living brothers. If the dead man can intercede for his living brothers with another dead person (Abraham), how can it be denied that a dead man can also pray to God for others?
They can’t do anything for us? Me be thinking the Baptist needs at least read some OT stories. It’s full of events where Angels are doing somthing for us. Or does he think Angels just sit around in heaven worshiping God. Does he think those that have died and gone to heaven do nothing but hang around the throne of God worshipping him and nothing else? If we are just hanging around the throne room worshipping God, then why did Jesus promise us a room in God’s mansion?
I’m a big fan of the logic test… beliefs must stand to at least some modicum of reason. Now, i’m going to walk through this and place hypothetical extensions in parenthesis:
God’s word is either universally true for all times and places or it is not (if, however, it is not universally true, then God is not perfect in all areas and all times and therefore is not worth worshiping… ergo, God’s word MUST be universally true in all times and places)
God commands that we pray for one another (this means that, per point 1, in all places and times, all the living must pray for others)
there is life after death or there is not (either we believe God’s word that those who die in the grace of God have eternal life or we doubt the word of God. If we doubt the word of God, then what point is there in worship? ergo, there IS life after death)
Heaven is a place and a “time,” though that time is different in nature from ours in a sense that we cannot know… such as it may be an eternal present. (If this is the case, then by extension from point 1 God’s command to the living applies in heaven as well).
Conclusion: Heaven is a place in time where the LIVING saints who have been judged worth by the Grace of God reside. Because they are ALIVE in heaven where the UNIVERSAL command of God to pray for others without ceasing is in effect there is absolutely NO reason whatsoever to believe that they cannot or would not pray for us. Now that we have logically proven that the saints in heaven MUST be praying for us (else violating the command of God) then throw it back on your protestant friend to prove, at least scripturally, that they aren’t.
To follow up on the approach taken by promethius95945, what are God’s two great commandments? Love God and love neighbor. Now your Baptist friend surely believes that those in heaven love God, even more perfectly then they did on earth. But what about the other great commandment? Do those in heaven stop loving their neighbor at the very same time that they love God more than ever? Or do they only consider those in heaven to be their neighbors? (the story of the Good Samaritan plainly refutes that notion)
If those in heaven do love their neighbors even more perfectly than they did on earth, how do they express that love? After all, true love requires an expression. Again, scripture makes it clear that our love for our neighbor must be lived out if it is true love. So how do the saints in heaven express (live out) their perfect love for those on earth?
Get that far and wait for your friend’s answer.