Why Not Pray Straight to God?


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Bongani: Why should I ask any man to talk for me to GOD when I have the Mediator my LORD JESUS CHRIST ‘?

BFHU: You are right we can just pray straight to God. But we, Catholics,  ask the Saints to pray for us b/c it works! God is so secure He has this habit of NOT doing things directly but giving His children the blessed opportunity to be His helpers and carry out His plans when He could certainly have just done it all by Himself if He was worried about some lowly man or woman getting noticed.

Who built the Ark? God could have made it much more quickly, but no…
Who led the Israelites out of Egypt? Could God have done that all by Himself?

When God sent serpents to bite the Israelites for their disobedience, at what did they look to be saved? Why didn’t He just have them look to Him?

Who had to expel the Cannanites out of the Promised Land? Couldn’t God have done that all by Himself?

When Israel was disobedient who did God use to punish them by letting them get conquered?

Who reconquered the land of Israel when Israel repented after they kept getting conquered b/c of disobedience, during Judges? Couldn’t God have done it all by Himself?

When God finally got fed up with them and punished Israel and Judah with exile, did He do that all by Himself? Or did he use warriors from another country? Why did He do it that way?

And then when they had been exiled long enough how did God get them back to the Promised Land? Did He use someone to help out with that? Why?

Then He sends His son,  God-Man to accomplish Salvation. The GREATEST GIFT TO MANKIND EVER! And then who did He leave in charge of that?

Who did He trust to bring the Gospel to the World? Couldn’t He have found some way to do all that all by Himself?

And then who did God trust to compile what we know of today as The Bible? Why didn’t Jesus write that all up? Or at least the New Testament?

Believe me, Catholics are not stupid. We pray to Saints b/c it seems to work better. I am not saying Protestant don’t get their prayers answered. They do. But, compared to my prayers as a Protestant and as a Catholic praying to the Saints….it just works. Not 100% of the time do I get what I want, of course. But why is that? Why oh why does the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth entrust sinful men with ANYTHING? Is He crazy or what?

……or maybe the Catholics are on to something…….

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12 Responses

  1. Pray one another as Jesus commanded. And Paul addressed in his letters that we are all saints. Hence it is alright that saints prays each other. But if you asked prayer from dead saints, this is divination. We are not required to call on dead people. Whether we think our love ones as saints because they are believers. They can’t hear us. They are in heaven and maybe in hell. Who knows? They are not like Christ who is God, omnipresent and omniscient and that is why He is the only mediator for our prayers to be heard by God.
    Let us pray one another living saints phjysically here on earth

    • If you are making a ‘Sola Scriptura’ argument, then it is failing because:

      1. 1 Tim. 2:5 says ‘there is one mediator between God and men’, not ‘there is one mediator for our prayers’.

      2. We have Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Esau, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, ‘the prophets’, ‘women’, ‘dead raised to life again’, ‘others’, & even more ‘others’ as ‘a great cloud of witnesses’ of ‘the race that is set before us’—they are dead? In heaven?

      3. St. Paul called people other than himself ‘saints’, but did not take the title for himself; instead he called himself ‘chief’ of sinners.

      4. Almost all of us are Gentiles by birth, the saints are those who have been sanctified, & Rom. 15:16 tells us Gentiles must be sanctified by a priest (leitourgon, a man who officiates at the liturgy) in order to be acceptable to God—Jews need faith in Christ as much as anyone else, but consider the thousands of years of trials they endured to be purified. The Gentiles are not acceptable either without the prescribed sanctification.

      5. The verse I think you refer to (Jas. 5:16) says Christians are to ‘pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ You don’t mean the departed faithful have ceased to do the will of God… Take for example Samuel: ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…’ (1 Sm. 12:23) If that verse is true, he is still praying. Furthermore, Jas. 5:16 says, ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ Doesn’t that mean his prayers are working?

      6. Is there no one you are sure is in heaven?

      7. What is the scriptural basis for your distinction between those here & those departed anyway?

      There is probably much more, & if not Sola Scriptura, an immense proof countless times over can certainly be made.

  2. Dear Paul,

    Asking for intercessory prayer from the Saints or saints is NOT DIVINATION.

    Divination is seeking occult KNOWLEDGE from the spiritual realm. It is seeking INFORMATION….HIDDEN INFORMATION.

    From Websters Dictionary:

    div·i·na·tion noun \ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən\

    DIVINATION

    : the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers

    Examples of DIVINATION
    : the practice of using signs (such as an arrangement of tea leaves or cards) or special powers to predict the future

    When we ask for intercessory prayer we are not trying to get information but prayers only. Are you a Jehovah’s Witness? We, and most other Christians as well, do not believe they are dead. They are alive in Christ in Heaven and can hear our prayers by the power of God.

    • 1 Timothy 2:5 ESV

      For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

      John 14:6 ESV

      Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

      Leviticus 19:31 ESV

      “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

      One of the erroneous teachings of the Roman Catholic Church is the doctrine of praying to the saints. Catholicism teaches that it is okay to offer prayers not only to God but also to creatures such as Mary, Joseph, and others who have entered heaven. Is it biblical to pray to anyone other than God? I / We firmly hold that it is not biblical and that to pray to anyone other than God is idolatrous. Nevertheless, Roman Catholics will try to find whatever they can in Scripture to demonstrate that praying to the saints is permitted. One of the major sections of Scripture used to support this is found in Rev. 5:8-14

      • Dear Dan
        I happen to KNOW that Protestant also ask others to pray for them. Do you reject this practice as well? Is that violating the mediation of Christ? Where does it say this in Scripture. Asking for intercessory prayer from the Saints or saints is NOT DIVINATION.

        Divination is seeking occult KNOWLEDGE from the spiritual realm. It is seeking INFORMATION….HIDDEN INFORMATION.

        From Websters Dictionary:

        div·i·na·tion noun \ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən\

        DIVINATION

        : the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers

        Examples of DIVINATION
        : the practice of using signs (such as an arrangement of tea leaves or cards) or special powers to predict the future

        When we ask for intercessory prayer we are not trying to get information but prayers only. Are you a Jehovah’s Witness? We, and most other Christians as well, do not believe they are dead. They are alive in Christ in Heaven and can hear our prayers by the power of God.

  3. If I may; All of these thing you listed, God did indeed commission men to do. But there is a difference even though it may not seem so.

    God commissioned men to do things (and still does), to complete his desire for the Kingdom which includes sharing the Gospel that more may come to know his Son, and through him, and him alone, be Saved (John 14:6,7).

    However, prayer, is a unique conversation between man and God. Praying to someone who has passed, would be the same as having a child speaking to an older, sibling and asking them to pass on your wishes or concerns to your parent when, you can approach your Father, directly, always.

    This of course, brings up challenges to the concept/definition of “Saint” and other definitions not agreed on – universally, but the one thing we should be able to agree on is that we are instructed to pray directly to the Father, invoking the name of the Son, who is now, “the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 2:5).

    It not only seems to be cumbersome to seek other, dead/past Saints (fellow believers) in place of Christ, it also seems to fly in the face of specific Biblical exhortation

    • Dear John,

      You may ask God directly. That is fine. But I happen to KNOW that Protestant also ask others to pray for them. Do you reject this practice as well?

    • John,

      If I may, I would like to offer a perspective that perhaps could illuminate some of the differences in the thinking between Protestants and Roman Catholics on this issue. I am an Orthodox christian, but we are in agreement with the Roman Catholics on this issue.

      You argue in your post that we should refrain from praying to “dead” or “past” fellow believers. The words you chose to use jump out at me and tell me that we have conflicting visions of what it means to be part of the Church. I think this is one of the fundamental differences that we often gloss right over in these discussions. From the Roman Catholic/Orthodox perspective, there is nothing “dead” or “past” about anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

      We ask members of the Church to pray for us, to intercede for us. We do this because it is apostolic instruction.

      Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
      James 5:16 (KJV)

      I know you would not argue against this passage from Holy Scripture, and I think we’re probably on the same page up to this point.

      The question I have though is why do you remove those Saints who have fallen asleep in the Lord from the Church? Why do you seek to take them out of the Body of Christ?

      We believe that those who are part of the Body of Christ remain within the Body of Christ, remain an active part of the Church, after their repose. Death is defeated. Through Christ, death has no power over any of us, and it most certainly cannot divide the Church.

      And whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die. Do you believe this?
      John 11:26 (KJV)

      SHALL NEVER DIE! Those are the words of our Lord.

      You refer to those who have departed this “life” as dead, but I challenge you to see them as much more alive than you and I are! They LIVE in the presence of the Holy Trinity.

      Furthermore, we know that those blessed saints who kneel before the throne of God know our prayers because Saint John has seen them offering them up to God for us.

      And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
      Revelations 5:8 (KJV)

      Our beliefs on this issue are actually very simple. Yes, you can and most definitely should pray directly to God. Nobody is telling anyone that this is inappropriate. In fact, this is a very good thing. However, we also know that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. Sometimes God answers our prayers through the prayers of other members of the Church. Our salvation is not a private affair; we are saved as part of a body. Part of the Church is standing before the throne of God praying for us right now according to Saint John, and we should ask for their intercessions just like we should ask for the intercessions of each other struggling here on Earth.

  4. I understand what you are saying … and I agree with most of the things your saying …but again …its not scriptural to do that …Merely taking a scripture out of James and interpreting it to support what your is doctrine is saying(since its what u practice ) doesn’t make scriptural… like I have already stated… we have one mediator …one salvation ….one GOD anerrd redeemer…having many mediators between us GOD …its contradicing scriptures … with all humbleness I am not fighting or any thing like that but simply telling you what the says … I am also aware that you have only focused on a single point that I have pointed out … anyway may GOD reveal to us HIS uncompromised Word .Amen .And GOD Bless.

    • Dear Bongani,
      We certainly agree that Christ is the ONE mediator as Scripture says. But Scripture also tells us to Pray for one another. So, either intercessory prayer does not usurp Christ’s mediation or else Scripture is contradicting itself.

      • Like I said in the past , if 100 000 christians pray to Mary at the same time, it gives her divine attributes(omnipresence,etc) I know you’ re going to answer an unsatisfactory response like well God is powerful, he can do what He want… But tell me , in your doctrine, what are the attributes of God?

        • Karine,

          In the Revelation of Saint John, the author recounts a vision in which he witnesses the unceasing worship around the throne of God.

          And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
          Revelations 5:8 (KJV)

          You can pray directly to God all you like (and you most definitely should). However, Holy Scripture tells us that your prayers are being offered to God as incense by the Saints worshipping at His feet. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not or accept it or not, it’s plainly written Scripture.

          Using your logic, I have to ask you the following question: How is it possible that the Saints can receive your prayers, and the prayers of millions of other Christians, and yet do not have “divine attributes”?

          Don

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