Dan: Regarding Praying to Mary!
“What does the Bible say about praying to / speaking to the dead?”
Answer: Praying to the dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that anyone who “consults with the dead” is “detestable to the Lord.” The story of Saul consulting a medium to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel resulted in his death “because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Samuel 28:1-25; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14). Clearly, God has declared that such things are not to be done.
BREAD FROM HEAVEN: I am sure that your pastor taught you this and used this verse to back up his denunciation of the Catholic Church. But, what is condemned is DIVINATION-(the occult practice of trying to get information from the dead in order to make decisions) NOT Intercessory prayer requests.
So the purpose for speaking to the dead when practicing DIVINATION is SEEKING OCCULT INFORMATION.
Let’s define our terms.
Definition of OCCULT
1: not revealed : secret
2: not easily apprehended or understood : abstruse, mysterious
3: hidden from view
Definition of DIVINATION: Practice of discerning the hidden significance of events and foretelling the future. Divination is found in all societies, ancient and modern, though methods vary. In the West, psychics claim innate ability to predict the future, and horoscopes, palm reading, and tarot cards are popular methods of divination. Other methods involve or have involved interpreting dreams, discovering omens in natural events, reading the entrails of animals, casting lots, and consulting oracles. Divination has long been viewed as the province of specially gifted persons, such as prophets, shamans, and magicians. See also astrology.
If you notice your quote above:
Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that anyone who “consults with the dead” is “detestable to the Lord.”
Consults has a very different meaning than “speak to”.
Definiton of Consults: to ask the advice or opinion of
Exactly as the I Chron. passage says: Saul “consulted a medium for guidance”
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
10 There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,[a] any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
Definition of NECROMANCY: conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events
I Sam 28:15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress; for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.”
As you can see, DIVINATION through necromancy, consulting a medium is the seeking of hidden (occult) information for decision making or attempts to control events. This is what God condemns because we are to trust Him; seek guidance only from Him. This is because God knows that the so called “dead” consulted in necromancy are not really the spirits of a human person but DEMONS disguised as the intended person.
A DEMON would NEVER join us in praying to God for anything. Therefore when we ask someone, in Heaven, to pray for us we do not have to worry about contacting Demons. They lose any power over us. We ask for prayers only not for information. Therefore, we also do not need to be afraid we will be led astray by Demons either because we give them no power to give us any information.