Prayer to Saints and Protestant Interpretation


Robert: What other scriptures are needed than the one where Jesus tells us how to pray?

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven…”

Bread From Heaven: Do you then think that the ONLY prayer Jesus allowed is the Lord’s Prayer?

Robert:These passages are perfectly clear and do not need interpretation by anyone.

Bread From Heaven: Then one could make the case from the way you interpret this passage that all prayer except the Lord’s Prayer is forbidden. And some Protestant churches forbid praying the Lord’s Prayer.

Robert: He tells us not to pray in the open
He tells us not to pray in vain repetitions
He states perfectly clear to pray “in this manner” to “our Father in Heaven”

Bread From Heaven: Does He? Really? So all prayers in church are forbidden? Let’s take a look at the context:

Mt. 6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Jesus was contrasting show-prayer with praying in secret. This is preferred to showy prayer. But this does not mean that all public prayer is forbidden. Jesus NEVER said anywhere in Scripture that a public prayer is a sin, evil, wrong, or forbidden. This is how Protestants sometimes interpret it. But they still pray in their church services which is hypocritical.

Jesus does not denounce all repetition of prayer. He denounces VAIN repetition. Even He said the same prayer three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. Please see my post–>Why Not Just Pray to Jesus?

Robert: To pray any other way violates Lord Jesus order that was issued from Him directly

Bread From Heaven: Where does it say this in Scripture? You are asserting something without any authority to do so. The above scripture says no such thing. Only your interpretation says this.

Robert: The only sin worse than personally committing transgressions against God is misleading and teaching others falsely to commit transgressions which is what the Catholic Church has and is doing.

Bread From Heaven: You think this based on your own or other Protestant teaching. But that is a very different thing than any Scripture actually contradicting what the Church teaches. There is no such scripture. There is only contradictory Protestant teaching and interpretation.

Robert: There is no Biblical authorizing that exists praying to anyone but God, and to say you are simply talking to Mary, who is infact dead, is not praying to her is almost laughable if it were not so misleading.

Bread From Heaven:
Mary is NOT dead. She is alive in Heaven. Matthew 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Robert: The “Church” has perverted the Ten Commandments and continues to do so as seen in the posts above.

Bread From Heaven: You make an assertion but give us no evidence. This is then an ad-hominem attack which is usually a sign that facts are scarce.

Robert: BTW – interpretation comes from God thru the Holy Spirit to us.

Bread From Heaven: I know that you believe this but different interpretations of scripture are the exact reason there are thousands of different Protestant denominations. Not all of the interpretations are true. Not all are led by the Holy Spirit. If they were then God would be a God of Confusion. Biblical interpretation unhinged from the Church founded by Jesus Christ and history has led to chaos in Protestantism. They can only agree on a few basics. The scripture NEVER promised to guide every individual human being into truth in interpreting scripture. The Scriptures NEVER say all Christian truth is found ONLY in Scripture. This is a Protestant Tradition of men.

Robert: (The Catholic Church) murdered Martin Luther. Luther would have put them mostly out of business if everyone had understood what he was saying Of course the Church has murdered many that stood in their way.

Bread From Heaven:…uhmmm…Martin Luther died of natural causes.
The Catholic Church did not ever murder anyone. Catholics have murdered people. But that is not the same as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does not approve of murder any more than you do. This is a slanderous statement.

Robert: Jesus Christ came to this world to deliver us from our sin and from a religious organization that sought only power and position and it took the world just a few hundred years to bring it right back.
The sad things is most of the Protestant churches follow the same doctrinal falsehoods the Catholic Church conceived.

Bread From Heaven: By what authority do you say, “…and from a religious organization”? That is NOWHERE in scripture. So here you are with beliefs that are not in scripture and not historical. They are only a few decades old. This is just not convincing. The evidence is clear: The Catholic Church believes the same doctrine as the Christians believed in the first century.

Prayers to Mary…


Q. I understand that ‘praying’ to Mary and the saints has to do with asking them to ask God things for you, what I do not understand is how this is better than directly asking God?

A. I don’t know. It just is. Our Lord likes for us to pray for one another. If we were only supposed to pray directly to Him then scripture would not exhort us to pray for one another. Where in Scripture does it say that we must only pray for ourselves and directly to God at all times?

Q. Also even though you do not worship Mary or the saints where did anyone ever get the idea that praying to dead people, yes dead people because that is ALL that Mary or any of the saints is, dead, is going to help anything?

A. We do not think of them as dead. I am sorry that you lack the faith to realize that even though our bodies die, our souls are alive and immortal, in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Therefore, since their souls are ALIVE, they are able to intercede for us.

Q. Nothing makes the saints or Mary holy in any way except that human beings decided they wanted to be.

A. No, it is not that easy to be declared a Saint with a capital “S”. The life of the person is examined with a fine-toothed comb. Writings, witnesses, friends and relatives are consulted if still alive. But then two supernatural miracles must occur as a result of a person asking for the intercession of the person, after they are dead (in the body)in order for them to be elevated to Sainthood. That is pretty hard to fake.

These miracles are not just lightly accepted the way a lot of people talk about, “it was a miracle!” The disease or disorder must be verifiable by medical, scientific records, doctor reports, lab work, X-rays, etc. The person must have been praying to this individual and then be cured. The cure also must be medically/scientifically verified with physician testimony, lab reports, X-rays etc. It must be determined beyond doubt that something supernatural occurred.

Q. Jesus also died but the difference is that he came back to life afterwords.
A. Jesus’ body was resurrected. But His spiritual being never died. He is God. He cannot die. And it is the same with our souls. Our bodies die but our soul is immortal. At the end of time all bodies will be resurrected and reunited with their soul in Heaven or Hell.

Q. The scripture verse above that Star posted is extremely relevant and in my opinion too much over looked in our society today.

A. The scripture verse: Jesus said, “No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me”: John 14:6
Of course, this is true. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection made it possible for man to be reconciled to God. Not Mary or any of the Saints. I think you seem to have some misinformation about what Catholics believe. Protestantism is riddled with misinformation about the Catholic Church.

Q. So what I would like to know is how it is possible to justify the belief that Mary and the Saints can do anything at all for you and whether or not Catholics view them as holy?

A. Yes, since we believe that they are ALIVE in Heaven, as evidenced by miraculous signs through their intercession, we believe that they can join their prayers with ours to our Lord. They do not, by their own merely human power, answer our prayers. We do view them as Holy. But we are all supposed to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is holy.

Q. One last point I would like to make is that there are many graven images of the Virgin Mary, one in almost every Catholic church, as well as images of the saints, and that even if you yourself do not worship Mary many people out there actually do.

A. I would say that you are wrong. Have you ever asked a Catholic if they worship Mary? Did they actually say, “Yes”?

Protestants are taught that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints. They have no pictures or statues in their churches. Therefore when they go to a Catholic Church, because of the biased teaching they have received, they jump to an uncharitable conclusion that Catholics worship Mary, etc. Any Catholic who actually does worship anyone other than God is a HERETIC!!! Pure and simple. No Catholic is EVER taught to worship anyone other than God.

Q. This tradition began in the 11th century when St.Bernard began a cult completely dedicated to the worship of Mary.
A. You are mistaken.

Q. It is completely ungrounded in scripture that any dead person can intercede between you and God.
A. Where does scripture assert what you say here? Where does Scripture say that a person who’s body has died cannot intercede for other members of the Body of Christ? Where does Scripture say that a person who has died is dead, dead, dead, until the end of time or whatever it is you believe about the soul? And most importantly….Where does Scripture say that Scripture alone is the FINAL AUTHORITY in all things pertaining to Christianity?

The answer to all of these questions is: No where.There is no scripture that teaches any of these things.

Are Catholics Lost?



Comment: It is amazing to me how lost Catholics are. Nothing but repetition and useless prayers. Doing things with no soul, just for the sake of doing them.

BFHU: Wow! How are you able to judge the hearts of Catholics? “

I Cor: 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

John 13:35
” By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Comment: “Let’s say the hail mary 50 times.” Not scriptural, just tradition and made up stuff that nobody needs to do. Why not just follow the bible?

BFHU: Are not all prayers “made up stuff” so to speak? When you pray do you ever use your own words to pray?
We do follow the Bible. Nothing in our faith contradicts it. Our Faith only contradicts Protest-antism

Comment: It doesn’t say, “thou must say 50 hail mary’s” in the bible, so why do it?

BFHU: It is a Biblical prayer for the most part and what is not in scripture is doctrinal.

Hail Mary full of grace blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:42
And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

This part of the prayer is doctrinal. Jesus was God. Mary was His mother. Therefore, Mary was the Mother of God. We are sinners. Mary is alive in Heaven and part of the Body of Christ. We are to pray for one another so we ask Mary to Pray for us now and at the hour of our death, lest Satan tempt us to sin mortally and thereby win our soul for Hell.

Comment: Why not pray as Jesus prayed, do as Jesus did and stop inventing stuff that isn’t biblical? Who cares if the bible doesn’t forbid it, just stop doing it.

BFHU:We pray the Our Father at every mass. Are all of your prayers straight out of the Bible? On what authority do you command Catholics to do what you say?

Comment: There is absolutely no reason to pray to Mary or any other saint. God knows our situation. God is omnipotent and omnipresent. He is all seeing and all knowing and he knows what we need before we even ask.

BFHU: That is all very true. However, He seems to always work through human beings for some reason. Therefore, James tells us:

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Your suggestion that we don’t need to pray b/c God already knows everything contradicts scripture

I Thess. 5:17 pray without ceasing;

Matthew 7:7 [Prayer and the Golden Rule ] ” Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 17:21” But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting

Even Jesus prayed to His Father, and He, Jesus, was God,

Luke 6:12[ Choosing the Twelve ] It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer

Comment: There is no reason or no basis in scripture for anybody to ask anybody but God through Christ.

BFHU:

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Comment: And I also must add that if the bible doesn’t say anything that forbids prayer for the dead, but doesn’t say anything telling people to pray for the dead, then why do it at all? The bible doesn’t specifically forbid praying to a head of lettuce either, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to pray to a head of lettuce.

BFHU: The Bible does tell us to “pray for one another.” This does not exclude our asking for others to intercede on our behalf to God. Therefore, there is nothing wrong about praying for one another and not each one only praying to God by himself, for himself. The members of the Body of Christ pray for one another. Mary and the Saints are members of the Body of Christ. They do not need our prayers because they are in Heaven but we need prayer. So we ask them to pray for us. Simple as that.

Comment: Follow scripture. Don’t follow the catechism which has butchered the ten commandments which forbids idolatry. Follow the bible as it was meant to be followed. You don’t need a priest to tell you what is right and what is wrong. God’s scripture is right there and the answers are there, just read it and you will see the truth.

BFHU: We do follow the Bible. We do not worship Idols. That is a Protestant tradition-that Catholics worship idols. Charity, please.

Comment: Catholics, if you don’t believe me about the Catholic butchering of the Ten Commandments, I implore you to read the ten commandments of the bible and then compare them to what is in the Catechism. Can you tell me what happened to commandment NUMBER TWO?

BFHU: We simply number them differently. And we numbered them that way long before the Protestants numbered them the way that they do to specifically try to bolster their contention that Catholics worship idols.
Please see my post–>Why Did the Catholic Church DROP the Commandment about Idolatry?

Mary and the Saints are NOT Divine



BFHU: Mary and the Saints can only hear our millions of prayers by the power of God… Mary and the Saints are not Divine”

Joseph; That is a complete contradiction in terms. If they are not divine, they cannot hear millions of prayers to pray about them.

BFHU: Why is it a contradiction???

BFHU:
Of course they cannot hear the prayers of us on Earth by their human power. But, with God all things are possible. It is by HIS power of course. So the divine power comes from God, which makes them mere human beings.

Joseph: Hence, heaven does not make “saints” or the priesthood of all believers automatically supernatural-divine-like intercessors upon death.

BFHU: Correct.

Joseph: We can just derive assumptions without a biblical basis.

BFHU: I am going to guess that you meant “We can’t just derive assumptions without a biblical basis. And I will ask you “Why not?” The Protestant teaching of sola scriptural or Bible Alone is not scriptural. It is a tradition of men begun 500 years ago by Martin Luther.
It is amusing that one of Protestantisms most relied upon weapon against the Catholic Church, which is the demand, “Where is that in Scripture?” Is itself not scriptural.

Joseph; .. I am merely raising a very simple and logical proposition that is a complete paradox to focusing prayers to ordinary but blessed human beings.

BFHU: What we mean by “Prayers to the Saints” means asking them for intercessory prayer. Protestants believe in intercessory prayer. They are just not used to asking the Saints in Heaven to pray for them.

Joseph: I believe the cloud of witnesses can at times see and hear what’s going on, however, there is no biblical concept that reveals some humans are greater than others in relation to praying to them. I think they have better things to do than pray 24/7 for millions of roman catholics

BFHU: Thank you for your opinion but it is merely that. Your opinion. It is not convincing and it is not scriptural
I am not trying to offend. I just want you to realize that Protestants also believe things that are not scriptural. They seem to give themselves that freedom without a second thought. But, when it comes to anything Catholic they demand SCRIPTURE and if it is not forthcoming they condemn Catholics as heretics.

The Saints, not Transcendent, Can’t Hear Your Prayers



JD: Being in Heaven does not cause people to become transcendent. They do not cease to pass through time one moment at a time and begin to exist in all time simultaneously as God does.

BFHU:
I find it interesting that you do not want to believe me when I say that the Saints are NOT transcendent. They are mere humans empowered by the power of God.

JD: Please understand that when you add things that God did not give us we cannot put any confidence in it. For you to say that I cannot prove to you that your doctrine is wrong to your satisfaction so therefore you will treat your doctrine as if it is a fact is simply saying that you do not love the truth.

BFHU: You do this as do all Protestants. Protestants want to hold the Catholic Church bound, to Scripture alone. And YET THEY HAVE NO SCRIPTURAL PROOF THAT WE SHOULD BE BOUND TO SCRIPTURE ALONE. The irony is that, the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is UNSCRIPTURAL. Satan has played a cruel joke on Sola Scriptura Protestants.

JD: You will believe it regardless of whether it may be shown to be true or not. When I show you Scripture that contradicts your doctrine you simply say that there is some remote possibility that you may interpret that scripture in some way that may allow your doctrine, so you will continue to hold onto it as if it is a fact.

BFHU: Interpretation is the crux of the issue. Do you have the ability to interpret scripture infallibly? Do your pastors? The Catholic Church does claim that ability, therefore I and all Catholics are NOT BOUND to your interpretation of Scipture, your pastor’s interpretation or any other Protestant’s interpretation. Sorry….

JD: Don’t you see that you have no reason to put confidence in it to begin with? Don’t you see that you must put hope in a twisted interpretation of Scripture in order to have any hope at all that it might be an acceptable belief, and that this is the best you can hope for?

BFHU: You are wrong. The interpretations of Scriptures and the beliefs of the Catholic Church (founded by Jesus Christ Himself) have been the doctrines of our faith for 2000 years. Protestantism and all the varied and contradicting doctrines among themselves, have only been around for about 500 years. Why should I, or any Catholic, trust a new religion founded by mere men trying to convince the world that they rediscovered the true faith? Sorry, but no thank you.

Mary and the Saints are not Omnipresent



Karine,  Mary and the saints are not omniscient or omnipresent-they are not God! So they cannot hear every catholic that are praying…oups, sorry, asking intercessory prayer for them!

BFHU:  You are right. They, in their humanity alone, could never hear all the prayer requests that they get. But with God all things are possible.

Karine,   That is a very simple reply. Could you please elaborate on what you believe might be the process in which they gain the ability of hearing everybody and be present for everybody, with without being given divine abilities? And back it up with scriptures or other sources of your choice?

BFHU: Karine, I can no more tell you how the Saints are able to hear all the prayer request we make to them than I can explain how, Joseph accurately interpreted the Pharoh’s dream, Moses parted the Red Sea, or Elijah prayed down fire on his altar to God that burned up more than any ordinary fire. None of them were personally given divine abilities. Divinity empowered them. God worked through them. Why?

He didn’t NEED to use humans to accomplish what He wanted to do. But, we see all throughout the OT that this is His preferred Method of Operation. This has not changed. I am sure that you agree that God has the power to enable Mary and the Saints to hear our prayer requests. You are just not convinced He does this. That is fair.

Ask yourself why, since, “with God all things are possible,” that anyone can condemn the practice of asking our brothers and sisters in Christ who just happen to be alive in Heaven, to pray for us? What is really wrong with that?

Why Do You Always Ask Protestants for Scripture Support?



Mark: In many of the reply’s I have read on your site, I have seen “scripture support please” many times in your response to someone’s post.

BFHU: I often ask Protestants to support their assertions with scripture b/c they are blind to the fact that, just like Catholics, many of the things they believe and assert are not actually spelled out in Scripture either. Protestants too, have their traditions in doctrine. Most Protestants hold to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, that all religious truth must be in Scripture or else it is to be condemned. And yet this very foundational belief is nowhere to be found in scripture! So, they

4″Theytie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but theythemselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. -Matthew 23:4

Protestants constantly ask Catholics,
Where is Purgatory in Scripture?
Where is the immaculate conception in scripture?
Where is the Pope in scripture? etc.
But, I ask,

Where is Sola Scriptura in Scripture?

Catholics have never claimed that every doctrine taught by the Apostles (TRADITION) is spelled out in Scripture. So, when I cannot cite scripture to spell out a doctrine I believe, and that the Church teaches, it does not bother me, as Protestants think that it should.

We try very hard to find what scriptural support there is for Protestants who ask for it, in the hope that they will see that we do have many scriptures that supports our beliefs, even if Protestants don’t agree with our interpretation. We hope they will at least see that our interpretation is just as legitimate as theirs.

Mark: To use the argument “where in the Bible does it say it is not true”, not true?” in my opinion, is not the strongest of positions to take.

BFHU: I agree. And I do not mean to imply that anything goes as long as it is not condemned in Scripture. If our beliefs were found neither in scripture nor in the beliefs of the the earliest Christians, I could not believe them either.

Mark: So now I respectfully ask for scripture support regarding your response to my question.

BFHU: You actually said,

“Please give me scriptural support for praying to Mary when God has made himself available to me? If you cannot provide the scriptural support, can you please provide me a logical reason for doing this?

Rather than try to give scriptural support, I took you up on the option of giving a logical reason for the intercession of the saints. That this practice proceeds naturally from the doctrine of the Body of Christ residing in Heaven .

The Scripture passages I would use to support the intercession of the Saints, would be the passages about the Body of Christ, or the exhortation for us to pray for one another, (in spite of the fact that God has made Himself available to us) but I am sure that you already know these. And yet these ARE the very verses that underlie our practice of asking the Saints for intercessory prayer.

These verses are rejected by Protestants b/c they are convinced that we are REALLY worshiping the saints and not merely asking them to pray for us. So, Protestants want us to produce a scripture that says “Worship Mary and the saints.” because that is what they think we believe. But we DO NOT!!! We merely believe in intercessory prayer among the members of the Body of Christ, even the members who are alive in Heaven. This is not really contrary to anything Protestants know about the power of God. It is just new to them.