Monday, July 04, 2005

Prayers to Mary and the saints?

A Protestant said:

if y'all are praying to them....that's different from asking someone to pray for don't pray here on earth for your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to pray for ask them

Let me place the meaning of the word "pray" in the above paragraph to help illustrate some confusion on the matter. Catholics understand "pray" to mean "humbly request" which is in accord with Webster's definition, and the usage found in the Protestant KJV translation of the Bible.

if y'all are humbly requesting them....that's different from asking someone to humbly request for don't humbly request here on earth for your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to humbly request for ask them

Hmmmmm.....If you read through the above paragraph, you can't help but scratch your head in wonder at what it is you are objecting to.

Didn't the Psalmist give us a Scriptural example of invoking (humbly requesting, aka praying) the heavenly angels and saints directly in prayer? (Ps. 103:20–21). In Psalms 148 we pray (humbly request), "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!" EeeeeeK! We're praying to angels and all his hosts!!! How unScriptural is our Scripture!!

When you get a chance, check out your hymnal and see the prayer to Mary and Joseph that you sing in Angels We Have Heard On High. Protestants, whether knowingly or not, ask (PRAY) for Joseph and Mary's help when they sing the hymn, Angels We Have Heard on High. The relevant verse goes: "See Him in a manger laid / Whom the choirs of angels praise / Mary, Joseph, lend your aid / While our hearts in love we raise." Double eeeeek!!! Prayers to Mary and Joseph in our hymnals!!!!

In the the KJV of the Bible, people "pray" to other people. Triple eeeeeek!!

"Whose daughter [art] thou? tell me, I pray thee" (Gen 24:23)

According to the Protestant lexicon, Vine's Expository of New Testament Words, the Biblical word translated "pray" is:

Greek: erotao - "to ask," is translated by the verb to pray in Luk14:18,19; 16:27; Jhn4:31; 14:16; 16:26; 17:9,15,20; in Act23:18, RV, "asked" (AV "prayed"); in 1Jo5:16, RV, "should make request" (AV "shall pray").

To ask and to pray are the same word in the Bible. Catholics still use the word "pray" just as the dictionary describes it, and just as the KJV often translates it. We humbly ask the angels and all the heavenly hosts to pray for us.

Now, is there an example of a NT Christian conversing with a saint? Yes. The Apostle St. John, being "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" (Rev 1:10) conversed with those assembled in heaven. St. John, one Sunday on Patmos, spoke to angels (Rev 1:2), and Jesus (Rev 1:17-18), and to the elders (Rev 5:5) and to the souls of the martyrs (Rev 6:9). If it is unScriptural to converse with angels and saints in heaven, then St. John has some 'splainin' to do.

What if you can't hear the saints and angels, can they hear you? If so, how? Even if you cannot hear the angels and saints conversing with you, they can hear you conversing with them. Christ is the vine between the branches. They do not have to be omnipotent to be able to hear you. St. John was a mere creature of God. Nevertheless, by the power of God, St. John somehow heard every created thing in heaven and on earth without having to be omnipresent like God (Rev 5:13 - "And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea"). It seems one doesn't need to be omnipresent when God is the vine between the branches and can, by his almighty power, allow any of his creatures, even a mere human like St. John, to hear what all of God's creation is saying.

But are the angels and saints aware of our petitions? According to Revelation ch. 5, and ch. 8, we can be certain that the angels and heavenly hosts alive in heaven offer to God the prayers of the holy ones (Rev 5:8; 8:3).
so my question is why ask if they already are praying for you?

Why pray at all if God already knows your thoughts? I think the answer to both questions is the same. Prayer for and with others who are living in Christ is a testimony in itself, a witness to one's belief. We believe the saints in heaven and on earth are alive in Christ, praying for the faithful. This is a creed that is affirmed everytime we ask the saints to pray for us. This is a profound affirmation of belief in the afterlife, in eternal life in the heavenly presence of God for the holy ones. Yes, the angels and saints in heaven will pray for the holy ones on earth just the same, without our asking them, but in our asking, we testify to the truth that these saints are alive in Christ, among the "cloud of witnesses" that the Epistle of Hebrews describes as our holy witnesses (the Latin word for "witness" is "martyr"). According to the Epistle of Hebrews, ch. 12, we as Christians come to the CITY of God, and that city is poplulated with God AND angels AND saints. We come to them all. Scripture speaks of them as though they are united by the same Divine Love, so we don't accept the protestant polemic that if we ask Mary to pray for us, we do so in opposition to Christ. The CITY of God includes all the angels and heavenly host that the Psalmist invokes in prayer. We certainly agree with the Psalmist in the biblical practice of invoking all the angels and heavenly hosts in prayer.

Jesus Christ: "The one who welcomes you welcomes Me, and the one who welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me" (Matt 10:40)

It's not Jesus or the angels and saints. You can welcome the entire Vine of Christ and all the branches too. In fact, by receiving those in Christ, you receive Christ.

God bless,



Blogger ForbingA said...


I was clicking along on the "NEXT BLOG" icon as I do randomly and came across yours. I have been fighting myself (struggling with) beginning RCIA next month for quite some time (I'm currently a "Luth-olic"), and the issues of "Marian" Catholics ("praying to" Mary and to the Saints) has been a point of contention for me, until now. You are very thorough in your explanation, and I was blessed to come across your blog. Thank you for this entry, and I will be exploring your blog in the future.

12:09 PM  
Blogger itsjustdave1988 said...


Thanks. I'm happy to hear that my blog was helpful to you. If you have any questions feel free to email me at:

God bless,


2:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home