Is the practice of praying to the dead saints Biblical?

Nowhere in the Scripture do we find a reference for a godly person praying to the dead or another human being but to God. The Bible teaches that believers should pray to God alone. Jesus instructed His followers, “…when you pray, pray to your Father” And He added, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…” (Matthew 6:6-9). Likewise, the apostle Paul taught the early believers “let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 also Acts 8:22).

We as Christians are to come boldly unto the throne of God’s grace that we may find grace and help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). It is idolatry to pray to finite humans instead of the all-loving, omniscient, omnipotent God (Psalm 139).

The Scriptures warns that he living should not pray or consult the dead “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19). In the end-time, the devil will especially use sorcery (the agency that claims to receive power from the spirits of the dead) to deceive the world (Revelation 18:23). He and his demons will pose as the dead to deceive the world (2 Corinthians 11:13),

The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead, is the One that makes intercession for us: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

The Bible teaches that humans are finite beings. Once they die they are in a state of unconsciousness sleep unaware of what is happening on earth (Psalms 13:3; Job 14:12; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 15:18) until they are awakened at the Day of the Resurrection at the Last Day (Daniel 12:2).

After death a person: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 14:12) until the resurrection (Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). There is sense in praying for the dead when they are unconscious.

For more on what the Bible teaches about the state of the dead, check the following link: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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