What is wrong with asking the saints or Mary to pray for us?

Hello H,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking the saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. However, the practice of many Catholics show that they do in fact pray directly to saints and/or Mary, asking them for help. This practice has no biblical basis.

The Bible declares, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (First Timothy 2:5). There is no one but Jesus that can mediate between God and man.

Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father: “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25). With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would the believers need the dead saints to intercede for them?

The Holy Spirit also does intercede for us. “but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26-27). Now, with the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Godhead already interceding for the believers before the Father in heaven, where would mere human intercession amount to?

Further, the Bible teaches that 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 17:13), and continues not till the Resurrection Day (Job 14:1, 2). For more on the state of the dead, check the following link: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/

So, if the dead saints are in a state of unconsciousness waiting to be awakened at the Resurrection, how can the believers contact them for help?

In fact, whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, and divination—activities the Bible strongly condemns and forbids (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13).

Paul exhorts the believers to go directly to the throne of God for help “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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