Skip to content

Defending the Intercession of the Saints: How To

Intercession prayer

The intercession of the saints is a topic often misunderstood and controversial. Many question the validity and purpose of praying to saints, fearing it may detract from our devotion to God. However, it’s important to remember that intercession prayer is not only acceptable but also a powerful and effective aspect of our spiritual journey.

When we engage in intercessory prayer, we are not engaging in necromancy or worshiping the saints. Instead, we are humbly requesting their prayers on our behalf. Just as we ask our friends and loved ones here on earth to pray for us, we can also ask the saints in heaven to intercede for us before God.

The saints in heaven are not passive or detached from our lives. They are more alive than we are and have a deep love and concern for our salvation. Their intercession is a gift from God, allowing us to experience the power of their prayers and the unity of the body of Christ.

Key Takeaways:

  • Intercession prayer is not blasphemous or a violation of biblical teachings.
  • Praying to saints is a request for their prayers, not worship.
  • The saints in heaven are active and concerned about our well-being.
  • Intercession prayer enhances our spiritual journey and brings us closer to God.
  • The unity of the body of Christ is strengthened through intercession prayer.

Addressing Misconceptions: Praying to Saints as Worship

Praying to saints is often misunderstood as worshiping them. However, it is important to clarify that the act of praying to saints is not an act of worship, but rather a request for their intercession. The word “pray” originally meant to ask, and in Catholic theology, it is considered a request for the saints to pray to God on our behalf. Therefore, when we pray to saints, we are not worshiping them, but seeking their prayers and support as fellow members of the body of Christ.

“The intercession of the saints does not terminate in the saints themselves, but is directed towards God.”

“Prayers do not terminate in the saints, but are rather like letters sent through the mail. Letters may go through the hands of many people to reach their intended destination, but the communication is ultimately between the sender and recipient. Similarly, when we pray to saints, our prayers pass through their hands, but their purpose is to be presented to God, not to be answered by the saints themselves.” – Catholic Answers

It is also important to note that the saints do not have the power to answer prayers themselves. Rather, they serve as mediators between us and God through their intercession. Their prayers are not an obstacle or competition to our direct prayers to Jesus, but rather an additional means of seeking intercession and unity within the body of Christ. Praying to saints enriches our spiritual journey by fostering a sense of community and connection with those who have lived holy lives and can offer their support and prayers on our behalf.

Praying to Saints

Misconceptions about Praying to Saints:

  • Praying to saints is worship
  • Saints have the power to answer prayers
  • Praying to saints replaces direct prayer to Jesus

By clarifying these misconceptions, we can better understand the true nature and purpose of praying to saints. It is not an act of worship, but a humble request for their intercession. As members of the body of Christ, we can unite our prayers with the prayers of the saints in heaven, seeking their support and guidance in our spiritual journey.

The Role of Mediation and Intercession

Within the Christian faith, the concept of mediation and intercession plays a crucial role in deepening our connection with God. While it is understood that Christ is the ultimate mediator between God and humanity, Christians are also called to serve as mediators between Christ and the world. This understanding does not diminish the unique work of Christ; rather, it manifests it. Just as Christ is our high priest, we too are called to be a nation of priests, capable of interceding for others.

Prayer is a powerful tool that allows us to commune with God, and the intercession of the saints adds an additional layer to this spiritual practice. The saints in heaven, being righteous before God, have the ability to intercede for us while we are still on earth. It is a great gift bestowed upon us by God, as the righteous prayers of the saints hold immense power. Just as we believe in the power of prayer on Earth, we can trust in the intercession of the saints in heaven.

It is fundamental to emphasize that the role of mediation and intercession does not replace the direct prayer we offer to Jesus. Rather, it acts as an additional means of seeking unity and intercession within the body of Christ. By seeking the intercession of the saints, we seek to strengthen our bond with fellow believers, both on Earth and in heaven. The saints in heaven, being alive in Christ, are concerned about our spiritual well-being and are eager to join us in our journey towards salvation.

Mediation and Intercession

Table: Saints in Heaven and Their Role in Intercession

Saint Area of Intercession
Saint Teresa of Avila Spiritual growth and discernment
Saint Francis of Assisi Environment and care for creation
Saint Jude Hope and impossible situations
Saint Therese of Lisieux Childlike faith and simplicity

The saints in heaven act as a profound source of inspiration and guidance for us. They are not detached or too busy to intervene on our behalf. Just as the rich man in the parable of Lazarus displayed concern for his family, the saints in heaven possess a deep love for us and a desire to intercede for our spiritual well-being. The book of Revelation offers glimpses of the prayers of the saints being offered to God, affirming their active participation in the eternal worship of our Creator.

The Role of the Saints in Heaven

The saints in heaven play a crucial role in our spiritual journey and our salvation. Contrary to common misconceptions, they are not detached or too busy to intercede for us through their prayers. In fact, they are deeply concerned about our well-being and actively intercede on our behalf before God.

Just as the rich man in the story of Lazarus expressed concern for his family on earth, the saints in heaven have a profound love and desire to help us. They are not distant or unconcerned; rather, they are fully engaged and aware of our needs. The book of Revelation provides a glimpse into this reality, describing the prayers of the saints being offered to God and their active participation in the eternal worship of God.

The saints’ intercession is a testament to the unity and communion within the body of Christ. They are not only our spiritual allies but also a tangible expression of the organic unity we share as believers. Just as we have communion with Christ, we have communion with all the saints, both on earth and in heaven. Their prayers serve as a powerful source of support and encouragement for us, as we navigate the challenges of life and seek a deeper relationship with God.

saints in heaven

In conclusion, the saints in heaven are not distant or uninvolved in our lives. They are actively concerned about our salvation and offer their prayers on our behalf. Their intercession is a testament to the unity we share as believers and a source of strength and encouragement. Let us embrace and cherish the role of the saints in our spiritual journey, recognizing their powerful influence and their deep love for us.

How Saints Hear Our Prayers

Understanding how saints are able to hear our prayers is a question that has intrigued many. While there may not be a direct explanation in scripture, there are indications that those in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth. The book of Revelation, for example, provides evidence that the saints share in the knowledge of our needs through the beatific vision. They have the capacity to hear our requests and intercede for us before God.

Saints hearing prayers

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

Just as we will be transformed to be like Christ in heaven, it is reasonable to believe that the saints also share in this transformation and are able to hear our prayers. It is important to note that the ability of the saints to hear our prayers does not infringe upon the role of Jesus Christ as the one true mediator between God and humanity. Rather, the saints serve as intercessors, guiding our prayers to God and seeking His will on our behalf.

Scriptural Evidence

  • Revelation 5:8 – “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
  • Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
  • Matthew 17:1-3 – “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.”

In conclusion, while the mechanics of how saints hear our prayers may remain a mystery, the biblical evidence supports the idea that they have the ability to intercede on our behalf. Their role as intercessors does not detract from the unique mediation of Jesus Christ, but rather complements it. By seeking the intercession of the saints, we can experience a deeper sense of communion with the body of Christ and draw closer to God.

The Quantity of Prayers and Time in Heaven

Quantity of prayers to saints

One of the common concerns about praying to saints is the question of how they can possibly hear and understand the vast number of prayers directed to them. This concern arises from our limited understanding of time and eternity in heaven. However, it’s important to remember that time in the afterlife is not bound by the constraints of earthly time. In the eternal realm of heaven, saints have the ability to comprehend and respond to an infinite number of prayers.

While the quantity of prayers may seem overwhelming to us, it is finite from the perspective of eternity. Just as technology can facilitate simultaneous communication among numerous individuals, God’s power enables the saints in heaven to perceive and comprehend the prayers directed to them. As beings transformed in the presence of God, they are not limited by our human constraints of time and capacity.

Table:

Concern: Reality:
The number of prayers is too great for the saints to understand. Time in heaven is not limited like on earth; saints have eternity to respond to prayers.
The saints are incapable of comprehending the needs of every individual. The saints share in the beatific vision and have an understanding of our needs through their connection with God.
The saints are unaware or detached from our earthly concerns. The saints are active and concerned about our salvation, demonstrating a deep love for us even in heaven.

“For the saints in heaven, time is not short; they are not so busy with other things that they cannot hear our prayers. For them, there is no limit to time, no shortage of concern, no lack of love. They are closer to us than we think.”

The quantity of prayers to saints is not a hindrance to their ability to understand and respond. In the grandeur of eternity, their capacity to intercede for us is far beyond our human limitations. Trusting in their loving concern and the power of their prayers, we can find solace and hope in seeking their intercession.

The Eternal Communion of Saints

The belief in the communion of saints is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. It represents the organic unity of all believers, both those who are currently on earth and those who have passed on to the heavenly realm. As baptized members of the Body of Christ, we are joined together with the saints in a profound and eternal connection.

Just as we have communion with Christ, we also have communion with all the saints. This communion is not limited by time or space, but rather transcends all earthly boundaries. The saints in heaven are not detached or disinterested; on the contrary, they are alive in Christ and deeply concerned about our well-being and salvation. They continue to serve as our spiritual companions, praying for us and interceding on our behalf before God.

The communion of saints reminds us of the unity we share with all believers. We are part of a larger spiritual family, connected by our faith in Christ. This unity extends beyond the boundaries of denominations, cultures, and even time itself. The saints who have gone before us serve as examples of faith and inspiration, encouraging us to persevere in our own journey of faith.

Conclusion

The intercession of the saints is a powerful and meaningful aspect of the Christian faith. It is through intercession prayer that we can experience the benefits and blessings of seeking the prayers of the saints. Praying to the saints is not necromancy or worship, but a humble request for them to intercede on our behalf before God.

By engaging in intercession prayer, we are not taking away from our devotion to God, but rather enhancing our spiritual journey. The saints in heaven are active and concerned about our salvation, and they have the ability to intercede for us before the throne of God. Through their prayers, we can experience divine favor, healing, and guidance in our lives.

The communion of saints, both on earth and in heaven, is a testament to the unity we have in Christ. Just as we have communion with Christ, we have communion with all the saints through our organic unity in the Body of Christ. It is through this unity that the prayers of the saints become a powerful means of intercession, bringing us closer to God and deepening our relationship with Him.

In conclusion, intercession prayer is a beautiful and valuable practice that allows us to tap into the spiritual support and intercession of the saints. It is a way of seeking unity, guidance, and blessings in our lives. So let us embrace the intercession of the saints and experience the transformative power of intercession prayer.

FAQ

How does intercession prayer work?

Intercession prayer is a request for the saints to pray to God on our behalf. It is not necromancy or worship, but a way to seek their prayers and intercession.

Is praying to saints equivalent to worshiping them?

No, praying to saints is not worship. It is a request for their prayers, directed towards God. The saints do not have the power to answer prayers themselves, but serve as mediators between us and God.

How do saints in heaven intercede for us?

The saints in heaven are active and concerned about our salvation. They have a deep love and desire to intercede for us, just as the rich man in the story of Lazarus showed concern for his family on earth.

How can the saints in heaven hear our prayers?

The book of Revelation provides evidence that those in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth. They have the capacity to hear our requests and share in the knowledge of our needs through the beatific vision.

Can saints comprehend the large number of prayers directed to them?

Time in heaven is not the same as on earth, and saints have eternity to respond to our petitions. While the number of prayers may be vast, it is finite and does not require omniscience to understand.

What is the communion of saints?

The communion of saints is the belief that all believers, both on earth and in heaven, are joined together in the Body of Christ. The saints who have passed from this life continue to have a connection with us.

Why is intercession prayer important?

Intercession prayer enhances our spiritual journey by drawing us closer to the divine and deepening our unity with the body of Christ. It is a powerful way to seek the prayers of the saints and experience the benefits and blessings of intercession prayer in our lives.

Source Links

Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family

    View all posts