Saints Are Alive and Can Hear Our Prayers
It is wonderful to go directly to Jesus when we pray. But we can also ask the saints to storm the throne of God with their perfect prayers of love and praise. Asking saints to pray for us can actually help us receive answers to our prayers. Saints have constant union with God and He allows them to know our situations. They love to pray with us and for us.
– When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told Martha, I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (Jn. 11:25-26)
– The saints know what is happening on earth for Jesus said: There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents… (Lk. 15:7) Heaven is not limited by the physical world, by time on earth, or our puny minds.
-The saints are more fully alive than when they were on earth, they are not dead. (Many Protestants believe saints are dead and/or totally unaware and uninterested in anyone who is still on earth).
– The Communion of Saints is real:We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.(Heb.12:1) Catholics and many other Christians pray the Apostles Creed, affirming: I believe in the Communion of Saints.
– We know we can pray directly to God, but we can also ask the help of the saints, just as we ask people on earth to pray for us. If we only believe in praying directly to God, we should never ask other people to pray for us.
– The Communion of Saints is comprised of the community of believers on earth and all the saints who once lived on earth. Jesus said: I am the vine, you are the branches. (Jn. 15:5) and Paul writes: so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Rom. 12:5)
– Some Sadducees asked Jesus about the resurrection of the dead and Jesus said: Have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, [the] God of Isaac, and [the] God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead but of the living…. (Mk. 12:26-27)
– Jesus demonstrated how the saints are fully alive when he had Moses and Elijah appear to Peter, James, and John when He was transfigured: And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. (Matt. 17:3).
– The saints know what is happening on earth, for Jesus said: there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7) Heaven is not limited by the physical world, by time on earth, or our puny minds.
– The saints are alive, they are not dead. When Jesus died on the cross: The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. (Mt. 27: 51-53)
– When we ask people to pray for us, we do not interfere with Jesus as the one mediator; likewise, when we ask saints in heaven to pray for us, we do not interfere with Jesus as the one mediator. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5).
– In the verses immediately preceding 1 Tim. 2:5, Paul says that Christians should intercede: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men… (1 Tim. 2:1–4).
– Jesus asked us to pray for others, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5:44).
– Paul asked people to pray for him, just as we can ask this of people here and saints in heaven: I appeal to you…by our Lord Jesus Christ… to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf. (Rom. 15:30)
– Paul also asks people to pray for him many times. (Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25) James writes: The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. (Js. 5:16) We can ask people here and in heaven to pray for us.
– From earliest times, Christians asked for the prayers of the saints at all Masses, celebrating feast days in their honor. (The Catholic Church focuses on union with God through Sacred Tradition and official teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, based on 1 Tim 3:15, which says the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth.)
– The saints in heaven offer to God bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints on earth. (Rev. 5:8)
– Angels do the same thing for an angel stood at the altar to mingle incense with prayers of the saints. (Rev. 8:3–4).
– Just as Mary helped those in need at Cana and Jesus responded with his very first miracle (Jn. 2:1 ff), she hears our prayers by the grace of God, and she will pray for us. There is no greater voice that can be joined with ours than the voice of the Mother who was the first to have the closest, personal relationship with Jesus that anyone could ever imagine. Jesus honors Mary, obeying the Commandment: Honor your mother and father. (Ex. 20:12)
– At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave Mary as a mother to all of us in the person of John. Jesus said to Mary: Woman, behold your son. John’s own mother was there too, and yet Jesus gave His mother to John saying: Behold your mother. (Jn.19:26-27) John calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, which applies to everyone. Since all people are children of God, and Mary is the Mother of Jesus (who is God), then Mary is the spiritual Mother of all people, and she hears our prayers by the grace of God. God will bestow innumerable gifts upon those who ask Mary’s help. Try praying to Mary, and even pray the Rosary, and ask her to help you and she will.
Angels Are Real and They Also Can Hear Our Prayers
Angels really exist and they help human beings. God assigns a Guardian Angel to every person. Jesus said: See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. (Mt. 18:10) Speaking about angels, the Book of Hebrews says: Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Heb. 1:13-15) The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls angels is a truth of faith. (328)
Some Examples of Angels in the Old Testament
Gen. 19 . . . . . Two angels led Lot and his family out of Sodom before it was destroyed.
Gen. 28 . . . . . . Jacob saw a ladder to heaven and angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Ex. 3:2ff . . . . . . An angel appeared to Moses in the fire of a burning bush. God said: This is holy ground.
Ex. 23: 20-21. . God said to the Israelites: Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice.
Ex. 25 . . . . . . . The Lord instructed Abraham to build the Ark of the Covenant with two golden cherubim on it.
Judg. 13:3ff. . . An angel of the Lord appeared to the mother of Samson to say that she, though barren, would conceive and bear Samson and he should be consecrated to God in her womb.
1Kings 6:23ff . Solomon had two angels made, covered in gold for the inner sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant.
1Kings 19:5ff.. An angel woke up Elijah twice and told him to eat.
Ps. 103:20-21.. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word… his ministers that do his will!
Tb. 12:12 . . . . The Archangel Rafael said: And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One; and when you buried the dead, I was likewise present with you.
Tb. 12:15ff . . . The Archangel Rafael said he is one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.
Dn. 6:22 . . . . . . Daniel was not hurt in the lion’s den and he said God sent His angel and closed the mouths of the lions. Daniel’s accusers were then devoured by the lions.
Some Examples of Angels in the New Testament:
Mt. 1:20ff. . . . An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and explained Mary’s pregnancy to him.
Mt. 2:13 . . . . . An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to have him take Jesus and Mary into Egypt.
Mt. 2:19 . . . . . An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to have him take Jesus and Mary back to Israel.
Mt. 3:2ff . . . . . When Jesus was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared to Peter, James, and John.
Mt. 25:31 . . . . Jesus says that when the Son of man comes in his glory,He will have all the angels with him.
Mt. 26:53 . . . . When Jesus was arrested, He said He could appeal to His Father for 12 legions of angels to help Him.
Mt. 28:2ff . . . . Guards fell down at Christ’s tomb when an angel appeared and rolled back the stone.
Lk. 1:11ff . . . .The Angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to tell him about the birth of John.
Lk. 1:26ff . . . .The Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, to ask her to be the Mother of Jesus, saying: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. (These are the words of the first part of the Hail Mary.)
Lk. 2:9ff . . . . . Angels appeared and announced the birth of Christ.
Lk. 22:43 . . . . An angel appeared to Jesus during His agony in the garden to strengthen Him.
Acts 1:10ff . . . After the ascension, two angels appeared saying, Why do you stand here looking up at the skies?
Acts 5:19ff. . . An angel opened the gates and led the apostles out of jail.
Acts 7:30 . . . . Stephen tells how an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush.
Acts 8:26ff . . . An angel directed Philip to an Ethiopian court official. After Philip baptized him, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip awayand he saw Philip no more. (Philip found himself at Azotus next.)
Acts 12:7ff . . . An angel appeared and woke up Peter and led him out of prison.
Col. 1:16 . . . . . Paul praises God, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
A Major Obstacle for Protestants: Bible Alone or Sola Scriptura – A major obstacle for Protestants to believe in praying to saints is the Protestant belief that they rely on the Bible Alone, which is not even in the Bible. However, all Protestant churches and pastors follow traditions. SOME TRADITIONS PROTESTANTS FOLLOW ARE:
– They have traditional and often contradictory interpretations, telling followers what verses of the Bible are more important than others (The Bible itself does not say what verses are more important than other verses are);
– Salvation by accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior or by praying a specific Sinners Prayer is a tradition (which may be a good first step for many people), but is not spelled out or required in the Bible;
– Bibles come from tradition since there is no directive to prepare a Bible, and the word Bible is not even in the Bible;
– Having Bibles –and which books to include– come from Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, since there were dozens of possible writings that could have been included in the Canon of Scripture;
– Observing the Lord’s Day with worship on Sundays (not Saturdays) is a tradition not specified in the Bible – Paul says: stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess 2:15);
– Churches, church buildings, and pulpits are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– Starting new Christian denominations and independent churches are traditions not authorized anywhere in the Bible (The splintering of followers of Christ is a huge rebellion opposing the prayer of Jesus: that all may be one – Jn. 17:21)
– Reading the Bible at church services, giving sermons, and singing hymns are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– The dates of Christian feasts like Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter are traditions, not specified in the Bible;
– Marriages in church, marriage vows, and giving wedding rings are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– Most Protestants believe many teachings that came from Sacred Tradition and from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church like the Trinity, the Virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, the Canon of Scripture, which were debated and defined by councils of the Catholic Church, aided by Augustine, Jerome, Thomas Aquinas, and other saints;
– The Bible Alone theory is a tradition, not in the Bible. (This theory is based primarily on 2 Tim. 3:16-17 – All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – This does NOT say ONLY scripture – Also this verse applied only to the Old Testament since the Book of Timothy was written over 200 years before the Bible existed);
– The Bible actually says the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth; (1 Tim. 3:15)
– The Faith Alone theory is a tradition –that Faith in Jesus Christ Alone saves people– is not in the Bible. James 2:24 says specifically you areNOT justified by faith alone – a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (Faith without love and charity cannot save – it is nothing. (1Cor.13:2)
– To say you are justified by faith alone contradicts an explicit text of scripture (Js.2:24). The Bible actually says there are many other things people must do to be saved, a few of which are listed below.
What must Christians do to be saved? The Bible says there is not just one requirement to be saved, but there are many things that Christians must do to be saved. Some examples are:
– By believing in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16 – whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; and Acts 16:31 – Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved… )
– By grace (Acts 15:11 – But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus; Eph 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.)
– By keeping the Commandments (Mt. 19:17 – If you would enter life, keep the commandments.)
– By Baptism (Mt. 28:19 – Go…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; Jn 3:5 – unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God; Mk. 16:16 – He who believes and is baptized will be saved; Jn. 4:1-2 – Jesus’s disciples baptized; Acts 8:18 – Paul regained his sight and was baptized; Acts 10:48 – Peter commanded Cornelius, his relatives, and friends to be baptized; Acts 22:16 – Ananias said to Paul: Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins; 1 Pet 3:21 – Baptism now saves you.)
– By hope (Rom 8:23-4 – we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. )
– By repentance (Acts 2:38 – Repent, and be baptized every one of you…; and 2 Pet 3:9 – The Lord is not slow about his promise…but is forbearing toward you… that all should reach repentance.)
– By doing works (motivated by grace) (Rom 2:6-7 – For he will render to every man according to his works: …he will give eternal life; Acts 10:4 – Cornelius was not yet saved but an angel came to him and praised his prayers and almsgiving; Js 2:21 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?;Js.2:24 – You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone;Js. 2:26 – faith apart from works is dead.
– By doing works of mercy: (Mt. 25:31ff – When the Son of man comes in his glory… he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.)
– By doing the will of God (Mt. 7:21 – Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father….)
NOTE 1: Catholics know they are saved by grace (Eph 2:5–8), they are being saved (1Cor 1:8), they continue to hope they will be saved (1Cor 3:12–15), they are working out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), they must endure to the end to be saved (Mt 24:13), and with hopeful confidence they will share in the glory of God (Rom 5:2).
NOTE 2: Catholics know John 6:53-54 must be taken literally because Jesus says it four different ways – Jesus said… unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day (see also Jn. 54-59). (This is the only time many of his disciples walked away from Him, never to return.) Paul wrote that those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner are guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord:For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. (1 Cor. 11: 29)
NOTE 3: Bible references are taken from Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible because it is a popular Protestant Bible to help show the references are not just in the Catholic Bibles.
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