For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
My opinion is that it is not, and it is a strange Catholic practice along with money boxes under the image of the saint who is allegedly answering your prayers, countless repetitions of Hail Mary's for forgiveness of sins, the sale of holy water bottles for healing, plus many other habits.
In my opinion, our spirit or soul is our "self" so we can feel, hear, sense and interact. I believe that our souls do go to heaven or hell when we die. At the resurrection, we receive our incorruptible bodies and live with Jesus in the millennial kingdom. Heaven and Hell are most definitely full of souls. As stated in Revelation, the beheaded martyrs cry out to God for justice.
Throughout my 25 years as a Critical Care Nurse, I can tell you that I experienced many very spiritual transitions. There were times when you would walk into a room with a patient that was near death and palpably feel the "crowd" of angels and relatives that were there to assist on the emminent journey.
Read any NDE or prophetic vision (e.g. Baxter, McCormick, Alexander) of people who were taken to heaven/hell by Jesus and were directed to write about it to warn others of His soon return. These occurrances are statistically happening much more frequently, by the way; ask any Eschatologist! Remember your old and young alike will have dreams, visions and prophecies. But that's a whole other topic.
I feel that we should take our prayers for each other, for ourselves and for the nation directly to the One in charge, Jesus. Why go to an intermediary, when He can actually act on your prayers? Plus it can be misconstrued as idolatry, sorcery or paganism and nobody wants to provoke God to jealousy.
So to borrow from one of my favorites, Warrior On... in Prayer.
I often wonder, what is the success rate on prayers to the dead saints? I've heard of people praying to Sister 'xxx' because she is the saint of divine healing. But how's that working for you? Do you have any proof or evidence of the healing done because of prayer to a specific saint? -I am writing this wondering honestly if there is proof that prayer to a specific Saint came true.
I firmly believe we pray to no one but God.
All these prays to the saints, have any of them been successful?
Let me ask this question: "Is Mary able to pray for us?"
The answer needs to de = NO. Why? Satan has been very successful in most religions, and especially the Catholic Church, to get them to teach that we are all going to heaven when we die. I was at a funeral the other day at the Baptist Church and the preacher also said that she (the deceased) is now safely in the arms of Jesus with her Husband (who died 10 years earlier). This is not biblical !!!
Referring to their deaths, the Old Testament describes David, Solomon, and the other kings of Israel and Judah as sleeping with their forefathers (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 14:20, 31; 15:8; 2 Chron. 21:1; 26:23; etc.). Job called death a sleep (Job 14:10-12), as did David (Ps. 13:3), Jeremiah (Jer. 51:39, 57), and Daniel (Dan. 12:2).
The New Testament uses the same imagery. In describing the condition of Jairus' daughter, who was dead, Christ said that she was sleeping (Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39). He referred to the deceased Lazarus in a similar manner (John 11:11-14). Matthew wrote that many "saints who had fallen asleep were raised" after Christ's resurrection (Matt. 27:52), and in recording Stephen's martyrdom, Luke wrote that "he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60). Both Paul and Peter also called death a sleep (1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:4). The Biblical representation of death as a sleep clearly fits its nature, as the following comparisons demonstrate: 1. Those who sleep are unconscious. "The dead know nothing" (Eccl. 9:5).
Further to the above, the conclusion has to be that all humans who died since Adam are still asleep (with the exception of Elijah, Moses and Jesus) and waiting for our Lord Jesus to come again and take us to the place he promised to prepare for us. This of course includes Mary and all the other Catholic Saints Bishops and Popes. Therefore, Mary and the Saints are not able to intercede for us, because they are still asleep.
That leaves only Jesus to intercede for us, he is the one that redeemed us and paid for our sins with his blood. In his own words "I am the way and the light. No one comes to the father but by me."
Maybe the idea of praying or asking the “saints” maybe is a diversion and distraction so the prayers do not go where they should. This could be a sneaky diversion of the enemy to keep the prayers away from God. Any comments or musings on my thought of praying to saints a way to keep the prayers from God?
In my opinion, God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, hears the prayers of everyone, whether or not they are using an intermediary. I cannot limit God's abilities to do anything. A sincere and contrite heart added to a person's personal relationship with God is all that is required.
Praying through Mary and the saints is not worshipping those people. The prayer is to God. How many times have we prayed on behalf of someone else? I find it hard to understand why many people think that prayer is exclusive. Jesus used many sinners and unbelievers to further His ministry. He spent more time with unbelievers than believers. We are commanded to follow the example of Jesus.
Prayers through anyone are still heard by God. Asking for evidence of the success of those prayers would be tantamount to putting God on trial. How are we, as sinners, able to interpret God's ways in anyone else's lives? Be concerned with your own relationship with Jesus, not someone else's.
Hi John, you have an interesting view and I’m sure that God is hearing the prayers. If he accepts them is a different issue. He hates idolatry. Why would you want to pray to dead people for intercession? They are dead.
The original question was “is it biblical to pray to Mary” therefore the answer has to be NO.
For further information please read my previous posts.