What does the Bible say about praying for the dead?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Praying for the dead is not a biblical concept. Our prayers have no bearing on someone once he or she has died. The reality is that, at the point of death, one's eternal destiny is confirmed. Eithe...

July 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Aurel Gheorghe
To better understand if there is a Biblical basis for praying for the dead, we must first address the Biblical truth about what happened when we die.

The Bible refers to the state of death as a "sleep" and that the dead will be "awakened" (resurrected) at the end of time, some, "to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 15:51). 

Also The Bible says that the dead "know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5), they "do not praise the Lord" (Psalm 115:17), and that their thoughts have perished (Psalm 146:4; Eccl. 9:10).

In John 11:11-14 Jesus refers to Lazarus’s death as a sleep. That tells us that the dead are really dead. Lazarus was not in heaven nor in hell, was asleep in his grave (John 11:17). The dead are into a state of dreamless sleep, awaiting the resurrection at the last day (1 Corinthians 15:52). 

Jesus Himself, after He was crucified and died was buried in a grave and then resurrected on the first day of the week without going immediately heaven (John 20:17). 

Knowing that the dead are in a state of dreamless sleep, awaiting in their graves the resurrection, praying for their souls would make no sense and is not Biblical.

September 23 2015 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

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