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  • Mary Prays for Us

    I was stunned to find out the other day that Mary (the one from the Bible, Jesus' mother, the one Catholics are all into) prays for me.

    No, bear me out. It surprised me as much as it surprises you. In fact, this isn't at all either a Controversial Issue or even a World Religions thing, but I put it here for safekeeping. It's actually in the Bible, as clear as day. Perhaps if a moderator or admin (for I am a minimod, though I don't feel like overstepping my bounds on this one) wants to, they can shift this to Bible Chat?

    Anyhow. How did I come to such a conclusion as the shocking title suggests? Is it biblical?

    Of course it is. Mary prays for me. So does Saint Peter. So does Saint John. So does Saint Andrew. So does every single saint that a Catholic has ever sought a prayer from. Now you see why I stuck this in World Religions, eh?

    But actually, I don't think this is a Catholic doctrine or a heresy at all. What is a Catholic asking when he or she asks Mary to pray for him or her? Well, it seems to me that this Catholic is addressing one of the Hebrews 12:1 cloud of witnesses and asking for her intercession. Is this okay?

    Hebrews 7:25 tells us what Jesus is up to right now: He is interceding for us. That's cool.

    What are the saints (as in, the redeemed who have shuffled off the mortal coil and are in heaven) doing right now? Revelation 5:13 has every creature in heaven and on earth worshipping the Lord. Whether that's now or later depends on your eschatology. Even without this, I think it would be fair to assume that Mary (and everybody else in heaven) is occupied in communing with the Lord on a fairly regular basis.

    Revelation 6:9-10 depicts the saints in heaven crying out to the Lord and interceding for His judgement to come upon the earth. That means that the martyred (and presumably just plain dead) saints from all of history are in heaven now interceding for us.

    So basically, it comes down to that old Wesley number, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, noting that our God is praised by "the church in earth and heaven." It might be a little redundant, but are the Catholics really committing a cardinal vice by asking a dead saint to pray for them when she is (by all biblical evidence) already doing so?

    And is Mary praying for us, along with the rest of that great cloud of witnesses?

    I am not a Catholic, and I do not want this thread to devolve into a discussion of any other Catholic doctrines that may or may not be heretical. This idea gave me pause for thought, and I'm looking for feedback. Replies consisting of, "Yes...but the Catholics also do such-and-such" will not be tolerated. Let's take a good hard look at this one, people. Thanks for your input.

  • #2
    You fail to say how you 'found out the other day' that Mary pray's for you.

    And, you fail to mention a scripture that would support that fact, since Mary is dead and buried and we normally can have no contact with the dead.

    Sorry, but Hebrews 12:1 just doesn't do it for me.
    A single verse that is so vague as that, well, seems like straw clutching.

    Comment


    • #3
      My personal belief is that the saints are not yet ascended, but that aside, what you have presented makes sense. Looking at it that way presents a question... Should we ask them to pray for us though? That's where I have the problem.

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      • #4
        1Titus 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Duane Morse View Post
          Sorry, but Hebrews 12:1 just doesn't do it for me.
          A single verse that is so vague as that, well, seems like straw clutching.
          Correct. That verse in no way proves that those who have gone on before us intercede for us.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Duane Morse View Post

            And, you fail to mention a scripture that would support that fact, since Mary is dead and buried and we normally can have no contact with the dead.
            1. Mary's body is dead it is true*.

            But her spirit (which is what is praying for us) is alive in heaven, is that not true? Arent the saved in heaven spiritually alive?

            And ps before anyone starts to go on about necromancy, praying to Mary, and her praying for us is not contacting the dead. We are not contacting her, we are not physically speaking with her.

            2. Mary currently is all spirit. *

            The anegls are also all spirit.

            In the bible, Gabriel comes down to visit Mary. He speaks to her. There are visions of anegls all across the OT.

            If the angels, who are spirits in heaven, can help us, than why cannot Mary, who si also a spirit in heavne? Whats the difference?

            *with the Protestant beliefs, to make it easier
            "Death is not the end of life, but a change in life"

            "Innocence is ugly
            to the one who is guilty"
            -10 Years

            Holbrook Johnson: "Those who reason are lost."
            GK Chesterton: "Those who do not reason are not worth finding."

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            • #7
              With all due respect, Mary is no different than any one of us who are believers in Christ.
              Yes she was very blessed to have been the mother of Jesus, I don't dispute that, but she needed a Savior also, and I don't find any scripture to support the idea that the dead intercede for us.

              I mean no offense when I say that I believe our focus should be on Jesus, not Mary or anyone else.


              Jeanne
              Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded declares the Lord, and they (your children) will come back from the land of the enemy. Jeremiah 31:16-17
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you can discover He is the rock at the bottom

              All the forces of darkness cannot stop what God has ordained. Isaiah 14:27

              Comment


              • #8
                The belief that dead people are currently alive in a place called heaven is debatable and not held by all Christians.
                The Bible says that when we die we will be with the Lord.
                It does not say that immediately after we die, we will be alive in a physical or spiritual place called heaven watching and listening to living people and passing their prayers on to God.
                The book of Revelation is symbolic and does not have a definite time frame assigned to it's contents. In fact, Rev. 6:9 occurs when the fifth seal is opened and to my understanding that has not happened yet.
                The Bible does not give a lot of detail about what happens to people after they die.
                ...be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:16-19

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bing View Post
                  I was stunned to find out the other day that Mary . . .prays for me.
                  and at that point you would have been well advised to check your Bible, where you would have discovered that there is no communion between the living and the dead. . . Mary being dead, completely separated from this world. The only one who prays for you and for the rest of us individually, if we are Christians, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

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                  • #10
                    Ah, here's my can of worms! No, but seriously folks, I'm taking this topic seriously. In turn, here are my responses to the objections that have thus far come up:

                    First, I "found out" not through some weird mystical encounter where Mary appeared to me and offered me a tuna sandwich, but when somebody pointed out to me the logical conclusion of the idea of the heavenly saints and what they get up to.

                    Secondly, in response to suggestions of necromancy or other weird stuff, I have stopped well short of suggesting that we ought to ask the saints for prayers. The only biblical record I have of that is Saul, and he's not a role model I want to emulate. I know Catholics do that, but I'm just assuming it's redundant and leaving it at that.

                    Thirdly, the claim that the saints are not in heaven right now, or are comatose, or are otherwise in some sort of limbo, I refute with Luke 23:43. I know that will not end the debate, and I know that not all Christian denominations believe that Luke implies what I think he implies, so I'll leave it with that.

                    Duane's point is the best (from 1 Timothy 2:5) where he reminds us that there is one mediator between God and man, that being Jesus Christ. But I respectfully ask him to place this in context:

                    "...God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time..."

                    This passage does not claim that Jesus is the only one who speaks to God. The Holy Spirit speaks to God. Satan speaks to God (Job 1:9). We speak to God (in most of the New Testament doxologies and throughout the Old Testament). Paul tells Timothy that we must be saved to commune with the Father, and that it is only through Jesus Christ that we who were far off can be brought close again, by the ransom that Jesus paid.

                    To prove this, Duane, have you ever asked a friend to "pray for you"? If the above passage means what you say it means, then you have acted against scripture, as the prayers of your friend have no avail. Count up the number of times Paul asks the churches to "pray for us" - admittedly the churches are living people - proving that 1 Timothy 2:5 is not saying that Jesus is the only one who can pray for us, but that it is saying Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).

                    Finally, to Toymom and those others who have protested my use of scriptures from Revelation as symbolic (which I dispute hotly - and we can visit that in End Times Chat later!) I ask them what the symbols in the two scriptures that I quoted (Revelation 5:13 and 6:9-10) actually mean, if they do not mean that the saints are in intercession.

                    I also ask all concerned what the saints are doing right now, and for some biblical evidence. I also reassure everybody that I am not praying to Mary, or any other saint, or soliciting their prayers. I am, however, fairly confident that they are praying for me...as members of a heavenly prayer meeting led by Jesus (Hebrews 7:25).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      we are the saints: we pray while we are alive...

                      saint:"hagios" -most holy thing

                      Romans 12:1-"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

                      1 Corinthians 6:19-"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?"

                      1 Peter1:16-"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

                      1 Peter 2:9-"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"

                      I do not believe that anyone but Jesus Christ is praying on our behalf right now...or ever will.

                      I believe that Revelation 6:9-10:

                      -9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"



                      is speaking of those who have been killed for their faith and are waiting for judgment on those who have killed them. I do not believe that this has even happened yet.



                      Paul speaks freely about being a saint and calling others saints..there is plenty of Scripture for that, which I will only share if asked. The way that Catholics believe in saints, they can't be one until after they have died.



                      I love Mary, and I look forward to meeting her one day. But she won't be busy praying..she is and will be in awe of being in the presence of her Savior Jesus Christ..just like me!
                      Last edited by karenoka27; Oct 3rd 2007, 02:11 AM.
                      .................The message of the cross divides the human race." ~MW~

                      ........ ... " LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant..."
                      .................................................. .................................................. ...Nehemiah 1:11a



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bing View Post
                        To prove this, Duane, have you ever asked a friend to "pray for you"? If the above passage means what you say it means, then you have acted against scripture, as the prayers of your friend have no avail. Count up the number of times Paul asks the churches to "pray for us" - admittedly the churches are living people - proving that 1 Timothy 2:5 is not saying that Jesus is the only one who can pray for us, but that it is saying Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
                        Actually, no, I have not.

                        I can pray on my own, and I do not need any go-betweens other than Jesus. To me, asking someone else to pray for me is simply passing the buck to someone else and cluttering up the 'prayer-waves' with useless repeats.

                        Many voices asking will not be heard by God any more clearly than a single voice. And getting someone else to ask for me will not get God to do anything any differently.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Elders & devout Christians play a special role praying for us: we should ask them to

                          Thanks for your carefully considered input, Duane Morse!
                          Originally posted by Duane Morse View Post
                          I can pray on my own, and I do not need any go-betweens other than Jesus. To me, asking someone else to pray for me is simply passing the buck to someone else and cluttering up the 'prayer-waves' with useless repeats.

                          Many voices asking will not be heard by God any more clearly than a single voice. And getting someone else to ask for me will not get God to do anything any differently.
                          But that doesn't seem to be what the Epistle of James (5:14-16) says. In fact James directly tells us to ask for others' prayers, as I read it.
                          Originally posted by James 5:14-16
                          Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

                          16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
                          As I read it, James says (i) "pray for one another that you may be healed" indicating the importance of mutual prayer; (ii) "the prayer of a righteous man avails much", indicating that it is important to ask specially just and holy people to pray for one; and (iii) that people have the church leaders, the presbyteroi [elders, leaders, priests?] pray, as this is a key to having the sick be healed, and sins forgiven.

                          I don't see how that is compatible with the view that it's "useless" or worse of me to ask other people -- especially, very righteous people, and leaders -- to pray for me. Scripture here seems to tell us to do just that!!

                          In friendship,
                          Scruff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            On the other hand, Jesus said to pray for others in 2 (only 2, as far as I know) verses, neither of which was to pray for each other or indicating that we should ask others for prayer.

                            Mt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

                            Lu 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This usually boils down to whether you believe the saints are alive or dead. Jesus says they are alive,
                              Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

                              In context,

                              Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

                              Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

                              Mat 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

                              Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

                              Mat 22:33 And when the multitude heard [this], they were astonished at his doctrine.


                              So here Jesus has said the dead are like the angels, and they are not dead.

                              Then there is the parable where He speaks of one praying who is in hell, so to speak, to another living saint (or dead if you don't believe their alive) Abraham.

                              Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

                              Sounds pretty lively to me and not dead. And all three (Abraham, the rich man, and Lazarus) are not in their earthly bodies (but are as Jesus said, as the angels).

                              Then there is the example of Jesus Himself, literally standing in front of the disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration, speaking to Moses and Elijah.

                              That is plenty evidence for me (including what Bing pointed out in the OP).

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