You say that praying to the Saints is supported in Scripture. Please produce all the Scriptures from Christ and the Apostles that support this assertion.
Let’s start with this one:
King James Version (KJV)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.
Granted, it is the prayer of a dead person to another. But it illustrates several truths which are the basis of Apostolic teaching of prayer to the Saints:
1st. Those who have died physically remain alive spiritually.
2nd. They are aware of themselves and of the things occurring on earth. In their exchange, Father Abraham and Dives (i.e. the Rich Man) show that they are cognizant of things that are happening on earth.
3rd. The authority of the Saints is recognized.
a. Dives calls Abraham “father”. And assumes that Abraham has the authority to send Lazarus here and there.
b. Abraham, on his part, does not say, “wait, let me consult with God.” He makes decisions readily. And behaves with authority.
4th. Abraham and Lazarus are pictured together. They have a personal relationship because Lazarus is resting on Abraham’s bosom.
5th. Here is the difficult part. Dives, who is not a Saint, but a resident of a place which is not remotely associated with heaven, is INTERCEDING for his brothers. ???!!! If, a person in the after life, who is not a Saint, is interceding for his brothers in this life, WHY CAN’T THE SAINTS WHO HAVE DIED IN CHRIST?
Matthew 10:40-42King James Version (KJV)40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
In the name of a prophet, a righteous man, or a disciple? What? Aren’t we only supposed to pray in the name of Christ? Not according to Jesus. Anyone whom He sent in His name is acceptable to Him.
Hebrews 12:22-24King James Version (KJV)22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
If we are in the Church, we are already walking with the Saints in heaven. Why can’t we turn to them, then and ask for their intercession?
There are many others, but it takes spiritual discernment to understand them.
My response to Ken over at Apologetics and Agape, where he asks the proverbial question,
Should Roman Catholics pray to Mary and dead saints, or be using statues to pray to Mary or dead saints?
From my perspective, the big problem is the way in which Protestants and Catholic approach Scripture. In this case, the New Testament.
Prayer to the Saints rests upon the idea, that all who die in Christ are alive in Christ.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Therefore, we are permitted to pray for their intercession in our behalf because they are, in a certain sense, more alive than we, since they are closer to the source of life. And besides, we are walking with them upon Mount Sion:
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
All of us who are baptized, walk upon that Mountain, with the Saints. It would be rude not to speak with our brethren. Ruder still to deny their sanctity.
Scripture says that we, who believe in Christ are members of His Body:
Romans 12:5 (KJV)
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
So, unless you believe that Jesus is dead, you must believe that the Saints are alive. All of them. We don’t fall off the Body of Christ when we die. Do we?
Those are just a few of the Scriptures which show that the Saints of God are alive. There are many more. In addition though, there are Scriptures which show that the Saints in the after life are aware of that which is happening on earth.
Luke 16:24 (KJV)
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.
If you are familiar with the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, you know that Jesus recounts the story of three people who have died. And yet, they are conversing with one another. In addition, Father Abraham expresses knowledge of the condition of Dives’ (aka the rich man’s) brothers.
Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Notice that we are surrounded by witnesses. The term “witness” is here used as a double entendre. First of all, they witnessed their faith by their life. But if that were all, they would not surround us.
The fact that they surround us is evidence of the fact that “witnesses” is being used also in the sense of one who gathers information and reports it to another. These are spirits of men made perfect amongst whom we walk, right now (Heb 22-24).
Don’t believe it? Have you not read in Scripture what Elisha said?
2 Kings 6:17
And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Now, there are some who say that they feel confident that they are worthy to approach Jesus and the Father, without going through our advocates. Then you should read in Scripture:
King James Version (KJV)
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Note the next verse that I will post, these men approached Jesus with confidence. What did Jesus say?
King James Version (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
And then there are these fellows who approached the Father in prayer:
King James Version (KJV)
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
So, that is why, I believe the Catholic Teaching of the Communion of Saints.