Can the dead pray and intercede for the salvation of the living?

4 oct 2011 | ora 10.54 Doctrine | Vasile Filat

Question:

Can the dead pray and intercede for the salvation of the living? Can St. Mary or St. Peter or St. Stephen the Great or other saints make such prayers and their prayers to be heard by God?

It is not a a biblical doctrine to appeal to other saints so that they may intercede with Christ and so we may be saved. I think that this is the imprint of the Moldovan or Romanian, or even Russian thinking, that one must necessarily have someone close to the big ones and so to use them to intercede for him and to gain things or services he wants. : Here is an example of a common prayer to St. Mary Magdalene:

Saint Mary Magdalene, woman of many sins, who by conversion became the beloved of Jesus, thank you for your witness that Jesus forgives through the miracle of love. You, who already possess eternal happiness in His glorious presence, please intercede for me, so that some day I may share in the same everlasting joy. Amen.

The Scripture clearly says:

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, theman Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)(NASB)

That is the service of Jesus Christ, to intercede with God the Father for us, and in another place it is written:

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)(NASB)

The whole book of Hebrews was written to urge the recipients to have boldness to draw near to God through Jesus Christ. The Holy Word says to us, too:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)(NASB)

And in the same epistle it says:

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:19-23)(NASB)

God help us all put our hope in Jesus Christ and through Him, to have the boldness to approach God to be saved. Do not look for solutions that are not solutions, ignoring the solution offered by God.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru

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I am the pastor of the ”Good News” Church in Chisinau, Moldova, I teach God's Word at the Inductive Bible Study Institute of Eurasia, and I also lead the "Precept Ministries in Moldova” Association. With God's help I founded the Taekwon-Do club " Stolas Leukas ""English for a New Life" School, the Computer School "ScripTehInfo", the International Sports Coaching School and the International Media School. I am married to Anastasia, and we have three children. Since April 2007 we have provided answers from the Bible on this website to 1190 questions submitted by readers. To learn more about me, please read here.
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