Should We Pray to Dead Saints?
There are verses in the Bible that say that we are not to try and communicate with the dead. The “dead” are those humans who have already died and passed over to the other side – whether it be to heaven or to hell.
I believe God is telling us with the word “communicate” that we are not to even try and pray to them.
The reason is obvious. They are in heaven.
They are not omnipresent like God is. And even if someone should try and pray to them – there is no way that person would even hear your prayers to begin with unless God would allow it or would transmit the prayer to them.
Even though that dead saint is up in heaven – this person still has no power on his own to make anything happen for you. The best they could do for you is to pray direct to God.
So why waste your time praying direct to a dead saint who does not have God’s full, supernatural power to answer your prayer in the first place – and who probably will not even hear or pick up your prayer anyway, since the chances of that dead saint being tuned into your specific prayer at a specific time are probably a million to one.
When Jesus was walking in the New Testament – He specifically told us that we are to pray direct to God the Father if we have any specific needs that must be met.
There is not one verse that I am aware of where He told us that we could also pray direct to dead saints. If God the Father wanted this possibility as an option, then I believe Jesus would have specifically told us so in the New Testament – but He did not!
The reason for this is because God the Father is a jealous God. He, and He alone, is our one and only true God and Father. He, and He alone, is the only One who has the full supernatural power to answer any of our specific prayer requests.
Jesus’ death on the cross has now opened up the gates to heaven. The Bible tells us that we can now boldly approach the throne of God for prayer and intimate communication anytime we want. If you will notice, it says to approach the throne of God, not the thrones of dead saints!
I personally believe that when some people start praying to dead saints instead of going direct to God the Father, I think they may actually be hurting God’s feelings.
Here God is, sitting up in heaven, only wanting to help us in this life – and then all of a sudden He sees one of His own going direct to a dead saint who has no supernatural power on his own to answer any part of their specific prayer request.
However, I know He knows that many of His people do it out of ignorance because they really do not know what the Bible says about all of this, and they do not understand how the big picture is all set up.
Here are some specific Scripture verses telling us that we are not to attempt to commune with the dead. The clue is in the word “medium” or “spiritist.” A medium is one who attempts to call up the dead in order for that person to be able to communicate with that dead person. This is what you call a basic seance.
There are several well know mediums right now who are all over the place on TV actually doing séances for people to try and reach their dead loved ones. If God the Father is condemning this kind of activity as you will see in the following verses – then I also believe that you can extrapolate on this and assume that God does not want you trying to communicate direct with the dead even on your own.
If God does not want a medium trying to contact the dead for you – then I also believe it is safe to assume that God does not want you trying to contact the dead through any kind of prayer effort on your own. When you start trying to pray to a dead saint, you are attempting to try and communicate directly with the one you are praying to.
- God the Father is the only One who has the full supernatural power to answer any of our specific prayer requests.
- God has it set up through His Son’s death on the cross that we are to approach His throne, and His throne alone, with any of our specific prayer requests. He does not want us going to anyone else, either in heaven above or on this earth.
We can ask others down here to pray for us and with us, to pray in agreement with us, but we are not to pray direct to any human down here for them to actually answer any of our specific prayers.
So if it would be ridiculous for us to pray to someone else down here on this earth to actually answer any of our specific prayers, then it only stands to reason that it would be just as ridiculous to pray direct to a dead saint up in heaven to answer any of our specific prayers.
The other question some people have on this is if they can pray and ask a dead saint to pray direct to God for them as an actual intercessor. Again, even doing this is still an attempt to try and communicate with this dead saint, and as such, I do not believe God wants us doing this. There are enough people down here on this earth that we can ask to pray for us and with us without having to go direct to dead saints who are living up in heaven.
The Scripture Verses
Here are 4 very good verses specifically telling us that we are not to have anything to do with “mediums” or the “calling up of the dead.”
- “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.” (Deuteronomy 18:9)
- “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)
- “And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” (Leviticus 20:6)
- “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.” (1 Chronicles 10:13)
Notice the words “calls up the dead,” and the statement that God makes that this practice is an abomination in His eyes! When you are attempting to call up the dead, you are attempting to try and directly communicate with them.
Notice that God uses the word “prostitute” as an analogy. You are prostituting yourself against God when you start seeking supernatural help or guidance from any one else but Him!
King Saul got into big trouble with God when he asked a witch to call up the prophet Samuel who had already died. He literally incurred the wrath of God when he did this, and this eventually led to his downfall and early death.
Notice the verse says that the reason Saul was trying to call up Samuel was for guidance. Instead of going direct to God the Father for the guidance that he was needing, he tries to contact one of God’s dead saints. Samuel was a great man and a great prophet of God, but God was wanting Saul to come directly to Him for any guidance that he was needing, not to a dead saint!
This story is a perfect example showing that we are to go directly to God the Father if we need any help with anything, not to any dead saints who are living up in heaven.
Also notice the very intense language that God is using when He is warning us not to attempt to try and communicate with the dead.
He is telling us that it is an “abomination” in His eyes, and that He will set His face against us if we try and do it. He also says that this kind of activity “defiles” us in His eyes. I do not think God could give us any more of a stricter warning on this issue than by the way that He has worded all of the above Scripture verses.
Even though some people are not consulting mediums when they are trying to pray to dead saints, I believe they are still trying to communicate directly with them through their direct prayer efforts and they are thus violating a basic direct commandment from the Lord on this issue.
I do not know if this will help your friend or if she will agree with any part of this, but those are my thoughts on this issue and what I feel God is trying to tell us through His Word on this subject.
Many people are engaging in séances these days, as it is a big part of the New Age Movement. Trying to do any part of this could be major door openers to the dark side. Demons can definitely come in on some of these people who try and play this game.
Many times, the medium is literally taken over by a demonic spirit masquerading as a dear, departed, loved one, and a demon is literally speaking through the medium’s vocal cords imitating the departed love one.