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Praying To Dead Saints

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.

Bottom line:

  • 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.

IDY ETUK

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Should a christian attend the releasing of sky lanterns into the sky, in remembrance/death anniversary of a friend's loved one. Thank you.

Conor Lyons

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

It’s important to realize that all those biblical passages are referring to mediums as in using spirits to get stuff done for us. That’s witchcraft and demonic dealings. Praying to saints is an entirely different idea. They aren’t mediums, and it’s true they aren’t powerful in themselves. Praying to a saint is just like asking a Christian friend here on earth to pray for you. They go to God with our requests, just like friends here. This is actually a full affirmation of the Church’s unity and wholeness. The saints in heaven are not separated from us, but are part of the very same church that we are.

Shaun D..

Monday 29th of June 2020

Conor

But they have passed from this earth and do not dwell in flesh and blood here on earth like a Christian friend you can talk to in person.

If you are referring to going to a saint that is Alive on earth, than that is like going to a Christian friend to ask them to pray for you.

I hope that helps clear it up.

Daniel

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

I understand that mediums can come in all shapes and sizes. But could you explain how praying to a saint isn't using them as a medium?

While the living followers of Christ do meet, and we do pray for each other. This is a world of a difference from praying to a dead church friend and asking them to pray on your behalf. Which, is not even what Catholics, or Orthodox do- they pray to the dead, who they don't even know. Why should we consider these to be "just like" one another?

Gottfried

Wednesday 18th of May 2016

WOW. There are real perversions of the scripture in many of these comments. Jesus is the ONLY one resurrected from the grave who said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father accept through Me". No other person in the Bible said that. We are all called saints if we have accepted Christ as our Savior. We are joint hiers with Him but we by no means have the power to forgive sins. Only God can do that. The Bible says that the dead in Christ will rise first upon His return for us. The Bible needs not be interpreted by our finite little minds compared to the finite wisdom of God. When people die, they do not become ghosts or angels. For those who follow Christ, their spirits are taken to be in His presence (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). Those who did not follow Christ are tormented until final judgment (Luke 16:22-23). There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that the dead have influence over events on earth. In fact, the Bible says that there are no grief, tears, or unhappiness in heaven (Revelation 21:4), which seems to preclude those in heaven from even knowing what is happening on earth.

Instead of holding the dead near, the Bible warns us to have nothing to do with trying to speak with the dead. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says that God will drive out those who call up the dead. Leviticus 19:31 says that meeting with a medium or spiritist defiles the one who came, and Leviticus 20:27 says the punishment for being a medium or spiritist was death.

There is one account of a medium in the Bible actually communing with the dead. In 1 Samuel 28, beset by the Philistines, King Saul goes to a medium (literally: "mistress of the ghost") to get advice from the late prophet Samuel. When God does allow Samuel to show up, Samuel responds "Why have you disturbed me…?" (vs. 15). Samuel was not pleased about returning his attentions to earth. He did not want to leave where he was.

Only God is able to hear our prayers and answer them wisely. He is never out of our reach (Psalm 139:7-12). He is powerful enough to do what we want (Revelation 19:6). But He is also wise enough to know what we need (Psalm 147:4-5).

There are two verses which, taken out of context, seem to suggest praying to the dead. The first is Hebrews 12:1 which starts, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight …" This verse directly follows a list of Old Testament people who are noted for their faithfulness to God. The "cloud of witnesses" surrounding us means Old Testament saints. But it does not mean those saints are literally surrounding us. Instead, their legacy and example permeates the church, giving us encouragement to live as we should.

The second verse is used to justify praying to saints. James 5:16b says, "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." Some take this to mean we should ask the righteous in heaven to pray for us. But the verse comes on the heel of several admonitions for the letter's audience to pray for healing and repentance. There is no mention of praying to the dead or asking the dead to pray for us.

Praying to the dead is unbiblical. The Bible condemns it as both useless and dangerous. Very often, personal issues are left unresolved when a loved one dies. Those left behind may wish to speak the words they needed to say beforehand, in hopes that the dead can hear. If the dead was a believer, they most likely give no thought to their earthly trials. If they weren't, they will be tormented forever. Either way, they can't hear us.

Instead, speak to the only One Who can bring closure to our own hearts. Tell God how you feel, what you think about the other person, and whatever regrets you may have. Jesus is the only mediator we need; because of His sacrifice "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). The power of Christ in us brings healing, not the involvement of the dead.

Maria Murphy

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Excellent , people tend to think ie r catholics that its diffrent when they pray to dead saints in heaven that its diffrent from going to a medium because its themselves that are praying to these dead saints , But there is no diffrence from praying to the dead saints , and calling them up through a spirit medium they are still calling them up , because they are asking that dead saint to do something for you,

Jb

Friday 13th of May 2016

Josie, you study the bible but you lack true interpretations of what you read because you read it in the flesh, TO side a demonic doctrine in the name of denomination, rather than have the holy Spirit teach you His word so that the truth can set you free once you believe. THE very revelation 5:8 you talk about is a future revelation of what is going to happen when we have left this earth and the new heaven and earth is set, and you can read from verses 1-14. To understand better, so if you want to continue praying to saints, you are free, but at the end you will have yourself to blame for involving in doctrine of demons...

Quanda

Thursday 29th of October 2015

Hi I would really appreciate some clarification here. I have a friend who is born again two years now. She says she has regular visits from the saints, who communicate with her and also the apostle Paul. (yes from the bible) she says she has many visions and encounters. I told her I believe this goes against scripture and is necromancy. She got upset with me and saidsaid, "I do not conjure up familiar spirits, I don't go looking for them, they come to me and I test the spirit). Now I know the bible says to test the spirits but it also says do not communicate with the dead. So I'm confused and not sure what to believe. She says moat church going Christians are too religious and Gods doing new work in us. Advice please and blessings.

naomi

Thursday 16th of April 2020

She needs to make sure who is really speaking to her because the Bible says that the devil has changed himself into an angel of light. She needs to make sure that demons are not coming to her in the form of saints. Thanks