Monday, 29 June 2009

The "dead".

Today, I wish to talk about something that is perhaps a little controversial: praying for the dead.

As Christians, we believe that our souls live on after our death. And that we shall be with God in Heaven, unless …. OK – no need to go there for now.

So if our deceased relatives and friends are in Heaven with Jesus; should we pray for them as some people do?

They are already in a happier place than down here on earth. Are we praying for God to look after them? – He is already doing that. Are we praying to them and asking them to intercede with God on our behalf? Well, here’s a subject for a debate if there ever was one.

There are people who believe we should not pray to anyone but God alone. So praying to dead relatives (or Saints) to intercede for us is perhaps a step too far.

Or is it?

As Christians, we believe that people like Mary, the mother of Jesus, Joseph, his earthly father, Peter and the other disciples are all in Heaven with God.

Is it wrong therefore to speak to them and say something like: Peter, in your moments of torment and confusion, you denied Christ three times; I’m sure you understand how I feel right now that my Faith is weak. Please help me in increasing and maintaining my Faith. (Or words to that effect).

Is it wrong to relate to a particular person (Saint) who once lived on earth and to communicate with them as we would with God?

In doing so we are not by-passing God, going behind His back, to obtain favours that He would not approve of. We are perhaps, in our human way, relating to someone human like us, who has lived on this earth like us, who has found favour in the eyes of God.

Having spoken or prayed to these individuals, the next question is: Do they respond?

How do you explain the many instances of miracles that happened, and still do, in the name of Saints?

I am thinking about Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje as well as other miracles performed as a result of prayers said to people like Padre Pio, Pere Charbel Makhlouf and others.

Did these people have anything to do with the miracles performed? Did God grant the miracles of healings asked for in their name? Or did these people (Saints) themselves perform the miracles (i.e. their living souls)?

Remember, the disciples performed miracles when here on earth – so why not perform them in Heaven?

Certainly questions for interminable debates. Yet, at the end of the day it all boils down to one’s beliefs and one’s Faith.

If we really believe that our departed relatives live on – then why not speak to them in prayer? Why not tell them what kind of day we’ve had? Why not ask them to speak to God on our behalf?

Is it truly that far-fetched a proposition?


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  2. I feel praying to the deceased is alittle tricky of a subject. People go to tarot readers and psychic to get "in contact" with their deceased and that is strictly forbidden in the Bible.(Deut 18 10-13) IMO that is uncharted territory that could lead to demonic influence on people. Instead I believe their fate is sealed already whether it be Heaven or Hell and nothing we say or do can unseal their fate.

    Daniel D'Antico

  3. Hi Dan,

    I agree it is a tricky subject - but not one which can be avoided. I also agree that the deceased's fate is sealed - they are either in Heaven or hell.

    We need to consider therefore whether those in Heaven can see us and hear us. And I don't mean just our deceased relatives and friends, but also the disciples like Peter, Matthew, Paul etc ...

    If Peter can hear us; is it wrong to communicate with him as we communicate with God in prayer? Is it wrong to communicate with the Virgin Mary, Joseph, or any of the other Saints?

    Is there anything in the Bible forbiding this communication?

    It then follows that such communications are sometimes heard and miracles do happen in the name of such individuals.

    One cannot possibly deny years of Lourdes, Fatima, etc ... etc ...

    Logically therefore, if we can communicate with Peter and Paul etc ... (nothing in the Bible forbiding this) then why can we not communicate with a relative or friend we know is in Heaven - like your pastor for instance?

    Controversial subject: as I said in my opening remarks.

    God bless.

  4. Vic,
    Yeah it is interesting and it isn't something we will totally know until we get to Heaven, but it does say in the Bible that previous things will not be remembered. Now I don't think everything from this life won't be remembered in Heaven, but things that deal with sin and and that nature will be hidden from our minds.

    I'm not sure if the other saints can look upon us on the earth. IMO it seems like they wouldn't because they are busy praising God and enjoying Heaven and looking upon a depraved sinful world would be dissatisfying.


  5. "...Is it wrong therefore to speak to them and say something like: Peter, in your moments of torment and confusion, you denied Christ three times; I’m sure you understand how I feel right now that my Faith is weak. Please help me in increasing and maintaining my Faith. (Or words to that effect)." -- Quote Victor Moubarak.

    The Bible tells us that there is a great divide between those who have gone before (i.e. died) and those who remain and no one can bridge this spiritual divide - except of course Jesus. Physcics claim to and of course we know what they are speaking to (i.e. demons). This post reminds me that Jesus taught us to pray to the Father in His Name and so I don't understand how we can therefore pray to another in Jesus' Name because it is only Jesus who makes it possible to speak directly to Someone, i.e. the Father because Jesus bridged this spiritual divide for us and it is in His Name that we can enter through to the throne room of God directly.

    Personally, I don't speak to those who are in a different spiritual realm from myself - not just because of what I have explained (albeit it probably not too well) but because I don't feel I need to ask Peter, etc to help me if I am asking the Lord. This is my personal unserstanding on this subject from what I have studied in God's Word but I am interested in your questions concerning this subject... it is an interesting topic.

    W McCallum

  6. Hi Wendy, and Dan again.

    Wendy is correct - there is a great divide between us and those who have gone: wherever they are.

    We do know also that people can and do communicate with satan - despite the divide, he is here amongst us. He can possess people against their will as he did at the time of Jesus and can do now.

    We also do know (or believe) that people like Mary, Joseph, Peter, Paul etc ... died and went to Heaven.

    The question therefore is: are they trapped in a vacuum there? Are we to believe that the devil is free to roam the earth and these people (Saints) are locked in Heaven 24/7?

    Or could it possibly be that they can cross the divide and hear us, communicate with us even, and appear to us?

    What are we to make of the various Apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, Fatima etc ...

    Are they all fakes and hoaxes? Including the miracles which happened at these places and in her name?

    What of the miracles which happened as a result of prayers to Padre Pio, Pere Charbel etc ... Deceptions too?

    Wendy is also correct when she says she prays in the name of Jesus and needs not to pray in the name of someone else.

    It's a good point. But sometimes I ask people to pray for me - to put in a good word as it were in their prayers on my behalf. I often pray for other people - without them knowing even. At church every Sunday we pray for the sick and for members of our congregation.

    What we are doing here is asking God on behalf of someone else. Nothing wrong with that; whether we ask Him directly or through Jesus.

    Having accepted therefore (at least I have accepted - others may still disagree)that there is a possibility that the Saints and the dead in Heaven can hear us - the next step in my logic is: can it really be that wrong to ask them to pray for us; just as I ask a living human to pray for me?

    Let me clarify that I am not intending to convert anyone here. I am asking simply: Is it possible that all the millions who pray to the Saints, who have visited the various Marian and other shrines and witnessed many miracles, are all wrong and have been deceived?

    Peter and Paul (and no doubt other disciples) performed miracles when on earth. Have they now lost that power when in Heaven?

    Controversial? I bet it is.

  7. "What we are doing here is asking God on behalf of someone else. Nothing wrong with that; whether we ask Him directly or through Jesus." -- Quote Victor Moubarak

    Correct... there is nothing wrong with asking Jesus to help someone on their behalf - we are taught through Scripture to do this and such is an act of obedience. However, 'asking to' someone else other than Jesus is entirely different to this...

    I will be honest and say that I have an uneasiness about praying to someone other than Jesus/God. However, I am not wishing to impose what I personally believe on you Victor because that would be disrespectful and you know I respect you very much. This is a contraversial subject (too right) and I respect that we have differing understandings regarding it. That is not to say that I am not interested in your viewpoint however - I just may not agree with it that's all.

    I do believe it is a mark of maturity to agree to disagree respectfully and this is something which true friends share. I count you as a true friend and love you very much in the Lord. You have been and are an encouragement to me in so many ways...

    W McCallum

  8. "You have been and are an encouragement to me in so many ways..." W McCallum

    I hope to continue to be so.

    God bless you and yours.

    Vic M

  9. I have no doubt about that at all :D

    W McCallum



God bless you.