Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community forums. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christian Fellowship Community Forums

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Bede

Understanding Catholicism – Praying to Mary

Recommended Posts

Catholics, Orthodox (and some Anglicans) claim it is legitimate to pray to Mary and other Saints in heaven. Other Christians claim we should only pray to God.

 

Who is right? Well, contradictory as it may seem - both are right, because both are using ‘pray’ in a different way.

 

In Greek there are two words that we translate as ‘pray’, parakaleo and proseuchomai. Greek speaking Orthodox use parakaleo for addressing Mary & the Saints and proseuchomai for addressing God and. We have only the one word, “pray”, and hence the misunderstandings that arise in this.

 

Parakaleo (Strong 3870):

"to call near, that is, invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation):—beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray."

 

This is similar to the etymology of pray given in the Online Etymology Dictionary:

c.1290, "ask earnestly, beg," also "pray to a god or saint," from O.Fr. preier (c.900), from L. precari "ask earnestly, beg," from *prex (plural preces, gen. precis) "prayer, request, entreaty," from PIE base *prek- "to ask, request, entreat"

 

So pray means, at its root, ask earnestly, entreat, beg, request.

 

If you read old English plays you will find phrases such as “prithee sir” (pray you sir) or “where are you going I pray”.

 

Take these extracts from that great English writer, Jane Austen

“But pray, Colonel, how came you to conjure out that I should be in town today?” (Mrs Jennings to Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility)

 

"Oh! cousin, stop a moment, pray stop!" (Fanny Price to Edmund in Mansfield Park)

 

Scripture itself uses the word pray in this manner:

 

Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray (parakalo) thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. (Acts 24:4 - KJV)

 

Wherefore I pray (parakalo) you to take some meat: for this is for your health (Acts 27:34 - KJV)

 

It is in this sense of asking, requesting, petitioning, entreating, that Catholics ‘pray’ to Mary

 

Proseuchomai (Strong 4336)

"to pray to God, that is, supplicate, worship:—pray (X earnestly, for), make prayer."

 

It is this word proseuchomai that is generally used for addressing God.

But when you pray (proseuche), go to your inner room, close the door, and pray (proseuxai) to your Father in secret (Mt 6:6).

 

 

Spirit & Truth Fellowship International (not Catholic) say about parakaleo & proseuchomai:

"The Greek verb parakaleō (#3870 parakale,w) and its noun form paraklēsis (#3874 para,klhsij) have a very wide range of meaning. Further, they appear quite often in scripture (109 verb uses; 29 noun uses). The words’ basic meaning is to call to one’s side. “To call some one hither, that he may do something…to use persuasion with him” (Bullinger). The calling along can be meant to appeal or plead; encourage or urge; to comfort; summon or invite; only once is it applied to God and that by the Lord Jesus (Matt 26:53)."

 

"The Greek verb proseuchomai (#4336 proseu,comai) and its noun form proseuche (#4335 proseuch,), like euchomai and euche, denote prayer in the more general sense. This means the content of the prayer may include various specific requests (aitema), supplications (deēsis), intercessions (enteuxis), etc. However proseuchomai and proseuche are only used as prayer to God (the prefix pros means towards)—whereas euchomai and deēsis are not restricted in this way (Trench, Synonyms). It generally “seems to indicate not so much the contents of the prayer as its end and aim” (Thayer)."

 

To summarise:

Catholics use one meaning of ‘pray’ (Greek parakaleo) when addressing Mary and a different meaning of ‘pray’ (Greek proseuchomai) when addressing God.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with praying to Mary or the dead saints is the we have no idea whether or not they can hear us. We do know that God can hear us.

 

I appreciate your point but before addressing it I would like to clear up the issue of the meaning of 'pray' in the different contexts that I discussed in the OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But praying to dead saints and Mary is to pray to dead which is prohibited in the bible

 

Perhaps you could point out where it is prohibited.

 

Also, since you appear to have no other problems with the OP, can I take it that you accept the different meanings of 'pray' in the two contexts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps you could point out where it is prohibited.

 

Deuteronomy 18:11

Also, since you appear to have no other problems with the OP, can I take it that you accept the different meanings of 'pray' in the two contexts?

I accept the two meaning of pray but the Bible nowhere teaches or there's not even single story or any stuff in the Bible in which people pray to Saints. Make the Bible your authority.

1 Conrinthians 4:6 states Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dt 18:10-11

“There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, 1or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”

 

This says nothing about asking those in heaven to pray for us. It is a prohibition against conjuring up and consulting the dead about the future. Asking Mary to pray for us is very different from some sort of séance.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 18:11

 

I accept the two meaning of pray but the Bible nowhere teaches or there's not even single story or any stuff in the Bible in which people pray to Saints. Make the Bible your authority.

1 Conrinthians 4:6 states Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

 

 

“Do not go beyond what is written.” Do you mean like you have done above?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This says nothing about asking those in heaven to pray for us. It is a prohibition against conjuring up and consulting the dead about the future. Asking Mary to pray for us is very different from some sort of séance.

 

Refer to this link:http://www.gotquestions.org/worship-saints-Mary.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Refer to this link:http://www.gotquestions.org/worship-saints-Mary.html

 

Why?

 

Can't you discuss this yourself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Romans 1:25: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Therefore worship the creater God not the creation Mary.

 

This thread is about "praying" to Mary.

 

So far the only objection to the OP that you have raised has been shown to be false.

 

Do you have any other objections to what I wrote i n the OP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you have any other objections to what I wrote i n the OP?

 

No. The only exception is praying to Mary, dead saints,etc. Mary is blessed among women but that not mean that we should pray to her. Moreover, the Bible does not support praying to or through dead saints, Mary,etc.

Remember 1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

No. The only exception is praying to Mary, dead saints,etc. Mary is blessed among women but that not mean that we should pray to her. Moreover, the Bible does not support praying to or through dead saints, Mary,etc.

 

The Bible doesn’t forbid asking those in heaven to pray for us.

 

Moreover those that those who have gone before us into heaven are one with us. They are all part of the one body of which Christ is the head.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:12-13)

 

When they died to this life they did not cease to exist, their souls did not cease to be one with Christ, to be part of his body.

Jesus said: “..whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:26).

Therefore those who truly believe in Jesus never die. They are still part of His body.

Jesus does not have a body with dead bits in it.

 

Look at this another way. Jesus uses the image of the vine, with us as the branches.

“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:4-7)

Are those saints who die cut off from Christ and thrown into the fire? Or are they still abiding in Christ and still bearing much fruit? Is Jesus still doing for them whatever they ask?

 

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (Jas 5:16). Are not those in heaven righteous & therefore their prayers powerful and effective?

 

Remember 1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus

 

Yes, and what is the relevance of that?

 

Paul asked other people to pray for him (Eph 6:19-20, Col 4:3, 1Thess 5:25, 2 Thess 3:1). If Paul’s asking other to pray for him doesn’t violate 1Tim 2:5 then why does our asking Mary to pray for us violate it?

Or do you think Paul was wrong?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul asked other people to pray for him (Eph 6:19-20, Col 4:3, 1Thess 5:25, 2 Thess 3:1). If Paul’s asking other to pray for him doesn’t violate 1Tim 2:5 then why does our asking Mary to pray for us violate it?

Paul asked people who were alive to pray for him. Can you show any place in the Bible where Paul or anyone else asked someone who had died to pray for him?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul asked people who were alive to pray for him. Can you show any place in the Bible where Paul or anyone else asked someone who had died to pray for him?

 

That wasn't the point that I was making in response to motirattan. Either asking others to pray for us is a violation of 1Tim 2:5 or it is not. Whether the people being asked are alive on this earth or not is irrelevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That wasn't the point that I was making in response to motirattan. Either asking others to pray for us is a violation of 1Tim 2:5 or it is not. Whether the people being asked are alive on this earth or not is irrelevant.

Pbviously it isn't a violation since Paul did it. But the topic of this thread is praying to Mary and my question is relevant to that topic. So what is your answer?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pbviously it isn't a violation since Paul did it. But the topic of this thread is praying to Mary and my question is relevant to that topic. So what is your answer?

 

 

I think I answered that point in post #13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with praying to Mary or the dead saints is the we have no idea whether or not they can hear us. We do know that God can hear us.

 

If they hear our prayers, and we believe that they do, it is because it is God’s will that they do and He will make it possible.

 

God makes things known to people as he wills and makes possible.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." (Acts 9:10-12)

 

God communicates to Ananias that Paul is praying and that he (Ananias) must go and lay hands on Paul. God communicates to Paul that Ananias will come to him and lay hands on him to receive his sight. Neither are omniscient yet they know things that only God can know. They know because God wills that they know and makes it known to them.

 

If God can do that with people on earth then he can do it with those in heaven who are more perfectly joined to him than we can ever be on earth.

 

God has only given us glimpses of what goes on in heaven. Paul was taken up into heaven “and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (2Cor 12:4). We cannot expect to understand God’s ways in any detail. Yet we do know some things, if not in details.

 

We know that those in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth.

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

(Lk 15:7&10)

 

 

‘When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; 10* they cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?"’ (Rev 6:9-10)

 

We also know that (at least) some of those in heaven are presenting out prayers before the throne.

 

“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev 5:8)

 

“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne” (Rev 8:3)

 

“And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One” (Tobit 12:12)

 

If the saints and angels in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” (Heb 12:1). The Greek word used for 'witness' means to give testimony to a judge. What Judge are they giving testimony too? - There can be only one Judge, God Himself, and they are speaking to Him on our behalf.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If they hear our prayers, and we believe that they do, it is because it is God’s will that they do and He will make it possible.

But has God ever told us in the Bible that it is his will for dead people to hear what we say to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[

But has God ever told us in the Bible that it is his will for dead people to hear what we say to them?

 

Two points:

 

1. Mary and the Saints in heaven are alive.

 

2. If you look at the rest of my post, rather than just the first sentence, you will see that I show that those in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth and they are presenting to God prayers of the saints here on earth. Also post #13 addresses this point.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[

 

Two points:

 

1. Mary and the Saints in heaven are alive.

 

2. If you look at the rest of my post, rather than just the first sentence, you will see that I show that those in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth and they are presenting to God prayers of the saints here on earth. Also post #13 addresses this point.

 

 

I agree with the first point. Regarding the second, you have shown that it is possiblefor God to allow those in Heaven to be aware of what is happening on earth. You have showed no scriptural evidence that he actually does so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the first point. Regarding the second, you have shown that it is possiblefor God to allow those in Heaven to be aware of what is happening on earth. You have showed no scriptural evidence that he actually does so.

 

I showed that they are actually aware of what is happening on earth.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for clarifying this for me. I've read the whole thread but I still agree with your point. I pray to God and pray to the saints as well. It's not much of asking for something but more like thanking or gratitude for all that I have in life. My prayers go out to God, first and foremost, but I also include the saints and of course, Mama Mary. I do understand that some sects don't pray to saints or to Mama Mary and I respect that. But in my own belief, I know that I have faith in God and that He has these other saints to help him guide us as well.

 

I will continue praying to Mama Mary but more so, to God. I don't think my faith would be swayed just because of other people's beliefs. As long as I'm doing the right thing, I know God and the saints and Mama Mary is with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • The Defined Understanding of faith for this Easter

      The definition of faith is here on Easter to bless everyone who is searching for the understanding of faith and the blessings that faith will give to your life. This is the definition of faith you have been searching for. This definition of faith deserves to be shared with everyone who loves Faith  & and wants to understand it  

      in General Faith

    • Please help convince me to not convert to Catholicism...

      Hi, my name is James. I hope this is an appropriate use of the forum and not in violation of any etiquette or rules. If not, I apologize. I'm posting to a few different forums in the hope/prayer that people will share with others and help me in my journey as I navigate some questions I have about Protestantism v. Catholicism. I'm hoping to pursue that journey here:   https://inlimbosite.wordpress.com/   Grace and Peace, James

      in Apologetics and Theology

    • Calling on the name of the Lord: Praying to Jesus

      Call on the name of the Lord When one "called on the name of the Lord" in the Old Testament it referred to praying to YHWH[*1] as "the everlasting God" (Genesis 21:33).   There are several passages in the New Testament that demonstrate when one calls upon the name of the Lord it is done in reference to praying to the Lord Jesus as YHWH (the everlasting God).    [*1] Genesis 4:26 Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord

      in God (Trinitarian doctrines)

    • Praying for people to turn to Jesus

      I'd like to offer prayers for all who are hardened of heart, and refuse to hear the Gospel's positive message. It is the most important message any of us will ever hear, and I pray for those who prefer the world's agenda and voice, to Jesus. It's heavy on my heart, this morning. 😞 

      in Prayer Wall

    • Praying (2019-02-22)

      The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16b). View the full article

      in Devotionals

×
×
  • Create New...