What is prayer to you?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Glen Seeker, May 25, 2003.

  1. Glen Seeker

    Glen Seeker
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    Most Protestants decry the fact that Cathoics pray to the saints. Why? Is it because they each see prayer differently?

    It seems to me that the word PRAYER in Protestant terminology is equal to WORSHIP.

    Catholics don't understand the word PRAYER that way. To us, Prayer is simply talking to someone you know who loves you. For instance, if I go to the gravesite of a loved one and start "telling" him or her about my day, children, troubles or anything else, that is a type of prayer.

    Catholic prayers to the saints are the same thing.
    We know that the saints are alive in heaven and that they offer up prayers at the altar of the lamb. Surely they aren't offering prayers for themselves, for they have been perfected and have reached their etenal reward. They can't be praying for those in Hell because no amount of prayer will help them. The only logical explanation is that the prayers they offer are for those on earth. Whose petitions they hear through our talks (prayers) to them.

    Don't take my post as being official Catholic teaching. I never finished college and don't pretend to be any kind of Apologist.

    I just wondered if you consider prayer and worship to mean the same thing.
     
  2. Abiyah

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    Hi, Glen.

    I believe you are asking a valid and vital question.



    Prayer to me, as a Torah-observant believer, is: </font>
    • Talking to my Creator who knows
      me better than I know myself, who
      knows my beginning and end, who
      knows my faults and talents, and who
      loves me anyway</font>
    • Expressing to my God what I think
      of Him</font>
    • Verbally complying with His desires</font>
    • Telling my desires to my God</font>
    • Asking or requesting of my God</font>
    • Verbally seeking forgiveness</font>
    • Verbally requesting help from our
      God</font>
    • Recitation of Scriptures which
      express His desires for us and those
      which tell about Him</font>
    • My verbal expression of praise and
      or worship</font>
    I believe that the above is Scripturally supported.



    I could be very wrong in this, but I think that
    because Catholics are reared with a totally differ-
    ent mind-set, they do things like this, while those
    reared non-Catholic do not do this. Am I wrong?
    Personally, I know no one who would go to a grave
    site and talk to the one buried there with any idea
    that they are really talking to them. We believe
    that they are dead to this world, alive in another,
    and that they cannot interact with us in our (and
    their) present state. 8o)

    When my first husband died, I went to the grave
    site, but it was to seek closure for me and to keep
    our very young children connected with him in
    some minor way. I did not talk to him, because I
    believed he was with the Lord and could not hear
    me.



    I do not believe that dead people hear us. 8o) I
    believe they are dead to this world. I cannot think
    of any Scripture that would support the idea that
    the dead know what is going on here in indivduals'
    lives. 8o)
     
  3. Ps104_33

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    Glenn Seeker,
    Can you please show me somewhere in the Bible where someone prayed to anyone beside God?

    "An act of the virtue of religion which consists in asking proper gifts or graces from God. In a more general sense it is the application of the mind to Divine things, not merely to acquire a knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. This may be done by acts of praise and thanksgiving,(worship) but petition is the principal act of prayer."

    Read more:

    Click Here

    [ May 25, 2003, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: Ps104_33 ]
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    Ps104_33 I think you mean other than idols.

    There is NO scripture that supports praying to anyone other than God the Father and there is NO scripture that supports the Catholic mindset that a priest has the Hand Of God on him while hearing confession.

    'Saints' are chosen by mere men, not by God. Saint Joan of Arc was considered a heretic, crazy and a witch even through the time of Shakespeare. It wasn't until about 500 years after her death that the Catholic church decided she wasn't crazy and made her a saint.

    Diane
     
  5. Yelsew

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    Your explanation implies that the saints are praying for help, rather that merely talking to a friend as you described in your previous paragraph.

    What makes you think the departed saints can hear our prayers?
     
  6. BobRyan

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    Glen,

    Good points to search out.

    As you point out - even praying to some dead ancestor/relative at their grave - is not only a form of prayer - it is a form of worship. Add the candles and incense and any hindu / Budhist on the block would gladly join you.

    Here is note posted on a similar thread...

    Prayer is faith in action - worship - devotion - action taken based on "faith" in the one that you are worshipping. Faith that they CAN hear, Can help - and will help. Faith that says "instead of praying to God Now - I am Now praying to You".

    BTW - we find no instance of saints "praying in heaven for those that are on earth".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. Carson Weber

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    In 2 Maccabees, Judah has a vision in which St. Onias the high priest shows him Jeremiah the prophet, now in heaven, praying..

    "And Onias spoke, saying, 'This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God'" (2 Maccabees 15:14).

    Protestants will not tend to like that passage since it is from one of the deuterocanonical books-the seven books of the Old Testament that Martin Luther cut out of the Bible-but the same is taught in the New Testament, for in the book of Revelation we read:

    "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" (Revelation 5:8).

    This shows us the twenty-four elders, who represent the leaders of the people of God in heaven, offering to God the prayers of the saints on earth. They therefore must be interceding with God by presenting to him our prayer needs.

    And it almost goes without saying that the angels intercede on our behalf:

    "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; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Revelation 8:3-4).

    And Jesus himself told us that the guardian angels of little children have guaranteed access to the Father to intercede on behalf of their charges:

    "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10).

    Only conjuring up saints and angels is forbidden by the Bible. Talking to those in heaven is not forbidden. In fact, it is encouraged, for in the Psalms we pray to the angels to ask them to join us in worshipping God:

    "Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Psalm 103:20-21).

    "Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!" (Psalm 148:1-2).
     
  8. Carson Weber

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    James Akin, a former Evangelical Protestant Christian who is now a Catholic Christian, answers most of the questions I see on this thread here:

    http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/praying.htm

    If you're sincerely looking for Catholic answers, I suggest reading this article; it is very thorough.
     
  9. Ps104_33

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    Carson,
    OK, what is a saint?

    BTW Carson. Why is just about everyone you quote a "former Baptist" or a "former Protestant turned Catholic" Do you realize that if evrey time some of us Baptists made the remark "former Catholic turned Baptist" we wouldnt have time to write anything else? My Pastor is a former Catholic, as well as my wife, but I'm not goint to constantly remind everone of that fact. What is your agenda?

    [ May 25, 2003, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: Ps104_33 ]
     
  10. Carson Weber

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    what is a saint?

    A "saint" is a Christian. Saint comes from the Latin "sanctus", which means "holy", and Christians are "holy" insofar as they are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

    Why is just about everyone you quote a "former Baptist" or a "former Protestant turned Catholic"

    Because it shows that such an individual converted from one position to another, and in the vast majority of the characters I present, the conversion was intellectually based, albeit supernatural. Due to this development in intellectual matters, such an individual has come to see the Biblical basis for Catholic doctrines, and so they would be a good source to turn to. It shows the credibility of Catholic doctrine, which wouldn't be embraced by a Bible Christian if it weren't Biblically based.

    If I only presented cradle Catholic authors, there is an implicit tendency for my audience to imagine, "Oh, well, they believe in that doctrine just because they're Catholic - not because it's truly Biblical." By giving converts, I am placing a greater credibility behind the sources I use.

    That's my agenda.

    99% of every Catholic whom I will refer who once was a Protestant will tell you that they are thankful for their Protestant background, that their Protestant heritage was solid and good, and that they see their acceptance of Catholicism as the fulfillment of their Christian life as a Protestant, not the abandoning of a false system of belief - unlike the majority of ex-Catholics with whom I have dialogued over the Internet. But, of course, we're making generalizations aren't we? Perhaps that's not the best thing to do, and perhaps we should stick to the issues, which is my purpose for posting. I want to inform the members and non-members of this board - not to coerce, but to present the veritas in all its splendour.

    What do you think about Akin's article?

    [ May 25, 2003, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
     
  11. BobRyan

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    I guess I missed the part where it is stated in 2 Maccabess that "Jeremiah was in heaven praying" and I also missed the part where Onias states that this is a "current event" regarding Jeremiah.

    In fact 2Maccabees states clearly that this is not the result of a prophets vision - but rather Maccabeus is "encouraging his men with a dream that he had". In Maccabeus' dream he sees "Onias who HAD been high priest, a noble and a good man... was praying with outstretched hand for the Jews... then a man APPEARED, distinguished by his GRAY HAIR..and of marvelous majesty and authority." -- in the Dream of Maccabeus - Onias says that Jeremiah prays much". Jeremiah then gives Judas Maccabeus a golden sword".

    All this was merely a dream that Maccabeus had - and he is telling his men his dreams to encourage them. However, even in the dream - Maccabeus does not see Jeremiah praying - rather he sees Jeremiah giving Judas Maccabeus a golden sword - something that he obviously does not really have - the dream was not "real". And far from Onias actually testifying/witnessing/claiming that Jeremiah is in heaven praying - the entire episode with Onias IS ONLY IN the Maccabeus' dream as well.

    So the entire "PROOF" is inflated upon the basis of a "dream" where even the testimony of Onias is only the words of a dream of Judas.

    So in the "confession" above - we see that not only do we not find saints praying in heaven for the people of earth in the 66 books of the Bible - but EVEN if we go outside that - we only see a "dream" of Judas being used to encourage his army to fight and the WITNESS of Onias - is only IN THE DREAM where Jeremiah gives a golden sword to Jeremiah.

    Well that is true - but in addition there is no actual testimony from Onias in "real life" - it is just a dream. Might as well claim Josephs' dream of the stalks of wheat bowing shows "real wheat in heaven".


    "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" (Revelation 5:8).


    This shows 24 beings in heaven - that are not known to be anyone on earth - and they lift of the prayers of the saints - but nothing here says that the 24 elders are dead - or have died or even that they are ex-humans and nothing here says the saints that are praying - are dead or have died.

    The text does not identify the 24 elders with "leaders of Israel" as some had hoped.

    Speculation piled upon conjecture to form a kind of "proof". But the text says nothing about these beings in heaven being dead, or being human or having been deceased or that they ever were human.

    In any case it only weakens your argument since
    There are no cases of NT saints "praying to Elders in heaven and asking them for favors".

    The same holds true here - there are no cases of NT saints praying to angels.

    There are no cases where we are told that these angels are dead humans - or ever were humans.

    And there is no case where we are told that the prayers of the saints are prayers TO angels or that the saints praying "are dead".

    Matt 18 says nothing about the angels "interceding" - but more significantly - this teaching is at the start of the Gospels and STILL we find no case of anyone after that time - praying to an angel and asking for intercession.

    The "Action" that these stories are supposed to promote - is never seen, never taught, never promoted by the NT authors. And in the telling the story they don't say that prayer is inovled - where anyone prays to one of the 24 Elders OR prays to an Angel. IT just isn't there.

    We have no doubt that Angels exist and that they have access to the throne - but is anyone found praying to them? No not in scripture.

    The Elders exist - but no one is praying to them as well. It is only the saints that are praying and their prayers appear to be going to God - nothing about prayers "to others".

    So you are saying that the Matt 17 "transfiguration" is "forbidden" or do you admit that Elijah was translated and never died?

    Do you consider the Angel speaking to Mary as "something conjured up"?

    songs that are sung - are not prayers to angels any more than they are prayers to hills and mountains and trees that are also called upon in those songs to give praise to God.

    Please be serious.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Ben W

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    Prayer to me is simply talking to God. It is a good thing to set aside time for devotions, yet I have found that talking to God throughout the day is quite helpful.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    Classic quote from Carson's web reference justifying prayers to the dead - the "Dead in Christ"

    Notice the bait and switch? The QUESTION is about Praying to CHRIST in heaven as our one MEDIATOR BETWEEN God and man - but the SWITCH is to note that SINCE we fellowship with living church members on earth - and eat with them - and go to church with them - and ask them to pray for us -

    well then mayyyyyyybe -- just mayyyyybe that is the same thing as praying to a dead guy - thinking that the dead are in heaven MEDIATING BETWEEN God and man. As If Christ's Work in MEDIATING between God and man as our high priest IS THE SAME as the work done by our neighbor when we ask him to pray with and for us.

    So - now the BIG question. How in the world do they ever get anyone to "go for that" argument?

    Seriously - you have to already BE praying to the dead to view that argument as "acceptable" - it could never be viewed as compelling to someone that was not already doing so.

    What am I missing? Was there some "other" (presumably "better") argument that is being used when one "really" wants a compelling argument for this practice?

    In the mean time - get out the candles - the incense and get to praying to the dead ancestors, the "Dead in Christ" (1Thess 4) and see how many millions and billions (Hindus, Budhists, RCs) etc join in with glee.

    It is a very popular past time as it turns out. You can not challenge them on that point.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. GraceSaves

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    You have not defined your definition of prayer, or if there is more than one type of prayer, so by saying this you are begging the question. We must know what you say prayer is before you can say it is not written about in a Catholic sense in Sacred Scriptures.

    Who said anything about having the hand of God on him? Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the apostles before granting them the task of forgiving/retaining sins in His name. Thus, they are doing God's work, assisted fully and completely by God the Holy Spirit. It's in Scripture, whether you agree with the interpretation or not.

    Why not read up on things before you espouse knowledge of them. Saints are not chosen by anyone but God, and the Catholic Church has never claimed differently. There are so many countless "unsung" saints that we don't know about. The Catholic Church merely selects some that are obvious to us. They are only "declared" to be "saints" so that we might know of their pre-existing condition. They are in Heaven already; we merely acknowledge that. They are not "made" saints, they are merely recognized as such.

    Please get it straight.

    May God bless you this evening,

    Grant
     
  15. GraceSaves

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    Notice the bait and switch? The QUESTION is about Praying to CHRIST in heaven as our one MEDIATOR BETWEEN God and man - but the SWITCH is to note that SINCE we fellowship with living church members on earth - and eat with them - and go to church with them - and ask them to pray for us - </font>[/QUOTE]Clever, Bob. But incorrect. Let's think on this, okay? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our only mediator between "God and man," right? Right. But Jesus IS God. And Jesus isn't being weirdly redundant here. He has a purpose. He is our mediator between us and God the Father, His Father. Jesus provides us with unprecidented access to the Father. In agreement? I hope so.

    Thus, there is no bait and switch. It is a short answer to the question, yes, but you also quoted without the surrounding context (which he mentions in his answer). So, by that alone, this is a bit deceiving. Carson's argument is clear: that saintly intercession does not take away from Christ's intercessory role BECAUSE THESE TWO ROLES ARE NOT THE SAME THINGS. Two different things do not cancel one another out. Thus, saintly intercession, which is prayer directed to THE SON, and not THE FATHER, does not cancel out the SON'S INTERCESSION WITH THE FATHER.

    No bait and switch except in your mind.

    More insinuation and pushing of your SDA beliefs on soul sleep, Bob. You still are not espousing that the Son and the Father are two distinct persons (yet one God). Reread what I wrote above.

    We don't pray to the dead, but to those TRULY LIVING WITH CHRIST IN HEAVEN! Sorry to burst your lil' bubble.

    Bob, I must admit. Our arguments certainly aren't compelling to you because you have never really listened to them. You continue to espouse the same non-answers to our explanations, and thus the circle keeps going around. It is not a fault on our end, but yours. &lt;b&gt;If I am wrong, please tell me in plain words how others praying to the Son of God is equivalent to the Son praying to the Father.&lt;/b&gt;

    Yes, Bob, that is definitely you're favorite one-verse-wonder. Of course, since Budhists do not believe in an afterlife, I have idea what you are talking about...or maybe you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Bob, you have no argument, because you refuse to acknowledge the real Catholic belief in this regard.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  16. GraceSaves

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    Thank you for answering the question. [​IMG] God bless you and your prayer life!

    Grant
     
  17. dianetavegia

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    And Rome receives a telegram with this prior selection which Rome then announces? Show me in scripture where people are to be chosen as saints and prayed to/ worshiped and kept as graven images.

    Give me the scripture that states priests are needed to assist God by hearing confessions and forgiving sins. The term 'hand of God' on the priests has been used by other Catholics on other threads.

    I gave my thoughts on prayer on another thread. Prayer is talking with my Father in heaven. I do NOT need Saint anybody for that. Vain repetition is spoken against by Jesus several times in the Bible.

    Jesus said, about Mary
    Diane
     
  18. GraceSaves

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    I'm not going to spell out in detail the process of how a person is recognized as the saint he or she is. I recommend doing some personal study on the matter. However, your sarcasm is very noted; if you don't want to take the discussion seriously, that is your call. Making jokes only shows you have a lack of respect for those who believe differently.

    And, again, you beg the question. What does worship mean, and where is it stated by the Church that we are to worship them as gods? I'm searching, but not finding anything here. Oh, and we also worship them as graven images? Perhaps, as I have suggested twice now, you research the beliefs of others before you ridicule them, and ridicule things that are false in regards to those beliefs.

    Amazing how you want me to provide you with quotes, but your references are stated in passing ("used by other Catholics on other threads.") Where is your share of the worrkload in this discussion? The teacher is only as effective as the student is at participating. Don't ask questions if you aren't going to actively participate yourself, please.

    John 20:21-23. Jesus shares his peace with his apostles only. He breathes the Holy Spirit on them. He commissions them to forgive/retain sins. Why am I repeating myself? Again, disagree with the Catholic interpretation all you wish; that does not take away the value of our interpretation, which, frankly, is quite literal.

    So you do not pray to the Father through Jesus? And I assume you never ask others to pray to Jesus on your behalf (family, friends, people in the pews)?

    And exactly WHAT does vain repetitions have to do with this? Who is praying in vain (without care)? Who is praying repetitiously? Better yet, who is doing both of these (since that is what is condemned)? And what does that have to do with this discussion? If you wanna discuss vain repetitions to saints, do it in another thread, since that is an auxilary discussion.

    Oh, and for someone who speaks of things not being in Scripture, you sure do paraphrase a lot (as above, speaking about what Jesus said) without backing it up. Please point to the "several" places Jesus condemns vain repetitions.

    Diane </font>[/QUOTE]Really? I don't see Mary's name anywhere. I don't see where it says "My mother." I don't see where Jesus says, "My mother is not blessed." What I do see is that Jesus clearly states that biological relationship to Him ("breasts" and "womb") are not what make us blessed, but rather it is our personal relationship with God and our obediance to His Word. As Catholics, we believe that Mary is indeed the Mother of the Son of God, but she was chosen precisely because of her immense faith, which itself was completely a gift of God. How many more times would you like to beg the question?

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  19. Eyes on Jesus

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    Prayer to me is:

    A moment from my heart to God's
     
  20. Glen Seeker

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    Love your answer. Thank You
     

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