I was conversing with a protestant and the topic of praying to the saints came up…I used the example of the rich man in Hades asking Abraham, and essentially Lazarus, for mercy. This was used to show him that the saints can hear and are aware of what is taking place on Earth…and that we can call upon “dead” saints.
I came across this from the internet in regards to this Scripture passage.
Father Abraham, have mercy on me - It cannot be denied, but here is one precedent in Scripture of praying to departed saints: but who is it that prays, and with what success? Will any, who considers this, be fond of copying after him?
I read this and thought wow…even John Wesley acknowledges this as a Scriptural reference to praying to saints…but what I thought was laughable was his logic as to why no one should pray to saints.
Any opinions on how this Scriptural reference could be used logically to support the notion of praying to saints?
Abraham wasn’t in heaven at that time, but was in sheol, the waiting place of the dead before Christ took those souls from sheol into heaven. Sheol, just like hell (where the rich man was) is supposed to be a place under the earth, so perhaps because of “proximity”, Abraham could hear the rich man. But I don’t the argument can be used to conclude anything beyond that.
When we pray to saints, it’s usually asking someone in heaven for their prayers. We don’t ask anyone in sheol, because there is no one in sheol now.
What I still can’t seem to get a good answer to from any protestant/fundamentalist that teaches praying to saints is necromancy, is why then does John in Revelation state plainly that the “He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne….The smoke of the incense, together with theprayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand” when he describes his vision of heaven.
I was told they were talking about the ‘saints’ on earth by someone, but clearly in chapter 7 it states “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple”, so the saints he is talking about are in heaven, not anyone on earth. And why is it that the prayers are mixed with incense? (of course I know why, I’m just trying to get them to think about it: the incense represents the prayers of people on earth, which are mixed with the prayers of the saints in heaven, and delivered to God by the angels).
I’ve asked a few in debates why the saints would need to pray if they are already in heaven…who are they praying for if they don’t know what is going on on earth?
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