Praying For The Dead

On the 2 Maccabees thread, my friend Dick Martin is hard at work trying to convince that praying for the dead is wrong. He’s done his research on Catholicism, and has a passel of quotes from Scripture. But his case for making an absolute prohibition on praying for the dead remains unconvincing.

I’m aware Protestants, especially evangelicals, avoid praying for the dead. My sense is that they do so more to define their non-Catholic spiritual chops than anything else. Praying for the dead is not forbidden by the Christian or Jewish Scriptures. Therefore it remains in the realm of possibility. Likely a matter of taste. That said, I’m sure it can be done to an extreme. But we’re not discussing obsessive spirituality in either that thread or this one. Excess is generally wrong, not matter what it is.

I’m not willing to let my experience of prayer or my interpretation of it remain purely functional. In other words, I don’t only pray for events that have a prayer of working out favorably. For example: I pray for world peace. By the looks of things in Syria, Egypt, select countries in Africa, and in simmering sections of large nations, this prayer is in vain.

I might choose to continue to pray in vain. Why? Because sometimes I’m praying for myself and the people around me. In the words of the song, peace must honestly “begin with me,” because that’s the only person over which I have any smidgen of control. And even though I still offend with words and actions, praying serves to remind me of a godly orientation. On that note, when I pray for the dead, I orient myself to God’s mercy. I acknowledge my powerlessness over my mortality. And I express a public hope that dead people will be taken care of. At the risk of nyah-nyah-ing the issue, nobody gets hurt when I take the time to pray for my own consolation or edification. I’m still a Christian, even though I perform a practice from which some Christians run away for partly political reasons, not spiritual ones.

Christian prayer for the dead is not only intercessory. To identify it as such scratches the surface and misses the mark. Prayer for the dead can be cathartic. It helps us just by doing it. Prayer for the dead can be formative–it reminds us that we are dust, and our physical bodies and earthly existence will return to dust. By mentioning God, death, and a deceased person in one breath, we also conduct a conversation with the Divine. God knows what he will and won’t do. We don’t. But the teaching of the Lord is clear.

In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus says to be insistent in prayer. That’s enough for me. I pray for the dead maybe in a small fraction of my own prayer life. It doesn’t harm anyone. It doesn’t damage my soul. It might not have any effect. But I’m not going to quit because a Protestant brother or sister turns a nose up at it.

In sum, there is no tradition that forbids it, other than as a political stance of the Reformation. And Jesus seems to lean toward the encouragement side of praying for whatever we want. I think I’m going with the Lord on this one.

About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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38 Responses to Praying For The Dead

  1. Dick Martin says:

    Your first paragraph tells me even after seeing these scriptures (being the exact WORDS of God) you still reject God speaking to you . God will bring these scriptures to your remembrance at Judgement. The absents of scripture on praying for the dead is because it doesn’t exist. God does tell us about receiving Righteousness of Jesus so when we die we can go directly into God’s presence . Those who do not have are condemned already. 1st.John 5:12 states Those who have the Son have Life; those who don’t have the Son do not have life. Romans 8:1 states there is now NO Condemnation for those who are (IN CHRIST JESUS) those who are born again. Only Two Choices : Chose Life or Chose Death. There is no free will to chose after death. you will either receive Mercy or Judgement. Your comments are full of tradition and what you think God is thinking. Sounds like you not sure. What is leaning towards mean ? Scripture is always Black and White and it’s never in error. Your going with the Lord on this one? Jesus never spoke on THIS ONE. I’VE examined the evidence and choose life, I hope you do also and your readers. In my Lord Jesus- Dick.

  2. Todd says:

    Dick, lots of things, even spiritual things are absent from Scripture. You never quoted the exact words of God–you posted in English, not Hebrew or Greek. Christians were praying for the dead some the earliest days of the Church. That some Protestants reject it, just shows their unfamiliarity with history and tradition.

    Praying for the dead is not condemned. And even if it were true that once dead a person is a settled matter, my original premise of praying to a God who is outside of time still holds. In the traditional Catholic text, “Hail Mary,” we pray for sinners at the hour of death.

    My salvation is not dependent on observing Protestant traditions, no matter how heartfelt they are. Jesus said whatever we ask is fair game in prayer. And he raised Lazarus. Death is far from the final frontier of salvation, I suspect.

  3. Dick Martin says:

    Todd:

    2 Timothy 3:15-17
    “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
    that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. This is a quote from the Catholic Bible; of which you need to follow the Scriptures, not History and the Traditions of Men. Tradition should NEVER contradict The Word Of God.. God is the SAME yesterday, today and forever. Scripture will make you spiritually wise about Salvation thru Faith in Jesus. Scripture was given to teach , guide, instruct to show you truth. Not thru tradition. Only Things of Importance are found in the Scripture. If Things are not in the Scriptures they are of no significance. God never Grades on a curve. God states very clearly what his Plan is and instructs us in Righeousness. The TRUTH is that we failed every test God has given us. The scripture states that all test were made unattainable to prove to us that we can’t save ourselves. Then Jesus came on the scene to Save us by exchanging our sins for his righteousness. without Jesus we cant make it to Heaven. Praying for the Dead contradicts the free gift of Jesus and His plan of Salvation. Scripture forbids praying to Dead people. Jesus Commanded Lazarus “Come Forth. This was not a prayer but a command.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Don’t ever disagree with Scripture (the Word of God). Love in Christ Jesus. Dick.

    • Todd says:

      Good Scriptures to keep in mind, but I’ll take the word of the Lord Jesus:

      “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

      Jesus didn’t seem to put qualifiers on this. He didn’t say, “Pray for anything except dead people.” Or “Don’t pray for things that some of your brothers and sisters get nervous about.” He didn’t condemn the grieving Martha when she expressed confidence in Jesus taking care of her dead brother, “I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” (John 11:22)

      Jesus even addressed the issue of praying for things to the point of annoying, or seeming to annoy God:

      “I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.” (Luke 11:8)

      Now, my friend. If you choose not to pray for the dead, that is a matter of personal choice, not faith, not theology.

      I would encourage all our readers to pray often, if not always. Pray for anyone and anything. Pray insistently. There is no sin in asking God, especially in asking for grace for people other than oneself. Don’t worry about praying for the dead, if you feel so moved. Whatever the Lord needs to hear from us–no exceptions.

  4. Dick Martin says:

    “Good scriptures to keep in mind, but I’ll take the word of the Lord Jesus.” The Word of the Lord Jesus is ( one and the same) Scripture. John 1: The word was with God. The word was made flesh. Scripture Was God Inspired . The Word is Jesus’ breath, creating life. Scripture and the Word of the Lord Jesus are one and cannot be separated . Scripture is the highest Truth known to Man. Answers to Prayer only happen when you pray according to the known will of God. You have to be in agreement with God’s WILL. God does not agree with your wants or desires. Only GOOD Gifts come from above. The prayers of a righteous man accomplishes much. Righteous means “in right standing”. The Unrighteous person does not accomplish anything. All unright-eousness is Sin. Righteous, Righteousness, are referenced 562 times in the Scriptures.
    It Must have a very important meaning. I can’t find it in the Catholic Catechism anywhere. I am just trying to help some of the readers to get on track. Is there anyone listening? Promenade– Allemande– Do-si-do.. Square Dance that takes you around in circles; Can’t fit SQUARE INTO CIRCLE- you find yourself saying the same thing over and over.. You keep skipping over scriptural truth that you have to agree with. Love in Christ Jesus. Dick

  5. Todd says:

    Dick, my friend, on your side, you have nothing explicit stating that prayers for the dead are even a problem. What you have is some Protestant skittishness–which may be something of an endearing trait.

    Jesus urges us to ask for “whatever we need,” and he actually listens to Martha and Mary after their brother has died. And yes, I’ve been citing the same Scriptures. They are fairly prominent. And you haven’t addressed them as explicit acceptance by God to pray for whatever we need or think we need.

  6. IS PRAYING TO DEAD PEOPLE A SIN?

    Is it a sin to pray to the Virgin Mary and other dead saints?

    Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go Satan! For it is written,’ “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ”

    Praying to any person or anything is worship.

    WORSHIP DEFINED: To revere, stressing the feeling of awe or devotion. Adoring reverence or regard.

    Any worship of anyone or anything other than God is sin.

    The Virgin Mary is not God nor does she have the power to grant petitions of prayer. If men could pray to dead saints and get them answered, then why not pray to saint Moses, saint John The Baptist, saint Abraham, saint Job, saint Enoch, saint The Thief on The Cross or any other dead saint?

    Dead people cannot hear your prayers and if they could they would not have the power to answer them.

    Prayer is worship and only God deserves our worship.

    God knows our every thought. God is aware of every sin we commit. God knows our every move.

    God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Those are the attributes of God and what you would need in order to answer prayer.

    Neither the Virgin Mary, Moses, John The Baptist nor any other dead saint has the attributes of God. They cannot hear you nor can they answer YOUR PRAYERS.

    YES, TO PRAY TO ANYONE OTHER THAN GOD IS A SIN!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search >>> steve finnell a christian view

    • Todd says:

      Hi Steve. Thanks for commenting. One small misunderstanding here, but an important one: Catholics pray *for* the dead. Not *to* them. Your premise is good, but a non-starter for Catholics.

      • Liam says:

        We also pray *with* the dead to God. Like calling up your mother or a friend to join you in prayer. The communion of saints.

      • Liam says:

        PS: Because the dead who have *not* been judged to go to Hell are only dead in the mortal sense, not the immortal sense, and the Christian tradition of centuries is that they can hear and join our prayers by God’s agency and will.

  7. inwinetruth says:

    Just stumbled upon this blog and think I should start following. If a catholic blog can get so many comments from the “proddys” it must be doing something right! : )

  8. Dick Martin says:

    FAITH is believing in the word (the Will of God) of the unseen until the answer becomes sight. when your alive you can apply FAITH to the unseen. After Death your faith BECOMES SIGHT and you can’t apply Faith any longer. Your Saved by Faith in what JESUS accomplished on the Cross. If you tell Jesus in a prayer that you are thankful and want to become a child of the king he will receive you into his family and cleans you from all your sins,PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. You will be Perfect in God’s sight. The Bible says if you don’t do this you are condemned already. When you die all Hope is GONE for those who are perishing. Prayers for Dead are Useless. When you accept Jesus for you payment for your sin he cleanses you and Makes your Spirit Perfect. If you have Jesus you have Eternal Life–No additions or Subtractions.. Without JESUS on your side you won’t make it. I can say it any number of ways but it is that simple. This is all stated in the Bible (The inspired Word of The Living GOD ). God Said It ;I believe it: that settles It. Love in Christ Dick.

  9. Todd says:

    “When you die all Hope is GONE for those who are perishing.”

    The caps don’t make it so. This statement is non-Biblical.

  10. Dick Martin says:

    Todd:This is very biblical. I keep showing You the truth about “NO Understanding of the biblical Message”. You need to have Discernment. The Word in 1 Corinthians 2:13
    These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    1 Corinthians 2:14
    But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually DISCERNED. Hope is the expectation of Future Good and Events The whole premise of Life is to follow God. He has given us instructions to follow and find Eternal Life. Jesus says that those who are (in me) have Life. and those who do Not have me are spiritually Dead. (Eternally Dead).
    Ephesians 2:1-10 This is your condition BEFORE you are Born Again.
    And you who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    This is your condition AFTER you are Born Again. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    not of works, lest anyone should boast. Notice : Not of Works & not of yourselves..
    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. The clergy can,t teach you something that they know nothing about. Grace means UNMERITED Favor, Mercy . It is bestowed on those who accept Jesus and his Free gift : The ability to stand before GOD SIN FREE. I write to you Todd and pray for your salvation ,but mostly for our Readers. Love in Jesus, Dick

    • Todd says:

      It’s a nice try, but John 11 would seem to contradict your interpretation. Usually when a human interpretation of Christianity goes against God, it suggests we need to look a little deeper into ourselves. My premise would be that the random earnest Christian, no matter how well-meaning, is not infallible.

      Additionally, all of your quotes are irrelevant to the point. Good quotes, and good teachings to be sure. But they have nothing to do with praying for the dead. Try again?

  11. Dick Martin says:

    John 11 is about commanding a miracle. raising the Dead. Lazarus still had to account for his life and experience Death over again. The bible says that it is appointed for man once to die and then the judgement. If you are born again their is no judgement for you sins; Jesus paid for those. We already have eternal life. If your not Born again you are condemned already. How can all this be irrelevant when there is no quote about praying for the Dead in the scriptures. My efforts are not random since I show multitudes how to have assurance of eternal LIFE before their Death. The whole point is if you can know you have everlasting life in this life that eliminates praying for dead If you deserve hell you will receive judgement. If you lean on Jesus you will receive MERCY. This has everything to do with not having to pray for the dead. God only hears Prayers in accordance with his Will. All this is in the scriptures which makes it infallible. God says that His Word accomplishes what it is sent out to do and will not returned to Him void. He never lies . Love in Jesus Dick.

    • Todd says:

      John 11 is still an exception to your rule. And I point out, it’s your rule, not Biblical, not of the Lord. Jesus said ask, seek, knock in Luke 11, and he places no restrictions. My claim of your attempts at teaching stand: they are unbiblical.

  12. Dick Martin says:

    You are the bad apple that spoiled the whole barrel. You play leap frog over the truth.
    Proverbs 26:1-5
    As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.
    Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.
    A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back.
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
    Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes. When I quote the bible (biblical) ; it is what it is .

    Revelation 22:19 . The bible curses those who add or takes away from it’s message. This is not my rule but God’s rule.
    John 1:11-13
    He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
    who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. I pray that God have Mercy on your soul, but God has already given you Mercy; it’s Free but you think you have to earn it. Wrong . Gifts are free – Wages require Work.
    Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. DICK.

    • Todd says:

      Strong words, but brother to brother, you have to actually make a connection between me and those Scripture citations.

      It’s not enough to be frustrated in an argument, then resort to condemnation. That is most definitely not the way of Christ. If you have a serious disagreement with me, Jesus teaches that you bring it to me directly before calling me out in the presence of the community. I have yet to receive an email from you, and I’m not that hard to find. Resorting to Bible quotes in the way you have done it most decidedly non-Biblical.

  13. Dick Martin says:

    Todd: Sorry for the harsh words. I felt you were hammering me with you prior comments. How can Bible quotes be none biblical? What better comments could anyone make than to quote God Himself. All things are irrelevant if you don’t “BUY A TICKET TO RIDE.” The Bible states that We can not attain Heaven by ourselves. We have all Sinned and anything that we could do to Pay for our own redemption is not possible .It takes a perfect sacrifice . God saw that we were not capable and God sent Jesus to die in our place. He paid for all sin with the perfect sacrifice. so we are free from the law of SIN and DEATH. Our part is to Receive the FREE GIFT of eternal life. Then the Spirit of God comes and lives in you. Your spirit and The Holy Spirit become ONE. Bible quotes; ” If You have the Son you have Life; If you DON’T have the Son you are lost.” You KNOW you have Life because of the witness of the Holy Spirit living in you. Quote ” Your Choice is Life or Death; Let me help you choose; CHOOSE LIFE. Remember the Great Gulf In the story of Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham, it was impossible to cross. Making the wrong choice or no choice is saying NO to God. He has made provision for you. Because of Jesus when I die I will be in the presents of My Lord. If you believe this you are assured of Heaven. Is there any one listening? All I want is for All of you to Be on Board when we pull Out. Love you in Jesus Name Dick.

    • Todd says:

      You offered Biblical interpretation my friend. You wrote, “When you die all Hope is GONE for those who are perishing.” Where in the Bible did you find this quotation? This statement is clearly vacated by Jesus in John 11. And the Lord advises us to persistence in prayer in Luke 11, giving us his own prayer and telling us to ask, seek, and knock. He didn’t give any qualifiers. He didn’t say, “Don’t pray for these people.”

      Your interpretation that praying for the dead is somehow wrong is unsupported in the Bible. That’s not to say that Christians can get nervous about the idea, and look for unrelated quotes to ferret out some deep or semi-secret knowledge to prove your point.

      Bottom line: you don’t want to pray for the dead? Don’t do it. But don’t presume that your personal choice follows for all Christians. Don’t tell us it’s wrong. Don’t tell us it’s a sin. Don’t tell us its unbiblical.

  14. Dick Martin says:

    Faith is believing in the unseen until your death makes your Faith Sight. What period of time in their life can a Dead person apply FAITH. It has to be before their physical death. This is when the unseen becomes sight and your believing or not believing (CHOICE). After death you have made your Choice–Heaven or Hell. When you die all hope is gone (HOPELESS).
    Revelation 20:15
    And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (THE END) Wooo
    Ephesians 2:11-12
    Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—
    that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE and without God in the world.
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
    But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have NO HOPE.
    if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. Your Faith or the lack of it will become sight after your death and then you’ll know the truth. But you have to choose NOW. After death it’s to late. The Scriptures are the will of God , your road map to get to your destination. Don’t follow a blind person , you’ll both end up in the ditch. yes- good advice: seek and you will FIND- knock and the DOOR will be open Jesus said “I am the DOOR”. Ask and you shall Receive. This is a lot like rearranging the pictures on the wall of the Titanic just before it went under. Love :IN CHRIST” Dick

    • Liam says:

      After observing this pattern for so long, I feel compelled in the Spirit to share this observation with you:

      This serial selective proof-texting of Scripture reduces it to wallpaper. I personally find it offensive to use Scripture that way. It’s not loving, it’s poor witness, and it’s not persuasive. It’s hurling verses at people. It comes across as egoistic and self-serving (it comes across as much more about you doing your evangelical duty than actually trying to find out how Christ wishes to draw particular individuals to yourself).

      It has the opposite effect of what you appear to think it does. And it’s not for hardness of heart on my score. The hardness of heart is elsewhere.

      Gaudium tibi sit semper,*

      * The greeting of the archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobit: 5:11

      • Todd says:

        Liam always gives me good advice. I’d trust his counsel. Rather than try to apply the overlap in several Scripture passages, why not just take Luke 11:5-13 and meditate on it? Take an hour with it and see where the Holy Spirit is nudging you.

        You’ve misinterpreted all those Scriptures in your last post, by the way. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 is exactly about hope. Your caps don’t help your case. In fact, they damage the whole context of the passage, and render it unbiblical.

  15. Dick Martin says:

    You have from the beginning taken the Good and turn it into evil. Every scriptural quote you call non biblical. I have shared with you and your readers (who remain silent ) my Hope that you see the only way to Heaven. Thru Jesus alone. The bible is the road map you to use to find you way to everlasting Life. I use caps to make a point. Anyone can see that. it doesn’t make the scripture non biblical .
    Matthew 7:6
    “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
    Matthew 23:27 -28
    For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
    Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. It makes no sense to continue this match of whit between God’s Word and man’s tradition. traditions to numerous to list . Non biblical list.
    1 Corinthians 2:13-14
    These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Ask Jesus to come into you heart and make you a new creation one who has never existed before. you who are dead spiritually will become a child of the King. At that moment you have eternal assurance. Say something that agrees with God’s word. May God Bless you according to His Will. Dick

  16. Todd says:

    “You have from the beginning taken the Good and turn it into evil.”

    I checked with my wife, who knows me a lot better than you do, who has known me a lot longer, and who gets more exasperated with me.

    It seems to me you are frustrated that I do not agree with you, and yet I seem to be a Christian. So you seem to have literally demonized me.

    This approach is unbiblical. Does your charge follow the prescriptions laid down by the Lord in Matthew 18:155ff, especially verse 16? It seems it has been another brother who has taken you to task for your approach here. Do you have a friend, a pastor, a Bible scholar to support you?

    I don’t say that in an effort to win an argument here. If you don’t want to pray for the dead, I have no intention or desire to force you. But you are the one who has come as a guest into my “space” and insisted that I’m not only wrong but I’ve turned something good into “evil.”

  17. Dick Martin says:

    There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end is eternal death. God dealt with man from recorded History in many different ways. Adam with a time of innocence; Adam failed . During Noah’s time God use Human Conscience and man failed.= Flood. Then Human Government and man failed = confounded language and Tower of Babel man failed again. then the Promise thru Abraham. All these were to show man he was disobedient and could not saves himself. Then the Law thru Moses =Disobedient again. Jesus came to fulfill the Law. and God is now dealing with Man Under Grace. Saul who became Paul Received a new Revelation. Sin comes from the Law, to strict to keep. We have all sinned and nothing We can do to pay the price .Our sacrifice is not perfect enough. Jesus paid the price , the perfect sacrifice. You must apply His substitutionary sacrifice to you Spirit. Nothing else can stand before the Judge . Those who receive this will have Grace applied and get a free pass into Heaven. Those who do not will be Judged by the Law. The Epistles are the section of the bible where Salvation is Found. Old testament is Old for a reason ; Nerw Testament is called New for a Reason. Sin Has been Paid for and there is “Now no condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST JESUS”. Caps for emphasis on Things to notice. I am 75 yrs.Old. I was born and raised Catholic, Catholic School 12 Yrs. Very faithful to Stay hook-up. Married at age 21. At age 36 I was invited to a Catholic prayer meeting .(Charismatic Movement) 400 people were there and 2 Nuns and 1 Priest. I signed up to go thru the seminar . 7 weeks using Catholic books all approved by the Church (Imprimi Potest). Taught that we are Lost ; A great Gulf seperates us from God and can not go to the other side in our own strength. Only Jesus can bridge the chasm for us by his payment for our Sins. When you receive his substitute sin payment; you are made perfect; able to stand in the presence of God Perfect. This is called (Righteousness). Bible calls this being Born Again. You become “One with” which is the definition of the word Baptism. There are 3 different Baptisms mentioned. Jesus provided and paid for you ticket to Heaven. Why would you need prayers (Your way) for those passed on in death if Jesus provided a way, the only way. Jesus said;” I am the WAY”. It has to be His way or No Way. Love in Jesus Dick. I wonder if we live close to each other? Is there any one else out there?

    • Todd says:

      I appreciate the sharing of your story above your ability to cobble together Bible quotes that have nothing to do with the point I raised.

      The same Christ Jesus you capped (it’s the equivalent of yelling–and yelling gets you nowhere) said to ask, seek, and knock–even if its the real or metaphorical midnight. Praying for the dead has a long tradition, and even if it is powerless in the sense of human beings being able to liberate souls to go to heaven. the Lord assures us of his approval of praying for anything.

      Praying for the dead isn’t required. Neither is attending a charismatic prayer meeting. Each of these are flavors of Christianity. Each are means of expressing faith, and responding to the grace of Christ.

      Dick, have you taken Luke 11:5-13 in prayer? Meditated over each word slowly and asked for the grace to see what the Lord is saying here?

  18. Dick Martin says:

    I am trying to help you see what Jesus provided for you and your readers. Jesus connected the line of communication (Prayer) between Us and the Father, which was severed when Adam fell. and God only hears prayer when you are born again. He does not hear the prayers of a sinner. Only the cry to Jesus to save them does He hear. For service to be restored you must pay what you owe. No one can pay because it cost to much. Jesus paid for all debt owed. ” If Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed”. Prayer does not work if the lines been cut. If your not born again your father is the devil and he will give you an answer and make it seem it came from the true God for satan’s tricks are to deceive, kill, and destroy. Here’s another Pearl. I taught what the Catholic Church provided in the seminars and recorded hundreds born again This was a refreshing Flavor of Christianity. can’t deny the sucess of millions and their Testimonies. Luke 11:5-13 Be persistant in Prayer. God answers prayer if you know it is His Will . If it is not His Will = no answer. Dick.

  19. Todd says:

    “… the line of communication (Prayer) … which was severed when Adam fell…” non-biblical

    “He does not hear the prayers of a sinner.” non-biblical

    “If your not born again your father is the devil …” speculation in particular instances, non-biblical, and un-Christian.

    “I am trying to help you see what Jesus provided for you and your readers.”

    This is where you are tripping yourself up. This website and many others like it are not optimal even for the host to preach. This is a discussion. You have pulled unrelated Scriptures to further a view of intercessory prayer that goes against the direct example of the Lord as well as his teaching.

    Granted, praying for the dead is optional. One doesn’t have to pray for any particular class. But that some people have done it from before the time of Christ seems to suggest that believers find it a comfort, and it is an expression of Christian hope.

    My suggestion, Dick, is to take this discussion to my email. Nobody else seems convinced, and indeed you seem to have irritated at least one of the readers here.

  20. Dick Martin says:

    Ephesians 2:1-3
    And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Made alive is the born again event that connects you ( Reconciliation) who were dead .Were by nature. If not alive to your heavenly Father thru being Born again you are still lost and separated. VERY BIBLICAL.
    John 9:31
    Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. VERY BIBLICAL
    John 8:44(NKJV)
    You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. Father is the Devil. VERY BIBLICAL You don’t believe it and your NON_BIBLICAL comments are very Traditional. No basis for Truth. This is not Wallpaper. This is not cobbling scriptures together. I cap words to highlight ,not to shout or scream . your always on the defense; Maybe you should study and quote the bible more. Eternity is at stake here for you and all the readers. if you don’t get this right you’ll probably hate me for all eternity.

    • Liam says:

      I certainly don’t hate you. I merely believe your method to witness-by-Internet on this blog is significantly.counterproductive and says much more about your needs than about Christ or us. The way you message here gets in the way of Christ, all your prolepses notwithstanding.

  21. Dick Martin says:

    Quoting scripture is never counterproductive . God sent out his Word and it will accomplish what is designed to do. I am guaranteed of heaven so I have no worries for myself. I am doing this for your benefit and all that Hunger after righteousness. This conversation ends up as a witness-by-internet because the original topic has no scriptural truth. Know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 1: Jesus is the Word. All my comments are based on scripture; inspired by Jesus himself. Love in Christ– Dick

  22. Dick Martin says:

    Not Ego. If you would read your bible instead of the catechism, you would see eternal security all thru scripture. Here’s one of many.
    Ephesians 1:4-5
    just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
    having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, He chose us in Him. In Him happens when you become born again. Without blame and adopted us as sons. I received His most precious Gift of Himself . See sealed and preserved. I am because of him. Thank you Jesus. Dick

  23. Dick Martin says:

    You should study this entire Blog ,every word that comes out of the mouth of God. May you find a personal relationship with Jesus. You can. Christianity is not a Religion but a way of life in a relationship with God. May Jesus Be with you. Love Dick. Do not reply.

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