What would be the point of asking for intercessory prayers if the people we are asking are not aware of us or of our prayers? Well we can find that they ARE aware of us in:
Heb 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Mt 17:3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
(If Jesus didn’t want any contact between saints on earth and saints in heaven, why did our Lord make a special point of appearing to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration in the company of Moses and Elijah, two ‘dead’ saints? (Patrick Madrid))
Rev 6:9-10 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?
Luke 15:10 …There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
We have just learned that the ‘dead saints’ are indeed aware of earthly doings, but can they do anything about it? Are there intercessory prayers effective? Of course there are. Prayers of the righteous availeth much (Jas 5:16). Who are more righteous than those in heaven?
I feel I must make clear that Jesus alone is our mediator, John Henry Cardinal Newman pointed out:
The Catholic Church allows no…Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to come between the soul and its Creator…The devotions then to angels and saints as little interfered with the incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love which we bear our friends and relations, our tender human sympathies, are inconsistent with that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen. (Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, p.284-285)
We can therefore see that asking saints to pray for us (whether they are ‘living’ or ‘dead’) is acceptable, approved by God, and availeth much. The communion of the Saints is nothing more that the recognition that saints after death (and angels) are more alive than us, aware of happenings on earth, desirous of aiding us, and able to be asked for help and to assist us with their prayers of intercessions, always through Jesus, just as saints who are still ‘alive’ are able to do for us.
Can this practice be found in the 2,000 year history of the Christian faith? We’ll answer that next week.
Text adapted from http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap070100.htm