Praying to Dead Saints: A Case of Religious Necromancy

In respect and fairness to the Roman Catholic Church teaching, they do not teach the worship of statues or images but they only venerate or give the representative of these things a high form of great respect. In fact, I have nothing against giving great respect to the spiritual giants of our faith like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, E.M. Bounds, Martin Lloyd Jones, Derek Prince, Billy Graham, and even other living saints in the Christian world like Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Ravi Zacharias, and others. Truly their lives are a model of spiritual living. We talk about them and even use their examples as inspiration in living holy lives.

There is nothing wrong if believers will ask the intercession of other living believers if the latter are still alive. We can see this examples in the early church practices (see Col. 1:13, 19; 1 Thess. 5:25; Heb. 13:18; Jam. 5:14; 3 Jn. 1:2). However, problems will surely follow if Christians start asking for their intercession by talking to them if they are already physically dead as if they are more nearer to God than us. And this is where the Roman Catholic Church faithful fail to follow the Scriptures. They start talking directly to them in the form of novena and prayers as if they are conversing with physically live people. This practice falls under the category of what the Scripture calls necromancy or inquiring from dead people. A quick glance at the Douay-Rheims Version of the Roman Catholic Bible shows how the Israelites were warned to avoid this practice saying,

Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:11

I suggest that the Roman Catholic pious read every form of novena directed by by them to any dead saints like Padre Pio, St. Aphonsus Ligouri, Mary, Mother Teresa, St. Joseph, San Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Joseph, St. Martin de Porres, and the others. Allow me to show you a form of intercession prayer directed to a particular saint then study if this violates what the Scripture says.

Dear holy servant of God, [name of saint], we pray today for healing. Intercede for us! God healed you of cancer and others were healed by your prayers. Please pray for the physical healing of… (Mention your intentions) These intentions bring us to our knees seeking your intercession for healing. We are humbled by our physical limitations and ailments. We are so weak and so powerless. We are completely dependent upon God. And so, we ask that you pray for us… Pray for us, that we will not let sickness bring us to despair We know, St. Peregrine, that you are a powerful intercessor because your life was completely given to God. We know that in as much as you pray for our healing, you are praying even more for our salvation. A life of holiness like yours is more important than a life free of suffering and disease. Pray for our healing, but pray even more that we might come as close to Our Lord as you are. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!

But the Scripture clearly says that we ask the intercession of His Son Jesus Christ. You may want to check the Scripture passages below.

For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:

1 Timothy 2:5

Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died: yea that is risen also again, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:34

Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25

If this is the case then some questions need to be answered with sincerity.

a. Are you not satisfied and contented with Jesus Christ who lives to intercede for you?
b. Don’t you trust the Lord in His Word on how to pray to Him?
c. Don’t you believe the Lord when He said that necromancy is an abomination to Him?

It is my prayer that we will always follow the word of God that serves as our authority and spiritual guide in life and conduct.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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