As part of their belief in the role of the saints as professed in the Apostles Creed, Roman Catholic Christians petition the intercession of the saints.
The apostle Paul frequently asked other fellow believers in Jesus to pray for him.
James asks presbyter believers to pray over other believers.
Prayer appears to be the normal way for believers (saints) on earth to support one another. Probably all of us have asked another Christian, as Paul did--another saint in the Body of Christ--to pray for us when we had a need.
Catholic Christians believe that as we can ask a fellow Christian -a saint- to pray for us, we should be able to ask prayers from the saints already united to the Lord in heaven. If the prayers of certain Christians here on earth seem to possess special power because of their great faith witness or holiness, how much more powerful and effective might not the prayers of those of the communion of saints in heaven who are fully united to God.
How Do Saints Hear Us?
It is frequently asked, and reasonably so, how can the Saints know and hear so many countless intercessory prayers from so many Christians worldwide petitioning them. The question is really one of knowing, not hearing. It is important for us to remember the fullness of revelation regarding our state of being after our human life is completed. Principle among scriptures revealing our future life is the revelation of the essential nature of God Himself. Jesus often spoke of His Father (Abba) and of His Holy Spirit.
The New Testament speaks often of the unity of the Godhead.
John also speaks of our union with the Father and Jesus as a fellowship a word from the Greek koinonia which is translated "community" meaning "in-union-with."
Jesus is most specific about our final relationship with Him. He calls it a one-ness.
The Trinity is a foreshadowing of our eternal life--a oneness with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We will share the life of the Godhead; as He knows so shall we know. The Saints already in union, at-one-ness with God share his life and his knowledge.
Paul put it succinctly.
John also had an insight that reflected our destiny.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture texts are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
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Last Updated: September 16, 2004