The rosary is a set of prayers common in the Roman Catholic Church, said during meditation on events in the lives of Jesus and of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Rosary beads help Catholics count their prayers. More importantly, Catholics pray the rosary as a means of entreaty to ask God for a special favor, such as helping a loved one recover from an illness, or to thank God for blessings received — a new baby, a new job, whatever.
There are about 8 main prayers associated with the rosary covering a series of beads that dive the count of prayers one must make. The entire exercise takes about 20 minutes or so to do a rosary.
1. On the crucifix, make the sign of the cross and then pray the Apostles’ Creed.
2. On the next large bead, say the Our Father.
3. On the following three small beads, pray three Hail Marys.
4. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
5. On the large bead, meditate on the first mystery and pray the Our Father. You pray mysteries for each of the five sections (decades) of the rosary according to the day of the week:
6. Skip the centerpiece medallion, and on the ten beads after that, pray a Hail Mary on each bead; on the chain, pray a Glory Be.
7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 four more times to finish the next four decades.
8. At the end of your Rosary, say the Hail Holy Queen.
Thats a lot, the issue of Catholics praying to saints is one that is full of confusion. Its the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Catholics do not PRAY to saints or Mary, but that Catholics can ask saints or Mary to pray FOR them.
However, the only way to talk to these saints, is to communicate with them by praying. After all, they are physically dead, and if they can hear you at all, they are in Heaven, which is also an assumption. Any interaction with those in Heaven is a spiritual one, you would have to pray to reach them.
Only you and God know your true heart and whether you truly believe and have accepted Christ. Mother Teresa is noted to have said, that she doubted her own salvation. So despite the appearance of ones life, the salvation of any particular person is an assumption on our part.
13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The book of revelation speaks to the number of people who were once in Heaven, experienced the 1000 year reign on earth with Christ and are still deceived by Satan and end up in Hell anyway.
7 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
Again, the official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for you. The problem with this thinking, is the people your asking on earth are alive, these saints are dead. That’s not exactly the same thing.
Most Catholics in fact pray directly to saints and bring them their petitions, they skip over the idea that saints are to mediate for them. Whatever the case, neither practice is biblical.
The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers.
Why then, do many Catholics pray to Mary and these saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and the saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint who is in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do.
So, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, its supposedly more effective than you praying to God directly.
However, once your in heaven you don’t pray anymore, you have direct conversation with the Lord. Prayer is an earthly exercise based on faith. Our presence in Heaven is the manifestation of Gods promise to us in the faith, which transitions us from faith to fact. You no longer have to believe in Christ, Angels and Heaven, you see and know it all to be fact. That’s the point of Heaven, more importantly, no one see’s God in Heaven for the exception of the Great White Throne Judgment.
In Heaven we see Jesus, God is on the North side of Heaven, man will be somewhere else, most certainly not in proximity of God as man is not perfected in Heaven, that happens on Earth during the 1000 year reign and after the final deception by Satan. Revelation 20:7-9
The concept of praying to saints is blatantly unbiblical.
4 ”For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”
In other words, the dead could care less about the living.
The scripture says that there is one mediator between man and God, not dozens or more, men cannot add mediators as we see fit. The Catholic Church continues to create these saints as mediators, but this activity has nothing to do with what God has said or what is biblical.
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
The Bible tells us that Jesus Himself is interceding for us before the Father:
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Think about this question, who would God listen to more closely than His Son? Nobody!
The Holy Spirit also intercedes for us, this means we have the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in heaven, you don’t need Mary or dead saints to help you?
26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Jesus makes the point, while giving us a new model for prayer, that we are to pray to God directly in His name. The only way to communicate with God, is through prayer, Jesus says that He would not pray to the Father on our behave, but that we have to pray for ourselves. If Jesus Himself is not going to pray for us, there is no value in Mary or any other dead person praying for you.
25 “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27 for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”
There are many Scriptures that describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3).
The Bible gives absolutely no indication that Mary or the saints can hear our prayers. Mary and the saints are not omniscient. Even in heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people?
In order to put praying to dead people in perspective, we have to look at the encounters in scripture that deal with the dead and the living. There are only a few accounts in all of scripture that deal with the dead either coming back to life, or appearing to the living and having any kind of interactions. In each case they were done for a very specific reason to serve God’s purpose. There is no instance where God instructs us to have an ongoing conversation or pray to the dead.
Jesus is the only person we are instructed to have any association with who has left this corporal existence, and He is not dead, but resurrected and ascended into Heaven.
(John 11:1-44) raised by Jesus
Lazarus had been in the grave four days when Jesus approached his tomb. Jesus asked the people to take away the stone. Then Jesus called him to come out by simply saying "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus came out, still wrapped in the strips of cloth.
Lazarus, was raised to validate Jesus as the Christ and to initiate his crucifixion.
In this case, Lazarus had to die again, as with all who were raised from the dead. When a person is resurrected they never die again, as with Jesus.
Widow of Zarephath's son
(I Kings 17:17-24) raised by Elijah
Elijah was sent by God to the widow of Zarephath. Elijah told the widow, who was running out of flour and oil, that God would provide for her and her son. God miraculously replenished the flour and oil in her containers so she could provide for herself, her son and Elijah. But then her son got sick and died. Elijah went up to the boy's room in the loft. He laid himself over the boy's body three times and then prayed that God would allow the boy's soul to come back into him. The boy was raised from the dead.
(2 Kings 4:20-37) raised by Elisha
Elisha stayed in Shunem with a woman and her husband whenever he passed through their town. In fact, the couple built an extra room in their house for Elisha to use. Elisha wanted to give the woman something for her hospitality. He promised she would have a son in a year's time. She did have a son. The boy got a terrible headache and the mother held the boy in her arms, but he died. The woman put the boy on Elisha's bed and went to get Elisha. When Elisha arrived he prayed, he laid himself over the boy's body 3 times, and the boy came back to life.
Man tossed into Elisha's tomb
(2 Kings 13:21) raised by God's Spirit
Some men were about to bury a man, but when they saw a band of raiders coming, they simply threw the dead man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the corpse touched Elisha's bones he revived and came back to life.
Widow of Nain's son
(Luke 7:11-16) raised by Jesus
Jesus stopped a funeral procession as they were carrying the casket to the cemetery. Jesus had compassion on the weeping mother. He told her to stop crying, and then he raised her son from the dead.
Jairus' 12-year-old daughter
(Mark 5:35-43) raised by Jesus
Jairus asked Jesus to come heal his dying daughter. By the time Jesus arrived she had already died. Jesus sent the mourners out, but took the girls' parents and Peter, James and John into the room where the dead girl lay. He said, "Little girl, get up." She did.
Tabitha also known as Dorcas
(Acts 9:36-41) raised by Peter
Tabitha was a seamstress, she got sick and died. Since Peter was in a nearby town they asked him to come. Peter had everyone leave the room where Tabitha lay. He knelt down and prayed and then he said to the body, "Tabitha, arise." She opened her eyes and then sat up.
(Acts 20:7-12) raised by Paul
Late one night Paul was speaking to a group of believers. A young man was sitting in the window listening. He fell asleep and fell from the third story to his death. Paul ran down, laid himself over the body and then embraced him. The boy came back to life.
Men Raised upon Jesus' death
(Matthew 27:51-53) raised by God
When Jesus died there was a violent earthquake and the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The Bible says tombs were opened and many bodies of saints arose from the dead. It says that after Jesus' resurrection they went into Jerusalem where many people witnessed their return to life.
Jesus Himself walked on the earth for 40 days (Acts 1:3) after his resurrection, proof of the power of God and the promise Jesus made throughout his ministry.
The Valley of Dry Bones
There is a valley of dry and sun bleached bones from a great war. God instructs Ezekiel to speak to the dry bones and they grow tissue, muscle, skin and eventually come back to life. This was type and shadow of rapture, the resurrection to come.
The Transfiguration of Jesus
Where Jesus is transfigured (or metamorphosed) and becomes radiant upon a mountain and speaks with Elijah and Moses. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28–36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16–18 refers to it.
In this case the purpose was to validate Jesus as the Christ. The only person who had died at the point of this encounter was Moses. And Moses appearance was a special accommodation that God made for Jesus, Elijah had been translated or taken out of the known world as had Enoch.
In all these cases, these events were done to fulfill the scriptures, to provide evidence of the calling and service of a Prophet of God, or an Apostle, to validate Christ in His office and calling, and as a type and shadow of future events like the resurrection and the rapture prefigured by the dry bones of Ezekiel and Christ.
There is another singular experience in 1 Samuel 28:7-19, Saul seeks out a witch to conjure Samuel up from the dead, but the real Samuel is not speaking to Saul, Saul is experiencing what we refer to today as a séance, the witch is speaking to Saul and she is pretending to be Samuel, but what is actually happening is a demon is speaking through the witch to Saul.
There is an account in Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazarus. Even during this dispensation, God had rules in place that prevented those who were dead to travel between realities. There is no place in scripture where God has augmented that.
26 “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. “
Whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, and divination—activities God strongly condemns (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13).
Praying to Mary or the saints is completely different from asking someone here on earth to pray for you.
There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear and answer our prayers. No one in Heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer.
1 John 5:14-15
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”