Worship of Mary?

Hey guys, I have a debate amongst my family and that is the worship of Jesus mother Mary. What i believe is that we should be only praying to God in Jesus name for healing and for anything else we need or other people who need help as Jesus said, " Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the Second is like it,'love your neighbour as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Can I get thoughts on praying to Mary? My family conisits of eastern orthodox and Catholics.

Thank you

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This Is a huge topic in Mexico, where I live! The main verse I go to is 1st Timothy chapter 2, verse 5 which speaks of only one mediator to enter the Father’s presence, Christ Jesus. Mary is nowhere to be found as mediator. Additionally, we have the example of Jesus always praying to the Father. No one prays to Jesus in the Bible. So, the Scriptures teach us to address the Father through the Son. No one else is ever prayed to. Hopefully that helps!

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Hi @Zaia_Joudo,

The Catholics I came across all denied that they prayed to Mary. But merely asking her to pray for them, in other words, intercede. But from the evidence of their rosaries, statues, pictures and altars for some cases, even the songs or prayers(forgot the names of the prayers, but they should be goggle-able), all points to them praying to Mary instead. Not sure if saints are treated the same way, maybe to a lesser degree compared to Mary.

Anyway, the bible is very clear on who should be our sole object of worship and prayer. As John 14:6 clearly says, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE can come to the Father except through me.”

And in verse 14 of the same book, Jesus further states, “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” And Rom 8:34 “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Only His name was given power and authority over everything (Eph 1:20-23).

So it is only biblical to pray to Jesus who is our intercessor, who is given the only authority to make appeals to the Father on behalf of us. No where in the bible was any sort of authority given unto Mary.

But we honor Mary, as a woman of faith, who surrendered her womb to God’s will for the birth of our Messiah. And Jesus did beckon to John to “Behold your mother!” in John 19:27, meaning Jesus cared about her and honored her, and called John to honor her as his own mother and him as her own son. But it wasn’t a statement bestowing divine status to Mary, that will be really over-stretching the interpretation, and we don’t find John attributing any authority or power to Mary, nor did he even elevate her beyond her mortal status.

However, from my personal experiences in having dialogues with Catholics, and praise God, 2 of the many did manage to turn away from the practices, are baptized and are now active members of my church, that it is wiser not to engage them via this avenue(arguing about Mary) if possible.

I usually focus on exposition of the bible and found that many of them are not too well-versed with the bible. They have always just focused on the ritualities and tradition as told by their parents. And opening the bible is like opening their eyes for the first time.

I hope and pray that the authority and power of Jesus is upon you as you minister to Your family.

Blessings in Christ,
Roy

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I agree with your concluding point. It’s not necessary to argue about Mary. Many Catholics simply need to start reading the Bible to realize for themselves how many traditions and rituals have little biblical basis. One thing I deeply admire about Ravi Zacharias is that he consistently brings the conversation to the gospel. Once someone believes the gospel and is born again, they will have the Spirit to help them discern truth. So, rather than arguing against something they practice, it’s great to simply speak the Gospel to them.

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@Zaia_Joudo Great question :slight_smile: I agree with the above stated that the only appropriate way to pray is through Jesus and that it is important to understand how a particular person understands their own practice of prayer rather than assuming what they believe. Here are a few related topics you may find interesting.

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Thanks Erika, I appreciate your thoughts

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Thank you Sean, I’ll have a read through those topics you have suggested

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Thank you Roy for that detailed information. The references to the parts of the scriptures helps a lot. Thanks Mate

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Thanks @SeanO, those are power-packed informations about this topic. I have gleaned so much going through those resources you posted, the TGC’s approach to each type of Catholics are spot on too.

I especially like your sentiments on being expectant to see Catholics in heaven too. Esp if they believed in and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And as Christians, we are all also prone to malpractices of bible traditions too if we are not careful.

One of two examples I seen are some Christian churches selling expensive anointed oil, and the congregation did believe if they truly want to be healed or delivered or certain things consecrated, they must apply those oil, otherwise it won’t work. They created an unhealthy over-dependency on anointing oil. As if prayer to Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in us are inadequate.

The other example is the “Holy Communion”(HC). This church I know held HC at every services, and for every prayer meetings. I have no problem partaking in the HC, it is their explanation and conviction, based on a “successful” experience of the head pastor, and many follow-up similar kind of testimonies from the congregations thereafter, that bothers me. They almost made an idol out of something beautiful to remember Christ with.

Another for bonus: About 2-3 years ago, a well-known pastor of a large church franchise in Indonesia passed away, and their whole congregation throughout the nation prayed in unison for 4 days straight, believing that he will be resurrected by Jesus, like Lazarus, all due to a “prophecy” received by one of the elders. Unsurprisingly, he remained, for lack of a sensitive word, unrisen.

Just a strong reminder for me that Christians are also capable of the very things they are accusing the Catholics of doing.

The name of Jesus is sufficient, and only to Him should our worship and prayer be.

Blessings in Christ,
Roy

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@RoySujanto Yes, I agree it is so important to be humble and to remember that every denomination has its oddities and that pride can even prevent someone with correct doctrine from truly encountering Jesus. It is Christ who will judge - our job is to love sacrificially, listen well and teach the truth whenever we have the opportunity as we invite others to walk with Jesus.

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I am in your same situation. My entire family is Catholic and my mother in particular is very devout. This is a delicate subject and I agree with the other poster about Ravi’s approach of letting the Gospel do the talking.

Strictly speaking, Catholics do not pray TO Mary and the saints. They would point out that it is OK to ask other Christians to pray for us, and the saints and Mary surely fall into that category. They might even add “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16). Having said that, nowhere in Scripture is there an example of praying to someone who has passed on. Yes, the saints are still alive, but I’ve seen no evidence that we should pray to them.

Furthermore (and this is a conversation I plan to have at some point in the future), there is no Biblical evidence that the saints or Mary can even hear our prayers. If I am going to ask someone to pray for me, wouldn’t it make sense to ask someone I can physically talk to? I know they hear me, but Mary and the saints are not God and are not omniscient. They may have no idea that I am even talking to them. I anticipate that the response will be references to various visions that people have had, but I am not prepared to base my theology on that.

Hope that helps,
John L

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@Zaia_Joudo, I totally agree with the views of others above. Because no where in the Bible we see that we are to pray to Mary, and she’s a human like you and me, yes she did give birth to our Saviour Jesus Christ but that doesn’t make her a God to pray and worship on.

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One thing I do not understand is why go to a dead saint rather than going to Jesus who we know hears us and intercedes for us (Hebrew 7:25)? I do understand the idea of asking other Christians to pray for us, but to me it seems disrespectful to disturb the righteous dead. Also, as John_LaCasella mentioned, I do not know if the dead can hear me. Additionally, if we seek to speak to the dead, is it possible that we may come into contact with evil spirits instead? What do you all think?

Thanks mate I appreciate your comments and they do help.

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