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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 7

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James 1:5–8

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Since prayer ought to be made from faith, how do we know that God approves of this invocation? How do we know that the saints perceive each other’s prayers unless there is the testimony of Scripture?

Pulling It Together: One cannot invoke the saints of heaven with confident faith because the practice is based on human tradition instead of Scripture. It is based on the word of man, not upon the Word of God. Without real faith, that which is based on “what is written” (1 Cor 4:6), one may not expect to receive any answer to prayer.

Now people may claim that they have no doubt as to whether they are heard by the saints of heaven. That does not change the fact that the invocation of saints has no assurances from the Word. How can one really believe unless the Lord has established the matter in Scripture? Upon what do they base their trust? On whom do they place such confidence? The Lutherans confess sola Scriptura, that our trust only comes from “what is written” in the Scriptures, that our faith as well as our practice must stand or fall on the Word.

Prayer: Thank you for hearing my prayers, Father. Amen.

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