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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Invocation of Saints – part 5

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Romans 8:34–35

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Invocation of Saints 

Besides, we also grant that the angels pray for us since there is Zechariah’s testimony (Zech 1:12). There an angel prays: “O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou have no mercy on Jerusalem?” We also agree that just as the saints prayed for the whole Church in general while on earth, so in heaven they pray for the Church in general. However, there is no scriptural testimony about the dead praying. There is only an account of dream in the Second Book of Maccabees (15:14).

Pulling It Together

Why is there so much confusion about this matter—other than that Scripture is ignored in favor of human traditions? The prayers of saints and angels do not compare to the prayers of Jesus. Why not make much of Christ and give him the honor, instead of revering the saints and angels of heaven? Is Christ not in heaven? Scripture declares that he is not only there, but that he is at the Father’s right hand where he still makes intercession for the saints of earth, even as he did in his High Priestly Prayer while on earth (John 17:1–26).

Let us put our faith in Christ, for the Scripture says without ambiguity that he intercedes for the Church. Surely the angels pray to God, and the departed saints too. But we do not pray to them; we pray to the one who is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you live and reign at your Father’s right hand. Amen.

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