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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A primer (pronounced PRIH-mur) is a small introductory book on a subject, often for beginners. Primers were once a standard part of every child’s education. Typically, they contained many quotations from the Bible and moral lessons as well, and the text was accompanied by numerous woodcut illustrations. This primer on marriage, by Pastor Wendy Berthelsen, contains color, woodcut initials throughout, and serves as a nice devotional resource.
A Marriage Primer may be handed out by congregations to couples preparing for marriage, or as a gift to go along with presenting a marriage certificate. For individuals, it would also make a good small gift for a wedding or shower.