11/14/2001 Why Pray to A Saint?
Some visitors to this site may have wondered, "Why should I pray to a Saint for help when I can ask God DIRECTLY?" First of all, we should be clear that only God is the ultimate source of all our blessings, through Jesus Christ. If I ask you to pray for me, it does not mean that you have the power to grant my request (although, as a caring close friend you may provide me with valuable spiritual, emotional, and physical comfort). Likewise, when we pray to Saints, we are actually asking them to pray over us and with us. And communicating with Saints DOES NOT contradict or violate the direct relationship between man and God, nor does it mean that God needs a Saint's help to do things for us!
It's all about the power of communal prayer, and the idea of all of us (both here on earth as well as those who have come before us) helping each other in our quest to deal with life's problems and experience God's presence in our lives. In fact there is a lot of evidence in the Bible that God wants us to pray for and intercede for each other in this way.
Saints, particularly those like St. Jude who lived among Jesus, were directly touched by God in their lives and are especially close to Him. The Bible relates this closeness when it mentions the existence of the family of Saints in heaven, close to God. It is also clear that these Saints are praying for us, and seeking to intercede on behalf of our petitions. St. Jude's closeness to God and his interest in desperate causes makes it even more powerful when we ask him to hear our request and pray with us to God that we might be heard. We should turn to St. Jude in the same way we would turn to and lean on a special friend, someone we can trust and who understands our problem, especially when we face difficulties of a seemingly hopeless nature.
God certainly wants us to come to Him with our needs, but it is abundantly clear that the whole community of believers (we on earth as well as the Saints in Heaven) is also a vital component of the entire body of Jesus Christ and the experience of receiving God's Word and plan for our lives. God does not want us to live in a vacuum--he wants us to pray with and for each other and to ask our special Saints to add their voices to our prayers. And he wants us to spread the word about what we believe whenever possible, from the way we conduct our lives to publishing or posting our requests or thanks publicly, in places like this website and elsewhere.
So whether you are praying for your own petition or for someone else's (and this website has a unique e-mail dedication feature which lets you do that), you can rest assured that asking our dear St. Jude for help and to pray for us to God is the right thing to do.
With Warmest Regards,