I am a cradle Catholic. I have grown up asking the Blessed Mother Mary, the saints, and my family and friends to pray for me. Many people have asked me what that means and I hope these words help you understand my faith..
Prayer is a way of communicating. At the end of a legal pleading there is a prayer. In old English, we have heard people state during a request “I pray you sir……” Clearly prayer is how we communicate a request.
I ask family and friends to pray for me. I also ask Mary and the saints to pray for me. Regardless of whether someone is here on earth or in heaven we are all one family. Therefore, I feel confident asking my family and friends on earth and in heaven to pray for me.
Mary and the saints are humans. Mary is the only perfect human because she was born without sin (immaculate conception), so that she could be the perfect vessel through which God would enter the world. The saints, are human beings like you and I. They were all different, with good and bad backgrounds, but eventually they all lead lives that were pleasing to God. Both Mary and the saints are in Heaven where they enjoy the privilege of adoring the beatific vision of God. Mary and the saints are close to God and they are perfectly situated to draw God’s attention to our prayers.
When I ask Mary and the saints to pray for me, I do not put my faith in the saints rather than God. I know that it is God alone that has the power to answer my prayers. To explain, if a person wants a job, he will submit an application to the owner of the company. He knows that the owner alone makes the decision about the job. If the person knows employees at the company who are in good standing, he will ask them to put in a good word to the owner of the company. In the same realm, we know that God answers our prayers. However, we call upon Mary, the saints, our family and friends to pray for us and put in good words with our heavenly Father. There can never be too many people praying for you.
Asking Mary for prayer is a good idea. Mary is God’s mother. Like you and I, God loves His mother for all that she has done for Him. Further, Jesus’ first public miracle was performed at the request of His mother. Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Canaan because Mary asked him to help the bride and groom’s family. Jesus at first resisted Mary’s request, but she persisted and told the servants to do whatever her son directed. For that reason Jesus performed His first public miracle, at the request of His mother, Mary.
Mary does the same thing today. She always directs us to focus on Jesus. She always directs us to do His will. She always takes our prayers and requests to her son. She is a wonderful and loving mother. Jesus gave her to us as a mother when he was on the cross. He told St John that Mary was to be John’s mother, and John was to be Mary’s son. This assignment was not just for John, but for all mankind.
How wonderful to know we have a loving Father in heaven who hears and answers our prayers. How equally wonderful to know that our family and friends on earth, united with Mary and the saints in Heaven are praying to God for us.