5. Are you Praying to the Dead or to a Living Savior?|
Bible Study on Prayer
Written by Michael J. Martinez
Founder and Pastor of Guiding Praying Light Ministry
Jesus said to him, ?Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, ?Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.? But Jesus said to him, ?No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.? (Luke 9:60-62).
The farmer who is plowing his fields always looks forward and never turns around to look behind, because if he does, his plowing becomes crooked and he will loose control of his ox. If we believe in Jesus Christ, in prayer, and His holy word, then we should never look back to the past, but press on into the future with our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and heavenly things.
Jesus said ?let,? which in the Greek is ?aphiemi,? which means ?to let go, let alone, let be.? Therefore, when Jesus says ?let? it could be translated to ?send away in order to go to another place?, or ?go away and leaving something behind.? Many people can?t let go of a relative who has died, who has left this world. As mentioned in the previous teaching, if we are praying for a loved one we must keep on praying and never loose hope of their salvation, because death comes to all. If they are not saved now on earth, and they die, then their death can be a hardship to a believer rather than a joy.
Jeremiah the Prophet said ?Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan [shake, waver, wander, have compassion, show grief, lament etc.] him; Weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more, nor see his native country? (Jer.22:10). The Lord is saying, if you?re going to cry, then cry for those who are living and that don?t know Jesus Christ. Pray earnestly for them because when death comes and they leave this world, we know that apart from Jesus Christ is an eternal torture and suffering in hell. The Bible teaches us this truth.
Now there is nothing is wrong with mourning for a loved one who has passed, because our Lord has given to us all an emotional capacity to love and grieve the lost. If your child died, would you not be crying for them? Yes, you would! There are a few occasions when loved ones died in the bible but life was restored to them by God through a Prophet, or His one of Apostles. This is to let us know that He is in control and there is a place called heaven to go to when we die.
Troubles as such, bring great sorrow. King David says, ?I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies? (Psalm 6:6, 7). King David spoke of his enemies who were out to kill him, praying as if he was already dead. He saw many dying around him which caused him to fear and not trust the Living God in his trial.
We too have earthly enemies and can live life as if we are dead. However, the great truth from the Bible is that we don?t wrestle against flesh and blood; we have an enemy in the realm of darkness that can use our grief against us. Therefore, we can dwell on death, on fear and become withdrawn from God?s and His great might which comforts us and gives us His gladness in exchange for our grief.
Again King David in his anguish cries out to the Lord and prays constantly, telling us what we need to do and what God can do for us. ?You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth [Clothing worn in mourning or humiliation] and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever? (Psalm 30:11, 12).
The Lord will remember your tears as King David remembered ?You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?? ( Psalm 56:8 ) The Lord Jesus wept bitterly for Jerusalem when He rode in on a donkey because He knew of the judgment of God which would bring death and destruction to all who did not believe. Those future events caused Him great grief. (Luke 19:41). Jesus Christ has the power to restore us as the Psalmist proclaims, ?for you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling? ( Psalm 116:8 ). And our tears can be as as seeds which bring forth a harvest as the Bible teaches, for ?those who sow in tears shall reap in joy? (Psalm 126:5). So it?s ok to cry but it is not ok to dwell on a death to the point where it is causing you to have no praying relationship with Jesus or being able to embrace His Love He has for you.
Do you visit the grave and leave items to express your grief for absence of someone you loved? Do you talk at the grave, assuming they are there and they can hear you? Do you pray for the dead as if it is doing something? Do you have religious rituals that you perform for the dead? Do you believe in what the world tells you about praying to the dead or do you believe in what God tells you? Because there is no man on earth filled with the Holy Spirit or any book inspired by the Holy Spirit on earth that can tell you to do such things, apart from the Holy Bible. The Apostle Paul was taken up to the third heaven according to Scriptures but he didn?t know whether it was through a vision or if he left his body (2 Cor.12:1-7). He did not talk or write about it. Regardless, he had a legitimate, heavy-duty, supernatural, vision from God and not a worldly ?out of body experience? that some have describe like an astral projection. The Apostle John was the only human ever to see heaven and be returned to earth to write about all that the angel showed him. (Read Revelation Chapters 1 and 2) Therefore, we should not pray anyone who has died, because prayer is to be directed to the Triune God alone, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
But what of improper mourning? The Lord said, ?you shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I Am the Lord? ( Leviticus 19:28 ). The Lord speaks of improper mourning when He says ?you are the children of the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead? (Deut.14:1). The Lord says, ?when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations? (Deut.18:9). He goes on to say in verses 10 through 14 those things which they should not do, because their are an abomination to the Lord. And in verse 11 He said, ?or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.? My point being, that we do not need to worry about those who die, for it was Jesus Himself who said, ?I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living? (Matt.22:32). We need to be concerned for those who we love and care deeply about who are alive today. We must remember to pray for them. We must continue to preach the word of God to them and live a worthy testimony as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. We should praise Jesus Christ, and continually pray to Him. What a wonderfully beautiful relationship that is when we pray and commune with the Lord.
It is then, that when we or our loved one dies, we can rejoice, because they don?t really die, but only leave this body to live on eternally with Jesus Christ in heaven ?and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away? (Rev.21:4).
We will live on! Where will you live when you pass from this earth? ?For the eyes of the lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil? (1 Peter 3:12). The beginning to a new life is receiving Christ Jesus in your heart, ?But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers? (1 Peter 4:7).
(Read Mark 12:26, 27 reference to Matthew 22:32)
(Read Hebrews 13:15-17)
Copyright? 2004-2005 GLPM ? All Rights Reserved ? Michael J. Martinez 3/11/05
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Published on: 2005-03-23 (1248 reads)[ Go Back ]