The Virgin Mary

One of my childhood memories was the daily family ritual of praying for the rosary. Apparently, Pope Paul VI thought the concept of a family rosary hour was a great idea.

Great? It was absolute torture for a 14-year-old boy.

Additionally, it was a torment that seemingly lasted f o r e v e r…

There are 59 beads on the rosary, which is prayed as follows:

  1. On the crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
  2. On the next large bead, pray the Our Father.
  3. On the next three tiny beads, pray three Hail Marys.
  4. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
  5. On the large bead, announce the first mystery (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, or Glorious), then say the Our Father.
  6. On the next ten beads, pray ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.
  7. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for the next four decades.

That sure seemed like overkill with 59 beads and all the Glory Be’s. And these were the very same prayers that were assigned to me as penance in the confessional for hitting my younger sisters and fibbing to my parents. Either way, this appeared nothing short of abusive.

This then brings up a significant talking point. How are we to relate to God? Indeed, the rosary shows a preponderance to Mary. Is she to be our intermediary? Do we then speak and pray to God through the intermediaries of Mary, Joseph, and the saints?

The Bible answers this question in 1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

And this is not the only verse in the Bible that defines this express arrangement.

  • Hebrews 9: 15 “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
  • John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • Hebrews 8:6 “But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Understandably, Christ as a mediator is much more than only a prayer intermediary; He is the mediator of our very salvation. So, why are we praying to everyone else if Christ is the single intermediary in the Bible?  In fact, the Bible even gives us a formula for our prayers.

Biblical Christianity teaches that we are to (1) pray to the Father as Matthew 6:9 teaches, “Pray then like this: Our Father…,” (2) through the intermediary and in the name of the Son, Christ Jesus, which according to John 14:6, declares “…no one comes to the Father except through me,” and (3) in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit which in Romans 8:26 articulatesLikewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us…”

Please understand what this is instructing. We should certainly pray for others and ask others to pray for us. What the Bible teaches, however, is that we have direct access to the Father.

To the Father, in the name of the Son and through the power of the Spirit. Indeed this is a Trinitarian gift that all believers should fully embrace.

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