Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

by Steve Ray on June 22, 2016

rembrandt_apostle_paul217x275Since we are in Rome today and touring Ancient Rome, especially the Roman Forum and the Mammertine Prison where St. Paul wrote 2 Timothy shortly after his martyrdom. While in that prison he wrote to Timothy and says a prayer for the dead.

It seems apparent that St. Paul DOES pray for the dead. Here is my short article that gives a pretty clear example of St. Paul praying for a dead man, a man named Onesiphorus.

This will be interesting for those who deny prayer for the dead and must find supposedly find everything explicitly in the Bible before they are willing to believe it.

To read the article, click Prayer for the Dead: Did St. Paul Do This?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue from Buffalo November 1, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Thanks, Steve. I’ve printed this off for future reference. I’m sure I’m going to need it.

Steven D'souza February 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

St. Paul is not praying to God for the dead, as alleged. Rather he his making a reference of Onesiphorus in his Second Epistle to Timothy who was ministering the Church at Ephesus. The scriptures in question (2 Timothy 1:16-18 does not imply St.Paul is praying to “God” for a dead person. When a person dies, the Bible is clear that there are only two destinations: heaven and hell. See also Luke 16:20-26.

Francis May 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

@Steven D’souza: If you have the 66 books (7 missing are missing) you should go and read the 73 one for it’s complete.

Chris Fleming January 18, 2015 at 3:42 PM

The God/man Jesus the Christ offered a sacrifice for the dead. If sacrifice, why not prayer. His sacrifice on the cross was not just for those living on earth at that time and for those not yet in existence (us) but also for those that had gone before.

De Maria January 20, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Its obvious that Onesiphorus had passed. First he prayed for the fatherless household:

2 Timothy 1:16The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

Then he prayed for Onesiphorus’ soul:

18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

Julie LaBrecque January 25, 2015 at 5:50 PM

St. Peter prayed for the dead (Tabitha) and restored her to life (Acts 9:36-43). Elijah prayed for the dead (the widow’s son) and restored him to life. (1 Kings 17:17-23). David and company prayed and fasted for Saul, Jonathan and all the fallen comrades ( 2 Samuel 1:12), chanted lament for them(2 Sam 1:19-27); David actually speaks to dead Jonathan “I grieve for you, Jonathan by brother!” (2 Samuel 1:26); Jesus prayed for and spoke to Lazarus, raising him from the dead (John 11:43-44). In light off these Biblical evidences for praying for the dead, I don’t understand why all the fuss made by ‘Sola Scripturists’ unless it is to slander Catholic teaching.

Raymond Wardan October 6, 2017 at 8:22 AM

Luke 16:20-26 doesn't say that Abraham and Lazarus were in heaven. They were still waiting for the death and resurrection of Jesus in order for Jesus to open the door to heaven for them. Jesus told us this story before His death and resurrection. So Abraham and Lazarus were not heaven in this story.

STEVE RAY HERE: there are a lot of ambiguities about that passage. One may wonder where Enoch and Elijah went when they were taking up into heaven body and soul.

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