Does Satan Hear Our Prayers?
Plus: Should we pray for the dead? And, are some people destined not to marry?
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In this column, Ben Witherington III answers questions about:
- Physical healing in Psalms
- Apocrypha and Non-Canonical Books
- Praying for the dead
- Celebrating birthdays
- If Satan hears our prayers
- Marriage--for everyone?
- Pentecostal prayers
- "Mixed" race relationships
- Colleen B.
The best thing you can do is read through the four Gospels slowly, especially the passage about Jesus' miraculous healings. God does not promise us physical healing, but he does provide it to those who approach him in faith and trust. In many cases, there is some kind of positive correlation between having faith in Christ as the healer and the physical act of healing itself. You might also want to read through the Book of Psalms, especially Psalm 23. Reading psalms will help you prepare emotionally for what is to come.
Why is it that most Bibles only have the old and new testaments? My son came across a Bible with the old and new testaments along with the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical books. Why were these books taken out of the Bible?
Actually, it is not true that most Bibles don’t have any Intertestamental books. Catholic and Orthodox Bibles have them, but some Protestant Bibles include them while others do not. In fact, the first editions of the first real Protestant Bible with wide distribution in English—namely, the King James Version of 1611--included such books. However, you need to distinguish between Jewish Deuterocanonical books, like Sirach for example, that are included in some Bibles and the Christian apocryphal books that were never part of anyone’s scriptural canon.
Could you please elaborate on the practice of praying for the dead? Did Jesus preach to the dead (1 Peter) when he descended? I have been learning about a certain prominent religion that believes we are obligated to pray for the deceased and even to baptize them by proxy. I want to know what the Bible says about this.
- Diane C.