“I can’t imagine how lonely and dark life must be without God and the church!” These words, spoken by a friend at a dinner party the other night, keep ringing in my ears.
We had invited a priest to supper, and the topic for the evening was angels and saints. After the priest spoke, we all expressed our thoughts about the subject.
The priest shared the great news — reminding us of what many of us learned as children — that we each have our very own guardian angel. How wonderful to know that God cares so much for us that he sends his “messengers” to look after us. We are never alone.
In addition to that, the priest said all of heaven is filled with saints who are delighted to intercede for us in prayer, and that each of them had lived lives that witnessed God’s light and love, the love that he longs to share with each of us.
I wondered what more I could find in the Bible on this. Here is just a tiny bit of what I found.
According to Acts 12:1-12, Peter was miraculously released from prison by an angel. He thought it was all a dream until the angel "suddenly left him" and scripture states, he then "recovered his senses" and went quickly to Mary’s house (mother of Mark) where a group was gathered together praying for him.
"When he knocked on the gateway door, a maid named Rhoda came to answer it. She was so overjoyed when she recognized Peter’s voice that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. They told her, "You are out of your mind," but she insisted that it was so. But they kept saying, ‘It is his angel.’"Acts 12: 13-15
So even the first century Christians believed that each one of us has an angel and, apparently, they might even look and sound like us.
In Matthew 18:10, Christ states, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." We learn here that each of us starting as little children have at least one angel looking out for us and constantly beholding the face of God.
According to the Apostles’ creed, we state: "I believe in ... the communion of saints."
That means we are all incorporated into the mystical body of Christ and whether we are alive here or experiencing eternal life with Christ in heaven, we are all a part of One Body. Therefore, just as I can ask someone here on earth to intercede in prayer for me as a member of bis body, I can also ask the saints in heaven to do the same.
Hebrews 12:1 states: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses …"
The writer has been speaking of the Old Testament saints and martyrs that have gone before us into their heavenly reward, and according to this, they are in some way "witnessing" what we are doing here on earth. We can only surmise they are praying for us and cheering us on to victory in life’s race.
And we read: "When he opened the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having stringed instruments, as well as golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Revelation 5:8)
We believe that those prayers are the ones they are praying for us.
Even as early as 233 A.D., we read: "But not the high priest (Christ) alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels ... as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep" (Prayer 11, A.D. 233)
May God and all of his angels and saints, keep you, guide you and bless you, now and forever more.
"Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you his angels; give praise, all you his hosts." (Psalm 148:1-2)
Thank you that I am never alone. Thank you that I have a myriad angels watching over me and the saints praying for me, as we are one in the Body of Christ. Thank you that you care so much for me that you are constantly keeping guard over me and that I can trust in you to continue to do that. May I become more and more aware of your presence in my daily life, and may my life be a greater reflection of your amazing love and care for me to all I encounter. Amen.
You might pray this beautiful prayer to your guardian angel:
Angel of God's light, whom God sends as a companion for me on earth, protect me from the snares of the devil, and help me to walk always as a child of God, my Creator. Angel of God's truth, whose perfect knowledge serves what is true, protect me from deceits and temptations. Help me to know the truth, and always to live the truth. Angel of God's love, who praises Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who sacrificed His life for love of us, sustain me as I learn the ways of divine love, of sacrificial generosity, of meekness and lowliness of heart.
Thank You, my heavenly friend, for your watchful care. At the moment of my death, bring me to heaven, where the one true God, Who is light, truth and love, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Melissa Overmyer is founder of Something Greater Ministries in Washington, D.C., and has taught the Bible for more than 30 years.
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