“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there.” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2)

When I was younger, I thought it was better to pray to the saints, to ask them for help rather than God who I perceived as stern and unmovable. Now I no longer better than that. Even so, I do think that it can be a comfort for those who mourn to talk to their departed loved ones. Yet they cannot hear or answer us; they are focused on the Lord. But we who are in Christ have Him alone as our mediator. No human being is as powerful nor as loving and kind as He.

All our prayers should be directed to God. We see this in our reading from the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy focuses on the Law of God, on His requirements for the behavior of His people. One of those requirements, the first commandment in fact, is that we worship Him alone. He alone is God. To emphasize this, the Lord required offerings and sacrifices to be made at one central sanctuary. All offerings were to be made from one place to the Lord God Almighty alone. All worship was to be focused on Him. He alone is worthy of thanksgiving and praise for all that He has done. He alone is the creator and sustainer of all life.

Today, as throughout history, the worship of many religions focuses on gods and spirits, or addresses the dead or is for the benefit of the dead. We see this in Buddhism, Shintoism, the New Age religions as well as in some parts of the Christian church. Prayer is often made to a dead person to enlist his or her aid or made on behalf of the dead person to ensure their entrance into heaven or nirvana. Yet such practices are abominations to God. Yahweh alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is worthy of all our worship. All prayer is supposed to address Him, to repent of sin as well as to seek His aid or to thank and praise Him for Who He is and what He has done and continues to do.