Question: My husband, a Christian, passed away some time ago. Should I continue to pray for him?
Answer: In answer to your question, I am not aware of any Scripture that even hints of praying for a Christian after they are departed from this life. May I ask you, what would you pray for concerning your husband? Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:8, assures all Christians that,
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Then, in Verse 1 we are told,
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (our bodies) were dissolved (died), we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The works your husband did for the Lord, while living, accompany him to Heaven and he will be rewarded for them. Notice Revelation 14:13,
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors (i.e., done while living); and their works do follow them.”
On the other hand, many preachers give a false peace and comfort to people, telling them what they want to hear. I have been to funerals of people that I have personally witnessed to about Jesus Christ and how to have eternal life; and they wanted nothing to do with the Bible, or Jesus Christ. But at the con-clusion of the eulogy, the preacher makes a statement like, “May God rest his soul in peace.” So comforting to the listeners; but, a million miles away from the truth! The truth is, this person’s soul will never rest in peace; but, will suffer torment in the Lake of Fire for all time and eternity.
I remember watching the funeral of John Belushi on television. This man OD’d on cocaine and heroin. Some of his acts and vocabulary were filthy; yet, the preacher said at the end of the graveside service, “May God rest his soul in peace.”
I also recall going to a Lutheran funeral. The deceased was married and had children. He worked construction and was out of town on a job. In a bar one night…which involved another woman; and her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, shot the man. At the funeral I couldn’t believe what I heard the preacher say! His words were, “He was living out his baptism.” He said nothing about accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. Since this organization believes baptism is essential for salvation, the preacher stated what the people wanted to hear. This is job security—not eternal security in Christ!
The vigils and prayers given for a person after they are deceased are absolutely meaningless. In John 3:36 the Bible states that,
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Revelation 20:15 states,
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
God makes it perfectly clear that no amount of money or prayers can get you out of Hell, if you die without Christ. Psalm 49:7 tells us that,
“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.”
For you, Mrs. _____________, I comfort you with the knowledge that your husband is in the presence and care of our wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the peace you can have, along with knowing you will see him and never again be separated. Please notice the words of Christ in John 14:27…
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."