Why should people not pray to the saints? My Catholic friend says she is asking these people to pray (intercede) for her, and that it is just like asking a (live) friend today to pray for you. She asked me what I thought was wrong with that, and I didn't really have a good answer, apart from notions about not comminicating with the dead -- though she points out that they are alive -- and that Jesus provides sufficient intercession (Heb 7:25). I couldn't quite refute the friend argument, although I mentioned that one doesn't actually know the deceased saints personally, I like my friends better alive! Any comments? 

I think that praying to the departed a nice idea -- getting departed Christians on your side -- and I don't see any way to prove that they don't pray for us. However, 1 Tim 2 says there is only one mediator -- Jesus. Not his mother, not his apostles, not anyone.

Prayers to/for the dead popped up in 2 Maccabees -- in the time between the testament. Calling upon the departed is fraught with difficulty. Hebrews 7 states that Christ is our intercessor. We don't need anyone else, any more than we need further "priests," since Jesus is our unique and great high priest.