(All scripture quoted is from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.)
Angels are God's mighty messengers. We read: "Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word." (Psalm 103:20)
One of the duties assigned to angels is to guard those who have given their lives to the Lord:
- "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:14
- "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." Psalm 34:7
- "If you make the Most High your dwelling….he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." Psalm 91:9-11
The Bible definitely says the angels watch over and protect those whose hearts belong to God. But we are not told what part angels might play in relaying our prayers to our Heavenly Father.
In the Old Testament Jacob had a dream of a ladder "set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." (Genesis 28:12, KJV) In the next verses God tells Jacob He will give him the land of Israel and then repeats the promise He made to Abraham: "…In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Verse 14, KJV) In due time, the Apostle Paul made it plain that Abraham's seed was Christ. (Galatians 3:16) So the ladder was a picture of Christ, and the angels pictured the communication between God and man which opened as a result of Christ's ransom sacrifice. Jesus Himself verified this picture in John 1:51 – "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." However, this does not mean that the angels are needed to carry our prayers to God.
We do know that our Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to pray directly to the Father. (Matt. 6:9) However, it is because of our faith in Jesus that we may do this. The Apostle John writes, "…We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One." (I John 2:1) We also read in Romans 8:34, "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus… is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." The Apostle Paul says, "In [Christ Jesus our Lord] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (Ephesians 3:12) We are warned against worshipping angels (Colossians 2:18), so we know that we should never ask angels to bring our prayers to God. The scriptures make it clear that our relationship with the Father is through the Son, not through angels.