I was chatting to a friend at church, and she told me she prayed to Mary. I was initially taken aback, thinking why would a pentecostal protestant be praying to Mary?
She explained that while she sees Mary as the equal of all other humans, she believes that Mary has a special place in Heaven as the blessed mother of Jesus, meaning we can pray to Mary. She doesn’t believe that Mary has any power, nor can answer prayers, nor has any influence over Jesus, nor that Mary should be venerated or worshipped in anyway.
Thinking about what she told me, I think that she is talking to Mary not praying to Mary. She is talking to Mary as a friend and equal who is the mother of Jesus, not praying to Mary as a delegated deity who can do something for her.
Maybe surprisingly, I have no problem with what my friend told me. She is treating Mary with the respect Mary deserves, not raising Mary to a level that she believes Mary would reject, as Mary submitted herself to God.
I don’t think I’ll be having a chat to Mary today. But I have no problem that my friend talks to Mary. Because she prays to Jesus!