We have no need to ask anyone else in heaven to pray for us.
1 John 2:1-3
2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Appreciate your once again direct response brother in faith, but the conclusion you make of this verse is not about all that there is. As orthodox christians we have never believed that by praying to the saints, we got saved in their advocacy. In the end it´s always our beloved Lord and Savior who through his action on the cross advocates to God our heavenly Father, but with the prayers of thousands of Gods people, I think Christ our God may consider bringing some person to heaven by his own action, asking for prayers can´t clease our sins by itself. But the Lord willingly can.
With the same standard you are using, which i totally reject, many verses would be taken out of their all over context, the true faith. For example:
"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."
So with the direct logical interpretation you made in the previous verse. What would you conclude with this one? Can we blaspheme the Father and the Son and yet be forgiven? In the verse, of course we can, in the content of what the Lord ment, of course nothing can´t be forgiven if we ultimately don´t submit to the power of the Holy spirit here on earth. Then there will be no change.
With loving regards to your question, your conclusions before asking the question may be a little wrong. Must Christ explicitly say in the scriptures that we may pray to the saints or Gods people in union through him? With that same standard no one can find any biblical basis for sola scriptura, because Jesus never uttered anything about it. But rather we look throughout the entire scripture, its fuller context, to see what true faith Christ intended for us through his own ministry here on earth, through his apostles, and through his church.
Through the vision John had of heaven, explained in revelation, we read this:
8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
The thing you might conclude dear brother from these verses is that the prayer of Gods people were not in any way directed to the saints or any holy person in heaven. But your conclusion is would not then be based on anything but a pure guess. Rather a Orthodox can conclude, with an entire church tradition and history as a reference, that atleast 1 of these prayer, take just one, was a request that the angel or the 24 elders who held the censors, that they may in humility and remembrance deliver that 1 prayer to God. And they ultimately did, Christ didn´t bring the prayers before God, the elders and angel did. In all due respect, if 1 John 2:1-3 would be applied as you interpreted it, Christ would snap the censors out of the angels hand, as well as from the 24 elders, and he would kindly say, I´m the advocate of all these prayers, I will myself take all censors before God.
Let´s take a very long jump back in history and ask ourselves. Who were David actually talking to when he uttered many of the psalms? Seriously, how can many of our beloved brother and sisters in the protestant churches miss these points? And if David could utter these words during his time, how much more can´t we pray in this manner with the final covenant of the Lord...
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
- A psalm directed to the angels
Once again Rachel, and I don´t mean this in any disrespectful way, please forgive me if it seems so. But to take 1 verse out of the entire bible, and make a direct statement of truth/faith about it, isn´t a good idea.