Archangel Selaphiel

The Angel of Prayer

Painting of The Angelic Council

 Csernica / Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Selaphiel means “the prayer of God” or “one who prays to God.” Other spellings include Zerachiel, Selapheal, Salathiel, Selathiel, Sealteal, Seraphiel, Sarakiel, Sariel, Suriel, Suriyel, and Saraqael. Archangel Selaphiel is known as the angel of prayer. He helps people connect to God through prayer, giving them the focus they need to block out distractions and concentrate on praying. Selaphiel motivates people to express their deepest thoughts and feelings to God in prayer, and to listen carefully for God’s responses.

Selaphiel's Symbols

In art, Selaphiel is usually depicted in one of two ways. Icons of Selaphiel from the Orthodox Church show him looking downward with his hands crossed over his chest—an expression of both the humility and concentration that he encourages people to have when praying to God. Catholic art usually shows Selaphiel holding a water container and two fish, which represents God’s provision through prayer. His light energy color is red.

Selaphiel in Religious Texts

In the ancient text 2 Esdras, which is part of the Jewish and Christian apocrypha, the prophet Ezra (the great-grandfather of Noah, who build the ark to save the planet’s animals from the worldwide flood) describes how his mind had become troubled from thinking about how much pain people’s sins cause them, and when he was despairing, archangel Selaphiel “held me, comforted me, and set me up upon my feet” (verse 15), and then talked with Ezra about what was troubling him."

Selaphiel also appears in verse 31:6 of the apocryphal Jewish and Christian text The Conflict of Adam and Eve, which describes how God sends him to help rescue Adam and Eve from Satan’s deception, commanding Selaphiel “to bring them down from the top of the high mountain and to take them to the Cave of Treasures.”

Christian tradition names Selaphiel as the angel in Revelation 8:3-4 of the Bible who presents the prayers of people on Earth to God in heaven:

"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. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand."

Other Religious Roles

Selaphiel serves as the official saint of prayer for members of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The folk traditions of the Roman Catholic Church also venerate Selaphiel as the patron saint of prayer. In astrology, Selaphiel is the angel of the sun, and he works with the archangel Jehudiel to rule the movement of the planets. Selaphiel is also said to help people understand and interpret their dreams, help heal people from addiction, protect children, preside over exorcisms on Earth, and rule over music in heaven—including leading the heavenly choir that sings praises to God.