There is no concrete evidence that prayers were offered to Mary during the first four centuries of the church.
In the middle of the fifth century, some Christians began to elevate her to an almost mystical position. In this period the idea was developed that celibacy is spiritually superior to the conjugal state, resulting in the belief that Jesus’ brothers and sisters mentioned in the Bible were cousins, or that they were from a previous marriage of Joseph. Therefore, some people felt compelled to think that Mary never had sex with her husband.
In 1854 Pope Pius IX declared THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY. This meant that Mary was conceived without original sin. There is no Biblical evidence for this.
Later, in 1950, Pope Pius XII declared THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY. This statement affirmed that the body of Mary did not suffer the putrefaction of death, but that her body was reunited with her soul in heaven shortly after her death. There is no Biblical evidence for this.
Today evangelical Christians hold a godly reverence for the earthly mother of our Lord Jesus. She was the instrument chosen by God to bring the Lord Jesus Christ into this world. For this reason, she will always have a special place among all women. Surely she is a model for every Christian because she showed us by her example that we should dedicate our lives to carrying out the will of God.
There are groups today who have almost placed Mary on the same level as God. They have put more emphasis on Mary than on the Holy Trinity. They pray to Mary and attribute to Mary supernatural miracles, as if she were God.
However, Mary has given us the example that she wants us to follow. She exalted God. She submitted to the will of her Lord. She never wanted to seek her own glory. Most importantly, she acknowledged her personal need for the one and only Savior.