By J. C. Corcoran
You know, I am simply amazed at the Christian community for their constant grumbling over prayer in public places. “We’re not allowed to pray in school” or “We’re not allowed to pray at sporting events” etc., etc. etc.. And not only do they grumble about it but they broadcast it on all the news media. So, I think it’s about time we set the record straight.
The bible, which is the manual for Christian living, tells us not to pray in public as the hypocrites do but to pray in secret as Jesus did. Let me start with Mark 1:35 where it tells us that; “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Several times throughout the gospels Jesus tells his disciples to “follow me.” So, why all the grumbling and wailing about not being able to pray? Why don’t we follow Jesus and pray in secret? When Jesus’ followers prayed, they met together, usually behind closed doors, (Acts 12:5 and 12:12 and Acts 4:23-31), not out in public. In fact, Jesus calls those who pray out in public hypocrites (Matthew 6:5-9). In fact, look what He says in verse 6; “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Quit complaining about not being able to pray. “Follow Me.” Follow Jesus’ example and pray in secret. There are only a few times in Scripture where Jesus prayed in public for everyone to hear. And when He did, it was miracle time; As in Luke 3:21-22. After He was baptized by John, Jesus prayed and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, landed on Him; “And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
And again in John 11:41-42 when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. And when was the last time you saw something like that happen after praying at a baseball game? And what do you pray for at a ball game, that your team will win? I certainly hope not because then you would be asking God to take sides. When you pray in school, what do you pray for, good grades; good behavior? You don’t need to pray aloud for those things.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” And first Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray continually”.
How do we pray continually? We pray in the spirit; in our minds. Remember, God knows our minds and He hears our prayers when we pray silently. You can walk down the halls of any school praying in the Spirit and no one can stop you. They might wonder what you’re smiling about but that’s okay; there’s no law (yet) about smiling in school.
So please my Christian brothers and sisters; quit grumbling about not being allowed to pray in public. You’re not supposed to pray in public; you are supposed to pray in secret and God will reward you; Matthew 6:6… “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
And may God bless you as you follow His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.