To Pray, or Not to Pray in Public

footballprayer

There was another news story this morning about students in Beloit, OH who are fighting for their right to pray publicly before football games.  You can read the article here.

I understand standing for our rights of free speech.  I do believe in that.  But is prayer in public what God prefers?  A while back I reread the Sermon on the Mount and wondered if God appreciates us using our conversations with Him to fight political battles?

This is what Jesus said about prayer.  “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5–8, ESV)

I sincerely struggle with where the line is and what our motives are.  Are we fighting to pray in public to win a cultural battle, or to have God move in response to our neediness?  Can it be both?  What do you think?

I’d love to read your comments.

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