We can’t seem to avoid the topic in the public arena. Should Christians be allowed to pray in schools? At work? In council meetings? The topic has made national headlines in many cities and states over the past few months. I recognize the good intent behind all the commotion – but I think the question being asked is incomplete at best. It should not be “Should Christians be allowed to pray at …..?” but rather, “Are Christians in the habit of praying?”
Does location matter when we pray? Does it matter if we sit or stand or kneel or lay face down? Eyes open or eyes closed? Talk to Jesus out loud or in our hearts? No. What matters is that we are praying – not necessarily that we are seen praying. There are times in Scripture where individuals made a stand and prayed publicly – or at least visibly. There are other times in Scripture where individuals did not.
If public prayer is allowed at (insert location/situation) we should publicly pray. If it isn’t allowed at (insert location/situation) we should not lose hope – because I hope that isn’t the only time we are praying. We should not consider prayer to just be a thing of organized times and places – such as meetings, beginning of class, or even during worship services – though those are wonderful times to pray if permitted. Prayer should be a constant in the life a believer; daily, hourly, regular conversation with the one who Created the World. Prayer is what connects us with the Father, helps us see where we are straying, comforts us, gives us direction, and intercedes for others.
Scripture tells us that we are to ‘pray without ceasing’ – so I ask you this question (and it’s the same question I have asked myself) – “Is prayer a regular part of my walk with Christ?” If the answer is no – then start with your own prayer before heading to a public arena. If the answer is yes, then be in prayer for the leaders who make the hard choices in this town – no matter where you are praying from.