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Why is public prayer at events ok with Christians when it's condemned as hypocrisy by the bible?

5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[b] 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

 
nobakecheezcake

Asked by nobakecheezcake at 6:53 AM on May. 13, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 3 (22 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • Anon :04 ~
    "Yes that is what the verse says BUT, it doesn't mean what you think it means."

    So you want to be the authority on interpretation on this verse and yet explain away what it says. It's the buts, buts, buts that get me on this. How can you add a but to this? It's very clear. I'm sorry if its not to your liking. Each but, but , but is just another excuse, excuse, excuse to not follow what this verse so clearly and plainly says. But alas, explaining away the hard points in the bible is a very Christian tradition and a very human response to what is unpalatable.
    isabellalecour

    Answer by isabellalecour at 4:35 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • Speaking a blessing over an event is simply just that. In this scripture, I believe he is talking about what was going on in the early church at that time. People would pray loudly and try to be eloquent so that others would think they were more spiritual. Really it wasnt as much about the fact that they were praying, but what was in their hearts. It was pride and religiocity. God tells us to pray to him in secret. To make our requests known and pour out our hearts to him in private so that it keeps our business between God and ourselves. When we pray for another person, we are to do it so that person hears too but he was trying to get away from the loud obnoxious, see how spiritual I am behavior. Again its about whats in the heart. Hes addresssing a heart condition here. Praying publicly at an event is just simply a blessing. This is where you need the Holy Spirit to help you dig through a scrip and find the full meaning.
    momofsaee

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:26 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • How come, me do you think then, many people wished Obama had prayed publicly during National Prayer Day, or any other government official for that matter, I read a lot of comments here on cm that he should have done that, they quoted and presented some events in US history leading to that event, like it should become a national holiday of some kind. I am assuming that many people felt that way. I don't agree with that personally. I don't see much difference between prayer and blessing, it is still religious event, that should not be mixed into public matters, that after all, concern everyone in this country, and not everyone in this country is Christian. That is basically alienating close to half of the nation. Would that be fair and right?
    Bea
    BeaMoore

    Answer by BeaMoore at 8:38 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • why does it bother you, would be a better question?
    thehairnazi

    Answer by thehairnazi at 9:10 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • thehairnazi......why is everyone saying Obama's not Christian because he didn't publicly pray on prayer day? I think that might be the kind of thing she's referring to.
    metalcowgirl34

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 9:13 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • Again, the scripture is talking about the condition of the heart, not the prayer itself. I wasnt even referring to Obama or anything political. No matter what anyone does, its always going to offend SOMEONE. You cant please all the people all the time. I think that what goes on at an event should be left up to the people in charge of it or the state itself. I live in a very conservative town where nothing matters more than God and football. They pray over everything. Its not offensive to anyone and if it is, they know that they are in the deep miniority. It doesnt matter what you call it, prayer, blessing..ect, someone is going to take issue with it. She asked about the specific scripture and thats what I addressed, not a specific incident such as the inauguration.
    momofsaee

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:23 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • I hate being at a public event and having to sit there while a prayer is said. To me, that is violating MY rights. A sporting event or a graduation is not religious ceremony and I shouldn't have to be forced to listen to it- they make an assumption that every person there is religious and that's not the case.
    IhartU

    Answer by IhartU at 9:25 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • I think the fact that Obama didnt pray on NDP publicly is a perfect example. He would have been coming out there doing it to appease others and lets see if hes really a christian type thing. If he prayed, then it should be between him and God and not for others to spectate and judge. It has no bearing on his spirituality but we dont know what he did privately. Its between him and God.
    momofsaee

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:27 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • Just because someone is part of a minority does NOT mean that their rights should be ignored, as you insinuate they should.

    My point is that ANY type of prayer/blessing should be done in PRIVATE according to this scripture. And yes, Obama being slammed for not participating in some big prayer shindig is part of what brought this on.  So many people use their Christianity as some sort of a BADGE to make themselves appear more moral, more holy, and better in general than others, and it's sickening. And to ENCOURAGE people to do it (ie - participate in some huge "prayer party") is sickening as well. I don't know when religion stopped being a PERSONAL thing, but it should be, according to the bible.

    nobakecheezcake

    Answer by nobakecheezcake at 9:30 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • I find it ironic that some are missing what the verse says. That you shouldn't be praying in public at all. It is explicit that pray is in secret. So the interpretation that it's about the heart condition may be correct but that doesn't negate the verse. But why would you go out and create a stumbling block for you brother by thinking you can pray in public while under grace. Is not the body deceitful? Wouldn't thinking you could pray in public without being prideful, when that verse says not too, being deceived by your body? What happens to the week Christian that sees you praying in public and thinks it's OK without ever understanding that your praying under grace and still disobeying what the verse says. What happens when he gets puffed up with pride in public pray? Are you not your brothers keeper?
    isabellalecour

    Answer by isabellalecour at 10:39 AM on May. 13, 2009