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Is Praying In Public Wrong

Should we require unbeilivers to pray with us when we give thank? Some people over for a BBQ, the Christians in the group say grace and expect unbeilivers to do likewise. How do the suprised unbeilivers feel about this? and have the christians gone beyond what is written? (Pharasies praying / public)

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 ---steven on 1/10/10
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A good question: The answer is, no. Don't encourage the hypocrites. There are many more unbelieving believers than there are true believers.
---pat on 10/15/12

Personally, If I were having a BBQ at my house, I doubt there would be many unbelievers there. That's generally not the type of company I like to keep and have around my family. At any rate, anyone who comes to my home will show respect for my God, whether they believe in him or not. Or they can simply leave if they are offended by a prayer. My God comes before friends or family.
---Jed on 10/15/12

Praying in public is not wrong. The reason why the Pharisees were condemned by YAHUSHUA (JESUS) for "praying in public" was because THEY prayed in public in order to be seen by everybody around. And, they wanted the admiration of other men. They were trying to "impress" people of how "pious" they were. It's the MOTIVE for praying in public that counts. No matter how eloquent the Prayer is.
---Gordon on 10/15/12

Hello, this very important.Sad to say but my own daughter is a person who will refuse to sit or behave in a place of prayer, little before marry the off brand muslim husband,they are in a cult.Rebellious people the only people who disrespectfull to the things of god such as prayer, but early no more prayer on school grounds,years ago I went to a pentecostal church and. we would take turns help the school kids have prayer in the school yard.they do not allow it here. SAD truly sad.God forgive us all.
---ELENA on 10/15/12

We should never require anyone to do anything God hasn't laid it on their heart to do. Nor should we allow unbelievers to stop us from praying. It's like denying the presence of God in our lives. Believer or not I believe God has placed in all of us to respect prayer.

---Shary on 3/11/10

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
John 11:41-42 Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said [it], that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
I wouldn't expect non-believers to pray, but Jesus did in public. Shouldn't we follow His example as opposed to the example set by the Pharisees?
---MIchael on 3/10/10

I recall an amusing incedent (at least amusing to me) in our family. I'm was the only Christian in my immediate family. At Thanksgiving, however, my eldest brother used to pray aloud before this meal...a long, eloquent prayer with vague references to "god" but none to "Jesus".

One year, he announced a new "family tradition." Instead of praying, we were to go around the table, each person mentioning something they were thankful for. I felt I should be honest, so I said I was most thankful for Jesus my Savior and added a short sentance about His love for me. I could sense the awkwardness of those that followed me.

That was the end of the new "Family tradition". It was never mentioned again.
---Donna66 on 3/10/10

IF you pray in public to be seen or to impress others, then you are like the Pharasees that Jesus rebuked.

In this country, we have freedom of speech. We don't EXPECT everyone to agree with us (OR pray with us). If you are so uncomfortable that you can't quiety, respectfully, listen for a few moments to something with which you disagree....I would say (as do the politically correct) that you are just intolerant.

I, personally, have listened to Jewish prayers and Muslim prayers. I don't expect them NOT to pray because I don't share their beliefs!
---Donna66 on 3/10/10


there is nothing in scripture instructing believers to PRAY with unbelievers

pray is done in private not as a show the way most religious christianity portrays prayer sitting in a circle praying outloud holding hands

many "christians" point fingers at christian cults yet become cultish about prayer expecting unbelievers to pray with them ...often religious christianity is only friends with their non-believing friends in hopes they can one day shout from the roof tops they "converted them" which is also unscriptural

saying grace is simply a tradition of man
---Rhonda on 3/10/10

There is no place in scripture that God instructs that the modern day Christian ("TRUE worshippers") should ever pray or worship in public (this is a FACT).

"TRUE worshippers" are to worship SPIRITUALLY ("in spirit") and according to TRUTH, not according to the churches and ways of man.

John 4:23
"the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth".

Public worship and flattery never pleased God, it is only private worship from the heart/spirit that please Him.

Amos 5:21
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies".

He doesn't want us to have an IDENTICAL relationship with Him, but a PERSONAL one.
---more_excellent_way on 3/10/10

Matthew 6:6
"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door".

Romans 14:22
"The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God".

God doesn't want the pastors, scholars, or churches of man to have any spiritual meaning to us at all, HE wants to be EVERYTHING SPIRITUAL to us....

1 Corinthians 15:28
"that God may be everything to every one".

When saying grace...

In your own home, unbelievers don't have the right to object or deny you the courtesy of a moments peace to say grace, and when you visit their house, they should be hospitable enough to also grant you a moments peace, but if they insist on being rude and disrespectful, you don't want to know them.
---more_excellent_way on 3/10/10

Saying grace is like saying "Thank you", it's simply a personal preference, not a MANDATE.

Did anybody say grace or thank Jesus at the last supper?

No scripture says that VERBAL/vocal thanks is necessary for receiving food at any time.

1 Timothy 4:4
"if it is received with thanksgiving".

Ideally, "thanks" should be given in "spirit"/heart and not be turned into a ritual before every meal.

Don't insist on flattering God every time you feast on His bounty, He hasn't FORGOTTEN (He has a good memory) that you enjoy His bounty and are grateful.
---more_excellent_way on 3/10/10

in the congress,and supreme court they offer a invocation"prayer"before each session,public prayer may be offensive to non believers,but personally I believe they usually ignore any and all such offerings of praise to the almighty anyway,and remember being offended is in many cases a state of mind.and human beings continously offend one another.
---tom2 on 3/9/10

That reminds me of an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David invites a new friend to a dinner party. The friend sits in Larry's chair and then says grace. Larry is dismayed by this. Of course, the friend does apologize since Larry was the man of the house and he felt he over-stepped his bounds.
---Lewis on 1/18/10

They should show respect & keep quiet during the prayer,but do not have to join in.
---candice on 1/14/10

I must apologize to you Joseph. I inadvertently capitalize my name on 1/10. I realize that my thoughts may not reflect yours, so I wanted to openly straighten this up. I will try to be more careful in the future.

P.s. Typo correction. The word "abrupt" in the post should have read "abruptly"
---joseph on 1/12/10

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My ex-husband was the worst hypocrite I ever knew--and he said grace over meals whenever we were in a restaurant--to be heard by men, because he never prayed at home.
---Mary on 1/11/10

The only kind of Praying that is wrong is praying to be heard of men, in other words hypocritical praying. But any kind of sincere
prayer whether it is in public or private is acceptable to God.
---exzucuh on 1/11/10

I have an unbelieving neighbor whom I love dearly and I don't pray in front of her because I know she wouldn't like it as she has expressed her opinion about people who pray in public...she used the word hypocrite and pious, etc.,

But the bible tells us, in everything give thanks. Think about this point. If you pray in private and enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise, would it really make a difference if you prayed a prayer of thanks for a meal in public? Isn't your heart already in thankful mode if you are in relationship with the Lord? No, we should not require unbelievers to pray - how would they know HOW to pray? The disciples had to ask Jesus Teach us to pray.
---Donna on 1/11/10

Thanks to all the replys some very good points taken onboard. Robin sorry to reopen the case.I would like to explain my concern better,traditionally (yuk) my family and I would would gain everyones attn just before mains to give thanks for the blessing usually the homeowner would lead in prayer, weve been doing this as long as I can remember all is fine if all are Christian, here is my concern usually all are not Christian and I have been noticing some negative responses from the unbeilivers. I want to be a shining light for Christ drawing poeple to Him not driving poeple away. So I question my/myfamily actions in light of scripture. Someone been through such an ordeal in their prechristian life love to hear your first time experience.
---steven on 1/11/10

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If the BBQ is in my home, I pray without apology, say grace etc...My family and friends know I am a Christian. If they disagree with grace and prayer, that is their business. They can excuse themselves or just simply,bow their heads and so forth. It is always in order to pray,say grace over our food etc...We should always control our own homes and rules there. If I am in an unbeliever's home I respect that,too. If they do not pray or say grace over their meal, that's ok by me. I will quietly say grace over my food and proceed to eat my bbq or whatever is there. Manners and customes should always lead us to do the right thing. You don't have to be saved to know this. Just common sense will take care of that. Case closed.
---Robyn on 1/10/10

It is a form of blasphemy! I pray at every meal and with an unbeliever. I do not expect him to join in, nor would I ever consider asking him. But, I would not dare, even openly, not give God the credit for anything and everything. My right, God's right. He loves the praises of His people, openly.
---catherine on 1/10/10

The meat of your question is a bone of contention between me and my Christian friends. I have Christian friends who want to cry about everything and especially seemingly they want to pray in public. And while I do not object openly very much they all realize that I do not agree doing this. I will agree with anyone in prayer in a closed or "private time" area but I do not like to make a show of praying. In prison ministry I always ask who wants to open with prayer and response is always good and many times more than one will pray.
---mima on 1/10/10

If you are giving the meal/function then the people you invite know you. If you are a Christian they will expect you to pray. Being a friend to a lost person does not include compromising your standards. It is simple to say, "Let's pray and eat." You won't get any back talk if you don't try to preach a message in your prayer.
If you are a guest then pray by yourself/family. Don't try to get everyone involved. If you are asked to pray then make it short and thankful.
I never have the right to visit someone in their home and tell them to not smoke/drink while I am there. I'm not special. But, I do have the right to not get involved in it.
Control the areas that you have control over and stand for the Lord in all other places.
---Elder on 1/10/10

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"Should we require unbeilivers to pray with us when we give thank?" No.
"How do the suprised unbeilivers feel about this?" Probably as uncomfortable as a believer would feel around someone who abrupt starts using all sorts of profanity.
"have the christians gone beyond what is written? " No where in scripture is it written to say grace over a meal. Although it is written to give thanks in all things, silent prayer would be just as effective when "blessing" your food.
"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body." Jam 3:2
Be as considerate for others as you would want them to be for you.
---Joseph on 1/10/10

Dear friend it's a matter of the heart. Don't forget God looks upon the heart, and the center of Jesus' teaching on this topic was on the heart, the motive driving the action.

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

If your motive is to commune with God genuinely and seek his blessing, then you've done well.
---Antonio on 1/10/10

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