How Public Should Prayer Be?

Surely you’ve seen them out in public. At Denny’s holding hands around the table, saying grace before the meal. When you’re at the airport hunting for an outlet, in the corner with heads covered chanting ferociously. They’re praying out loud and in the open for the entire world to see.

Does it make you smile or make you uneasy? Both are natural reactions. Prayer is typically private unless you’re with other people who are praying too. Yet happening upon people in prayer can be an uplifting experience. You probably pause, and offer a prayer of your own that would otherwise go unsaid.


It’s fascinating to observe the different forms of prayer, even if you have no intention to change your own. The Jew wouldn’t think of kneeling in prayer and the Christian isn’t likely to drape a prayer shawl around her shoulders and put “frontlets” on her forehead. We’re creatures of comfort. And there’s no greater goal than comfort, when communing with the Lord.

Make the most of a public prayer moment. Join in on an “amen,” offer a blessing for the pray-er and give thanks to the holy Pray-ee. God receives prayer where ever, when ever, and ever more.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Carol L. Gonzalez

    When my husband and I eat out we do say grace before our meal. However, we try to keep our voices on the low side. I think that is the way to do it-to be mindful of the people around you.

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