Leave Matiag'i alone. Why you cannot actually ban prayers - let alone in school
by ChristAmbassador Posted on 19-05-2016
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Despite the fact that 95 percent of the American population believe in God and some 60 percent belong to a religious organization, Bible readings and other public school-sponsored religious activities were prohibited in 1971.

In 1955, the New York Board of Regents had approved an inclusive school prayer to be used in the public school system

"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country."

Simple, precise and to the point but this prayer caused an uproar in courtrooms across the US for a while.

Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves as Kenyans is what really is prayer? What is the education minister banning in schools? Is that prayer?

According to Google, (or the English Dictionary if you belong to the older generation), Prayer is:
1. a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.

2. a religious service, especially a regular one, at which people gather in order to pray together.

3. an earnest hope or wish

Prayer has nothing to do with location. Whenever you try to bind prayer to a location, and especially a public one, the Holy Spirit himself will fight you. In my view, it is the simple reason why that prayer was banned in the US. It wasn't the Lord's Prayer. Spiritual matters such as prayer can only be crafted by a much higher authority and in fact a deity. And the Lord has already given guidelines on how to pray. The bible mentions prayers countless times.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught us how and where to pray. 

Matt6: 5-8: 5And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 

He goes on in verses 9-13 to teach the disciples "Our Lord's Prayer"

Unfortunately most Christians today (and even other overly religious people) have turned worship into some form of show. They are the ones panicking when they hear of "prayer ban". Who can ban spirits from communicating? 

Jesus himself was a teacher. His classroom was the lakeside, the streets, the grain fields and the farms. He was not "so organised" like the teachers of today who have morning and evening prayers. Yet even in his randomness, He put the point across. 

Going further past His teaching and looking at His praying, you will notice that the Son of Man was not a fan of public prayers. Read with me Matt 26:36-46:

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”

37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Clearly, Jesus had known what works and doesn't work in prayer. Look at how he goes "over there to pray" and even goes "a little farther" away from the disciples. Notice how the guys who were left to pray together quickly fell asleep! This I believe is the number one reason why communal prayer is not highly advocated for in the bible. Rather the Word of God requires us to first and foremost have a personal relationship with Christ. After which prayer becomes a norm regardless of location, occasion or communion.

Creating well scripted words borrowed from the bible and having our children recite them morning, noon and evening will not make them Christians. The education system in the country is focusing only on grades and they are even dragging prayers into the murky waters. Tell you the truth, many have prayed and ended up getting D's. Not because their prayers were ineffective, not because they were more sinners but rather because they were either ill prepared for the exams or God wanted to use them for 1 Cor 1:28-29: 

28He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are. 29so that no one may boast in His presence.

Wonder no more why school dropouts are employing graduates. While you need your papers to get a job, God does not require your papers to get you where he wants you to be. For more on this you can consult David who killed Goliath without Saul's polished armor. 

 The main reason they crafted the prayer in the US was because the board hoped that the prayer would "combat juvenile delinquency and counter the spread of Communism." It wasn't about prayer as an instrument of worship but rather as a tool or a chain if you will, to bind kids and morals. This is biblically wrong and no wonder it never sailed through. 

Therefore before we banish Matiang'i let us re-read the WORD and seek to understand the how's and whys of prayer. 

The writer is a born-again and bible believing Christian. See his profile here

 




   

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