Should a public restaurant encourage praying?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My family went to a restaurant with a sign in the window: Prayer is welcomed here. I felt troubled when we received a discount because we had prayed before our meal, until the owner came and told us that this has opened up ways to testify of the Lord. – M.P
A: To bow the head in a restaurant to give thanks for a meal, to kneel in a place where others might notice, are outward demonstrations of personal faith. Some consider them public shows of excessive religiosity; others are only offended if the prayer is in the name of Jesus Christ.
Prayer is a demonstration of our need for God; for His direction and guidance, and for His protection and provision. It is also our communication to God of having thankful hearts. There seems to be an instinct in people to pray in times of danger. If we are to depend on prayer during tough times, we should be people of prayer before the crisis hits.
A story is told about some Marines who returned to Camp Pendleton after the Gulf War. It was reported that as soon as they spilled out of the airplane, several of them formed a circle and prayed. When we approach Almighty God in humbleness, He blesses that testimony. But we must never do it for the purpose of portraying self-righteousness, but expressing our need for God in our lives.
There is comfort in knowing that Jesus modeled prayer consistently, and commanded that we also pray. A wonderful Bible study is to look closely at the prayer life of Jesus, where no day began or closed in which He was not in communion with His Father. Never be ashamed to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Name (James 5:14) because God Himself is the power that makes prayer work.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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