Prayer -- Public and Private


Comment: - Jesus promoted private prayer. Public prayers and long prayers were suspect.
I think Matthew 6:5 - 7 are the best verses attributed to Jesus in the Bible.

All the public praying in churches, on TV and Radio by Jesus Worshippers does not accord
with Jesus' teachings. The push for prayer in schools, courts, etc. by some people again
does not jibe with Jesus' teachings in the New Testament. I would not trust these people
that practice and promote public prayer and claim they are spokespersons for Jesus and God
-- they don't even know the Bible they claim to base their teachings on. They are false teachers?

I wonder if they have actually ever seriously read the Bible!

There is a follow-up comment at the end of this page.
E-mail comments


Nothing could be clearer than the following verses:

Matthew 6:5 - 7
 
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.
 
Jesus says you must definitely not pray as the hypocrites pray.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

           Here Jesus says when thou prayest, you must pray this way:
            (1) enter into thy closet.
            (2) shut the door.
            (3) pray to thy Father which is in secret.
            (4) use not vain repetitions.

(Prayer must be in private, not in front of other people.
Do not repeat things over and over again in prayer)

            An attribute of a true Christian is: He only prays in private, never in public.


Matthew 14:23
 
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
 

Matthew 26:36

36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
 

Mark 1:35

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
 

Mark 6:46

46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
 

Luke 5:16

16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
 

Luke 9:18

18. And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
 

Luke 22:45

45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
 

(Jesus prayed alone, as he said people should -- not in public)


Acts 10:9
 
9. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
 

(Peter prayed in private)


Matthew 23:14
 
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
 

Mark 12:40

40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

(Long prayers are condemned, especially if you are hypocritical)


1 Thessalonians 5:17
 
17 Pray without ceasing.
 

Acts 1:14

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

(Paul seems to do the opposite to what Jesus says to do in prayer
-- they prayed together and he admonishes people to make long
prayers, that is pray all the time -- this seems impossible!)

(Referring to the last verse -- perhaps they each prayed in
silence, so they didn't pray in front of others)


1 Corinthians 11:5 - 15
 
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on [her] head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman [is] of the man, even so [is] the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering.

(Paul again -- Women should have head covered when praying
-- seems sexist to me.)


1 Corinthians 11:4 *
 
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head.

(Paul:- Man must have his head uncovered when praying
-- again, seems sexist to me.)


Jesus and Paul are in serious conflict regarding prayer.  Jesus, not Paul, is truthful about prayer.


Follow-up comment:

Introspection: Many people, including myself, need time for
introspection.  Introspection can be described in many ways
-- meditation, time for reflection, private prayer, communing with nature,
communing with oneself, time out, thinking time, creative thinking time,
a time to consider unusual questions, time to philosophize, time to be alone,
or whatever. In refreshing ourselves this way, some people need more
introspection then others.  Some may not need it at all.

It is important to realize the method you use is your choice.  Organized
religions does not have a monopoly on prayer or any other way of
introspection, in spite of what they say.  Organized religion is completely
unnecessary here.

This is the kind of prayer the ordinary man, Jesus, seemed to prefer; Matthew 6: 5 -7.

Your "god as part of the brain" or whatever you call it is your own private and personal god,
             yours only, not to be imposed on someone else as their personal "god as part of the
             brain". This "god" dies when your brain dies.

           It is actually healthy and beneficial to privately talk to yourself -- to your
          "god in your brain" with thoughts or/and actual privately spoken words.
            This communication with yourself can evolve as it is used.  Check this. 

So there may be as many different gods of this kind as there are people in the world.

Prayer becomes potentially dangerous when a person considers his personal god
to be the same as an outside Universal God (Creator of the Universe, etc.) and tries to foist this God onto others.  
I see no evidence of an external god, and so do not believe one exists,

Limitations of Prayer


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