No Honor From Men…
Praying in public, like at a restaurant before a meal, has always been in question. While it is a practice that has recently been incorporated into daily life, it is still a bit uncomfortable. Having other witness prayer, in public, seems to be two-edged sword. On the one hand it glorifies God and blesses the food to His service. Then again, others around may see it as something other than it’s intention – nothing more than blessing the food. Others may see it as “boasting” or “sounding a trumpet“.
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. ~Matthew 6:5-6 NASB95
It is impossible to make it any clearer about where to pray and where not to pray. The question still remains, if prayer in public is conducted for only the right reason does it make it right or is it going against what Jesus Christ, Himself, says about praying? There should not be any confusion, but there somehow is.
If we look at another aspect of this same teaching from Christ, we find similar actions and similar non-actions. We are not tell anyone, or let anyone know, we are giving to the poor, we are simply to do it and be done. We don’t make any announcements that we are being charitable, it just happens. We don’t go to our neighbor and announce we are taking a car load of groceries to the local food bank – we simply don’t do it. It serves no purpose.
“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. ~Matthew 6:2 NASB95
The two actions of Honoring and Glorifying God seem to be tied together and both are to done, according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, these are to be done in secret, in the quiet and without anyone knowing. If we pray at table, or in a booth, in the middle of a restaurant people are going to know, they are going to see.
Either the Scripture is the divine Word of God teaching us how to live and how to be a reflection of Him, or it’s nothing more than a historical account of events.