Desoto County Prayer

Many of you are aware the Desoto County School System has been gridlocked with Freedom From Religion Foundation who seeks to strip prayer from pre-game football programs.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sought to rid any and all religious freedom in public places and sporting events, however, I firmly believe their desire will backlash!

Prayer before a football game is a great ministry and we it must continue.  As followers of Jesus we must pursue our rights for religious freedom wherever and whenever possible.  This is the United States of America and we were founded upon liberty, justice and freedom of religion.  However, the majority of sporting events that I have been to, where a blanket prayer has been present, has not been marked by reverence or a show of respect.  There has been irreverance.  There have been instances, while the guest “pray-er” was praying that individuals in the stands have continued talking, laughing, slurping on their slushy’s and have had little respect for the moment of prayer.  In short, there has been little respect for a Holy God who we love and cherish.  This is far from the respect the Lord deserves when a blanket prayer is uttered through the P.A. system.

The reason I believe Freedom From Religion Foundations plan will backlash is because they have not stopped prayer but multiplied it.  We will now have hundred’s across Desoto County praying in smaller groups instead of one large group.  My experience with small prayer groups has been that the majority of those who are praying have been intimately “plugged in” to the prayer group.  Smaller prayer circles will also allow for the opportunity to allow many more individuals to pray.  In the past, only one person has been given the microphone to pray.  In smaller groups all interested individuals will have the opportunity to pray.

Also, we must be very careful how we handle this restriction for pre-game prayer.  As followers of Jesus we are called to love with gentleness and humility.  Backlash and flesh driven anger will only show the lost that we are no different from the world.  As followers of Jesus we must speak and pray in a spirit of love toward our fellow man.  Isn’t it ironic that throughout scripture Jesus rarely mentions that we should pray in large settings.  In Matthew 6:5-8  Jesus states

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

The reality is, we desperately need prayer!  Our country needs prayer!  Our leadership needs prayer!  However, we can no longer submit to a form cultural Christianity that has been so prevalent in the US for so long!  I encourage each of us to stand as the Lord has told us to stand but to pray as the Lord has told us to pray.  Face it brothers and sisters…..we will be ostracized for our faith.  We are living in a foreign land.  Jesus has said all along that we cannot walk hand in hand with this world.  We must flee this world and purse the things of the Lord.  Find your prayer closet, pursue the Lord, sit before Him and get your instruction from His word.  Live a life of love among all those around you, yes, even those who seek to take away your “rights”.  That is exactly what Jesus did!