Government Condemns Praying in Jesus’s Name
Updated: Jan 2
Daniel of the Bible was a government official. When his country made it illegal to pray to the God of the Bible, Daniel did not alter his personal prayer habits. Instead, “he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10). For doing this, the government threw Daniel into the lion’s den, but God protected and honored him for his boldness.
God’s people should always pray directly to Him, even if they face stiff opposition for doing so. And they should pray in the manner in which Jesus Himself instructed His followers:
“I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
In obedience to the Bible, Christians frequently pray in Jesus’ name—and they also pray by quoting directly from the Scriptures, to ensure they will be praying according to God’s Word and will. State representative Stephanie Borowicz did both when opening a recent session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In her prayer, she prayed: “We ask that we not be overcome by evil and that we overcome evil with good in this land once again [Romans 12:21]. I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus [John 16:23-24], at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that You Jesus are lord [Philippians 2:9-11]. In Jesus name, Amen [John 14-13-14].”
Cue immediate anger and condemnation. Many of her colleagues decried her Christian prayer as evidence of Islamophobia and religious intimidation. Ironically, however, when a Muslim cleric prayed a Muslim prayer and referenced the Koran, no similar condemnation was heard from the same outraged leaders.
William Penn (the founder of Pennsylvania, where this occurred) took specific steps to protect Christians in the civil arena from this type of abuse: “No person or persons inhabiting in this province [Pennsylvania]…shall be in any case molested or prejudiced in his or their person or estate because of his or their conscientious persuasion or practice...and that all persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, shall be capable (notwithstanding their other persuasions and practices in point of conscience and religion) to serve this government in any capacity.
Sadly, many current Pennsylvania leaders have replaced this guarantee for religious liberty with overt anti-Judeo-Christian hostility. (This has been true in other states as well, where Christians who pray Christian prayers are similarly derided.)
Christians should not be intimidated by the condemnations and criticisms of others. As Jesus reminded His followers: “Stand up for Me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before My Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you? Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy.” Matthew 10:32-34 (MSG)
The Scriptures affirm, “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1), so stand publicly and uncompromisingly both for your faith and your Lord.
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