Prayer Cannot Be Taken Out Of School

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled this year that public schools cannot allow prayer before high school football games. The concern over the impact that civil government and the legal bodies that determine laws under which we must live is growing more and more each day. In a country that was founded upon the national motto, "In God We Trust," we find more and more the hearts and minds of its citizens destroying the trust that made this country great.

Unless the tide is turned, these trends will continue until we - like the empires before us - we be destroyed from the inside.

How serious is this mandate from the U. S. Supreme Court? It chips away at the freedoms that we have embraced for nearly two hundred years but we must realize that the U. S. Supreme Court cannot take away our right to pray.

People have worried about the government taking away prayer in school. When did the government or anyone have the power to take prayer out of school?

Prayer is a relationship shared by God's children with their Father. It is not a public act that is to be understood only as an action of the outward man. Jesus describes the relationship of prayer in Matthew 6:5-6, "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

How can the Supreme Court take away what the Supreme Being has given to His children? Jesus tells us that we must "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21) "Caesar" is represented as civil government which is ordained by God. (Romans 13:1-7) Civil government can curb or even prohibit public prayer but they can never take away the spiritual relationship of prayer between a child and the Father.

Prayer is in every school when Christian young men and young women talk to their Father. Prayer is in every work place when workers spend time communing with God. If a young person wants to pray before a football game, basketball game, volleyball game or before taking a test, no government or body of law can take that away. When an employee wants to thank God during the day for his job and various blessings given to him by God, no employer can take that away.

Daniel faced the greatest trial of his faith because of his prayer life. (Daniel 6) We would pray that this type of thing would not happen in our country but it most likely will one day. It will take men and women of faith to be able to stand - or kneel - for the Truth that is found in a proper relationship with God. What do we find Steven doing as they were stoning him to death? "And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not charge them with this sin.' And when he had said this, he fell asleep." (Acts 7:59,60) Even dying did not stop Steven from praying.

Psalm 33:12 tells us, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD." We have lost that in many ways in our country but every individual still has that power and that relationship to call upon the Father and seek His blessings. This - they can never take away. "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Pray in school young people! Christians - pray - where ever you want!

By Kent E. Heaton Sr

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