Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 3.
“Prayer with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men….”
Psalm 95:1-7, 65:2
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16, NASB) Prayer is a beautiful offering, a means of praising our God and making our requests known. But what about the prayers of Jane Unbeliever? If they don’t “accomplish much”, and are not part of true worship, should she even bother? As Christians, are we to encourage unbelievers to pray, knowing that they do so incorrectly?
God is to be worshiped by all humanity. He deserves no less than every man, woman, and child love and worship Him with all their heart, soul, and might. Obedience is His due. Not only is He to be obeyed in His law regarding how we treat one another, He is to be obeyed in His commands regarding worship. In the same way that Christians and non-Christians alike are commanded to not steal, both groups are commanded to worship God correctly. Prayer is part of that true worship.
The American holiday of Thanksgiving will be held in a couple months. Millions of people, many unbelievers, will stop their daily routines to “give thanks,” not knowing or caring to whom they give their thanks. Rather than discouraging such behavior, we should encourage it, using the opportunity to point to the true God who deserves to be worshiped. Cringe-worthy as it might be to hear prayers that are spoken by known unbelievers, they are still required by God to do so. May we be bold in pointing them to the Mediator who can make their prayers acceptable.
Questions to Consider
- Should anyone be discouraged from praying?