Prayer Is Provocative





The secular world finds prayer provocative and confrontational.

Only recently a volunteer, praying outside the Abortion clinic in Albury was attacked in an unprovoked assault and had his jaw broken. His crime: praying.

Donna Maria Cooper O’Boyle recounts her own experiences of the provocative nature of prayer in her book Rooted in Love and the shock that something as seemingly innocuous as prayer can cause others to act aggressively.

But what is it about prayer that makes it so provocative?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Certainly, for the most part, the secular world sees prayer as irrelevant, just as they see God as irrelevant. It is, to them, a boring waste of time and a symbol of a dictatorial patriarchy that is outmoded and out of touch.

But surely, for that reason alone, they could hardly be provoked by a humble man praying the Rosary on an Albury street or a woman holding a miraculous medal?

Is it then because of the prejudice they place on religious people? That we are intolerant and discriminate against others because of their beliefs? That we try to impose our beliefs on others and disrespect their rights?

I don’t think that’s it. In fact, I think it goes a lot deeper than religious stereotyping.

It is, in my opinion, because of their own guilt, their own understanding that there is something supernatural about prayer and that God is more than just a made up religious figurehead.

It is because they are so lost in their sin and brokenness and don’t realise the power of God’s love to heal and forgive them. Their anger then, comes from a place of deep longing and yet a resentment, an anger that they are left outside the realm of God’s confidence.

Inside their souls a battle is raging between dark and light, and the Devil, as we know, does not like prayer. He knows that he has not yet won over their soul; that God still holds some sway there, and he wishes to rid them of God’s love and light.

And so whilst we might be appalled at the unprovoked attacks on people praying, it is precisely for those aggressors that we should be praying.

They know, in their hearts, that they are broken by sin and that’s why they act out. In other words, the doors to their souls are partially ajar. God has a foot in the door, so to speak, and our prayer, provocative as it may be, might be just the thing to help them open the door and step outside of their brokenness, and the influence of the Devil, and discover God’s forgiveness and mercy for themselves.




Filed Under: FaithFeaturedPrayers & Devotions

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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