MOUNT STERLING, OH – Missions Box News serves primarily to connect the church in the West to news of what God is doing through nonprofits around the world. Sometimes we share the work of specific FBOs; other times we may offer insights into situations of international concern that may hinder or help the spread of the Gospel. On some occasions, our articles report issues in America that may directly or ultimately affect the church here at home. This is one such article.Mount Sterling is a rural village of about 1,800 people about 20 miles southwest of Columbus and almost due east of Dayton, Ohio. It’s not the kind of place that typically garners national headlines, but it has managed to do so following two March meetings of the Village Council.Both meetings were opened in prayer. The first was offered by one of the local councilmen, David Timmons, who concluded his invocation, “. . . in Jesus’ wonderful name. Amen.”
A pastor of a local church opened the second with a prayer that said, “We are thankful that, God, you are our Creator and that you sent your son, Jesus, as our Redeemer.”
An attorney, speaking on behalf of the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), has risen to say that “giving a Christian prayer, and only a Christian prayer,” is troubling. He added that praying exclusively in Jesus’ name is “problematic and not fair to the residents who may be of various faiths.” He claimed that praying to God through Jesus is a means of “slowly chipping away at the Establishment Clause” of the United States Constitution.
Public prayer has been under attack for decades, but there has been a clear shift in the method of attack. Most, if not all, direct frontal attacks have been rebuffed in the courts. Current assaults on prayer have employed a flanking maneuver in which the attack is upon sectarian prayer.
It is here that Christians must be discerning. Attacks on prayer are attacks on Christianity. Missions Box News submits that there is no prayer aside from that which is offered to God the Father through Jesus Christ who is the only mediator between God and man. (I Timothy 2:5)
If believers are to stand for the faith once delivered to the saints, we much understand that prayer is a spiritual communication between man and the Almighty Living God. There is no other living God. “Praying” to an idol, a dead person, or any entity other than God, Himself, is not prayer at all because there is no spiritual connection without Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf.
We urge all followers of Christ to understand that there is no assault on the world’s idea of prayer – only against true prayer, i.e., spiritual communication with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
People in countries around the world are suffering persecution and even death for praying in Jesus name. If we fail to recognize the inherent danger of the attacks on Christians praying in America, we could soon face the same tests of our faith for which countless of our brothers and sisters in Christ have and are suffering.
Even so, if it should come to that, may we be strong enough to say, as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that we will not serve idols and false gods, but only the one true God regardless of the threats and consequences to us.
To read more news on Christian Persecution on Missions Box, go here.
- Fox News, Ohio town targeted by atheist group for opening meetings in Jesus’ name
- The Columbus Dispatch, Restocked Mount Sterling council opens meetings with Christian prayers
- Christian Headlines, Small Town’s Prayers in Jesus’ Name Come Under Fire
- God TV, Ohio Council Members Targeted For Opening Meetings in Prayer
- The Daily Wire, Preserving Freedom By Protecting Prayer
- Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day