"Should Christians pray in public?" (Alleged Contradiction #E7623)
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
I Timothy 2:8
Christians should have a private prayer life. It is acceptable to pray in public in many cases as well.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is speaking of hypocrites who are supposedly praying privately to God but are doing it to be seen of others. Jesus wants us to pray to Him not to be noticed by others, but to truly communicate with Him, and so He commands us to make sure our prayers are private. However, other times, we may pray publicly for the benefit of others. For instance, Jesus prayed publicly for the benefit of others in John 11:42. However, when our intent is to privately communicate with God, we are not to seek glory from men.
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