Absolute Proof Prayer in the Public Square Is Under Attack

People gather for an impromptu prayer circle, in front of the building where the shooting took place, as students and parents attend a voluntary campus orientation at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
People gather for an impromptu prayer circle, in front of the building where the shooting took place, as students and parents attend a voluntary campus orientation at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (REUTERS/Angel Valentin )

There is a new wave of attack that has been leveled at our country in the wake of the most recent and tragic school shooting in Florida. It is an attack against the one thing that can truly be effective in this issue—the power of prayer.

In the aftermath of the February 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, there has been an onslaught of words from students and the media denouncing prayer after President Trump tweeted that his "prayers and condolences" were with the families of the victims of the Florida shooting.

Several students dismissed his comment as trite, and one student responded, "We don't need your [expletive] prayers. GET BETTER GUN CONTROL" (@longlivekcx).

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U.S. Representative-IL, Mike Bost, experienced this attack against prayer firsthand after a photo, in which he presented prayer cards received from his Illinois constituents to President Trump in January 2017, was used in several fake news reports this week. The articles citing the photo stated or implied that it was recent and that the prayer cards given were another example of how "out of touch" Trump and Bost were regarding the issue of the Florida school shooting if they thought mere "prayers and thoughts" could be effective.

As the fake news spread, one reporter went so far as to say, "If only these men were as enthusiastic about gun control as they are about phony photo-ops, then perhaps we'd actually stand a chance."

My response to that statement is, if only these so called "reporters" were as enthusiastic about protecting our students and fact-checking/reporting accurate news as they are about phony and fake news stories they push out to promote their own agenda—which in this case is about gun control and demeaning prayer.

The offer of "prayer and thoughts" is now being ridiculed, dismissed and even attacked as it is also being linked to the issue of gun control.

Make no mistake, what is unfolding before us is an effort to dismiss our ability to pray and offer prayers. It is the next move in the "politically correct" playbook to silence prayer. Our right and the power of prayer has now been targeted as not only useless, but offensive. Enter the "PC" police.

What they don't understand is the very "weapon" that can actually stop these attacks is the very thing they now seek to silence.

It is important that we address this issue at its foundation. The school shooting is an issue of lawlessness and cannot be fixed with simply increasing laws. The argument that more gun control will stop these gunmen is ludicrous, for greater laws in one area does not deter lawbreakers who are intent on breaking the law. It simply ties the hands of law-abiders.

So why has there been such a backlash on prayer?

Barry Black, Chaplain for the U.S. Senate, said recently in an interview with CBN News why he felt some in today's culture devalue the power of prayer.

"The Bible says spiritual things are spiritually discerned and if you do not have a biblical world view or if you do not have a relationship with the transcendent, many times you will undervalue weapons that you use in spiritual warfare," he explained.

After the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where many have jumped on the bandwagon that prayer is an "empty gesture," Black declared, "I think that prayer is the breath of the soul. It's inhaling and exhaling."

If you don't think prayer is under attack, think again.

Another recent article published on Patheos.com, a group that claims to be looking for "credible and balanced information about religion" under their "Friendly Atheist" column stated,  "Jesus isn't making anything better. Violating the Constitution doesn't help students. God always seems to have a day off when these shootings occur. And plenty of schools where these tragedies have taken place have had Christian clubs, not to mention Christian administrators, teachers, and students. They don't need more Jesus. They need fewer guns in their communities and politicians willing to stand up to the NRA on their behalf."

While our students and schools have been under attack, so has prayer. And while some of the survivors may discount the power of prayer because they don't understand it, it is, in fact, the very tool that is needed to stop and turn this deadly onslaught.

It is time to pray effective prayers of protection over our students, schools and families. Now more than ever, we need to pray for our government, our leaders and our president. We need to ensure that our First Amendment right to freedom of speech, which includes prayer, is not swept into this ongoing battle for a Second Amendment issue, for indeed it has become an attack on prayer as well as guns.

If you would like to join a prayer initiative for education and our schools, you can sign up here.

Karen Hardin is a literary agent and published author. She has been in the Christian publishing industry for 25 years and has had the privilege of working on numerous projects for some of the most recognized names in the industry. Her work has appeared in USA Today, World Net Daily, Crosswalk.com, Charisma, The Elijah List and more. She is called to exhort, encourage and help others to walk in identity and destiny to achieve their highest potential in their gift and call. For additional articles by Karen, go to: prioritypr.org or karenhardin.com.

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