This past week prayer made the news. It’s not often that prayer finds its way into the national discussion. But the Supreme Court of Canada brought down a ruling about prayer. At city council meetings in Saguenay, Quebec, they always began with prayer. But this practice offended atheist Alain Simoneau. So 8 years ago he filed a complaint against the city. The legal battle went back and forth and finally to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that reciting a Catholic prayer at council meetings infringes on freedom of conscience and religion. The court ordered the city and the mayor to stop the prayers. It also ordered the city and the mayor to pay the complainant $33,000 in damages and costs.
This past week I was listening to 630 CHED. The early morning host Bruce Bowie was handing off the on air program to the morning show host Ryan Jesperson. He announced they would be talking about prayer and the Supreme Court’s decision. Then Ryan, the guy who was going to host the discussion made an offhand comment something like “I really don’t think prayer needs to be at council meetings. We will talk about where it’s appropriate to pray.” But then Bruce Bowie jumped in. And it was one of those unscripted moments. Bowie said “Well I don’t know about you Ryan, but I need prayer in every area of my life – so we might disagree on that one.” Then they agreed to disagree politely and went on with their day.
“I need prayer in every area of my life.” I don’t know Bruce Bowie or where he stands. But he sure sounds like a Christian. As Christians we know we’re supposed to pray. That’s one action most people expect of Christians especially when they go into a church. But there is a great difference between knowing about prayer and actually praying. Many Christians, when asked about the state of their prayer life, answer that they don’t pray enough or they’re struggling with prayer. Lack of time is a common reason given for absence of or struggle with prayer. But is our problem with prayer really a lack of time?