Prayer by Non-Members

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by billreber, Jan 21, 2008.

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Should non-members be allowed to enter the buildings to pray in your church. . .

  1. Yes

    19 vote(s)
    70.4%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. Other (Please comment)

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  1. billreber

    billreber
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    Do you think we should allow non-members to enter our facilities during the week (not during a scheduled service or teaching time) for the specific reason of praying for our church?

    Please add any comments!

    Bill:godisgood:
     
  2. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    I ticked ("checked" for Americans :)) "Other" because I do not feel it right to encourage the idea that it is necessary or even desirable to go into a church building to pray. Whether the people who want to pray for the church are members or non-members, why can they not pray for the church in their own homes? (I realise that some people's circumstances might make prayer at home difficult, but the fact that you mentioned "praying for our church" led me to believe that you were not talking about that sort of situation).
     
  3. The Scribe

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    Are these non-member, non-christians?

    I'd say no to non-christians, unless they are coming in to ask questions.

    Non-members can pray at their church or home. Unless they are coming in to ask questions about your church to possibly join.
     
  4. Salty

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    I dont see a problem with it. It may be the first step to get them to come to a church.
     
  5. bobbyd

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    With the understanding that they are entering a worship center and should respect the property, yes.
    When i was in college in Hattiesburg. MS my friends and i would often go pray at an Episcopal church because they left their building unlocked for that type of use...and we greatly appreciated it. Sadly they had to start locking it a few years later due to vandals and theives.
     
  6. abcgrad94

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    In our area, I sure wouldn't risk it. Back years ago, before computers and sound equipment and even terrorists, it might have been fine, but now, no way. We've seen what vandals do when the church is locked. Just last summer our church building was victim to a mercury spill caused by youth in the area. I would hate to see what would happen if we kept the church unlocked. Besides, we'd probably lose our insurance coverage. Even if there was nothing inside to loot or destroy, a criminal could always lurk in hiding for an unsuspecting victim.

    There is one instance where I might consider it though. If someone died and a non-church member wanted to come in and be alone for a while to pray and grieve near their deceased loved one, I probably wouldn't mind. Other than that, I agree with David Lamb. We don't have to be in a church building to pray.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    When I was in college, the Episcopal church down the street left their doors unlocked for people to pray. I frequently went there for prayer and meditation as a way to get away from the noise and distractions of campus life.

    It takes great faith for a congregation to leave their doors open. As far as I know, there were no difficulties with vandalism or people using the facilities inappropriately. Furthermore, I always sensed the presence of God in that place.
     
  8. Tentmaker

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    No, we can't be sure they're saved. We shouldn't encourage their unbelief if they aren't. I would first, try to find out where they stand with the Lord.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    There's a security issue here. Our church is locked, but has a doorbell to ring. Often only the church secretary is in the building, often only the custodian. If strangers had free run of the building, it could be a problem.
     
  10. billreber

    billreber
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    Thanks for all of the comments. Now for the rest of the story:

    A Christian lady of another denomination felt led by God to do a "prayer walk" style of praying for our church (the people, not the building). She approached the pastor, explained what and why she wished to enter our buildings on a given day each week, and was granted permission. (This all happened BEFORE I became a member here). She comes regularly every week, praying for the people who will attend the various services and teaching times.

    I have spent time in prayer with this lady. She is a true believer in Christ. I think it would be TOTALLY wrong to forbid her from doing what she felt God telling her to do.

    It is a sad commentary on our society that we must lock up our facilities, preventing access to them by people who need God most. (Unfortunately, I must agree with all of you who said the facilities need to be locked.)

    Even so. Lord, come quickly!

    Bill:praying:
     
  11. David Lamb

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    Yes, the same sort of thing has been happening over the years in Church of England buildings ("parish churches") here in the UK. Not that many years ago, they would all be open; now, most are locked.

    However, I come back to the point I made earlier, that going into a church building to pray does not add anything to the "validity" of our prayers. Perhaps I should stress that I am only talking about personal prayer; I am not for one moment suggesting that we should "forsake the assembling of ouselves together" for corporate worship.
     
  12. Alcott

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    I wasn't aware this poll was asking anything about a church building being left unlocked; just if nonmembers are afforded the opportunity to come in for prayer if they wish, subject to the same availability as members. To that I say yes, and neither members nor nonmembers are allowed to be disruptive and certainly not thieves or vandals.

    Nevertheless, this discussion does remind me of my (probably) odd choice for a favorite Christmas-themed motion picture. Dragnet's "Christmas Story" begins when Sgt. Friday gets a call from a priest at the San Fernando mission church concerning a theft. "Collection money?" asks Officer Smith (and Gannon in the later color version). Friday shakes his head. "Statue of the child Jesus," he says. They go talk to the priest, who noticed the statue from their nativity display missing that morning, and ask him how late the church stays open. "All night," he says. Friday asks, "So the entire night, anyone could come in here?-- including thieves?" The priest answers, "Particularly thieves, Sergeant." Friday is almost always the giver, not the receiver, of a one-upping comeback.

    For the record, my church has a small room accessible by a combination lock from the outside only, which is (or used to be) a regular 'prayer room.' And there used to be schedule, per se, of people to come use the room for that purpose. I never got into that because I don't think such an idea is necessary. There is no reason a church needs a prayer room, as if it were a control console without which nothing could be operated. And that comes close to venerating the building. Although I like "The Christmas Story" of Dragnet, I don't have the same reasoning for keeping a church open all the time, as if a prayer is holier from there.
     
  13. chuck2336

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    Back to allowing non-members access to the church building to pray for the church, it sounds like this lady was going from room to room praying for this class and then that class and so on. I see no problem with it. I figure we need the prayer and they need the practice!

    I do agree with the security issue, it's a shame that we live in that kind of rime where we ned to lock our doors but that is our reality.
     
  14. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
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    You stole the words right off of my keyboard.
     
  15. FriendofSpurgeon

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    We too have a small prayer chapel that is used for small prayer groups. I don't know if it is left open during the weekdays or not. Note -- our church is rarely "closed" anyway.
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    One church I am involved in tends to be open a lot during the day--people in and out, so I am not sure why it would be a problem for people--whoever-- to be in and out to pray.

    Another church I am involved with only meets at their building (a theater for plays) on Sunday from 8-1 or two, so if people come to pray, they have to deal with owners that aren't the church.

    I think some of this would depend on the situation of the church.

    Why couldn't they just walk around the church and pray?
     
  17. AAA

    AAA
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    As long as it is a privite room (one for male and one for female) not connected to any other buildings...
     

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