repeatedly indicated that true worship is exclusive: “He that is not on my side is against me, and he that does not gather with me scatters.” “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Lovers of righteousness who are found in organizations worshiping others than the true God Jehovah are commanded: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.”—Matt. 12:30; John 14:6; Rev. 18:4.
This being so, Jehovah’s servants could not join in prayer with one who does not serve Jehovah God, since prayer is a form of worship. What, then, should one of Jehovah’s servants do if present when a prayer is being offered by, say, a clergyman at a wedding, a funeral or at the graduation of a son or daughter?
If the group stands, it is up to the individual to decide whether he wants to do this or not; in itself this is not the act of worship. The same is true of bowing one’s head. Although he would remain quiet, he might prefer not to bow his head with the others, thus letting all know that he is not joining in the prayer being offered and that the one praying is not representing him. Or the servant of Jehovah could bow his head and offer his own silent prayer on such an occasion. Should he choose to do this, however, he certainly would not utter an audible “Amen” at the end of the public prayer as though expressing agreement with it. It is up to the individual Christian to determine which course he considers best to pursue under the circumstances, and no one should be criticized for his choice on such occasions.
The same principle would apply in the event one were a guest in the home of someone else at mealtime. If, in respect for the sincerity of his guest, the head of the house were to ask his guest to offer the prayer at mealtime, then the servant of Jehovah could do this, praying in harmony with the instructions found in the Bible. However, if a householder who is not a worshiper of Jehovah were to say the blessing when a witness of Jehovah was his guest, the Witness could not join in the prayer, though he could silently offer his own prayer of thanks to God. In homes where it is the custom for all to hold hands around the table when the prayer is said, sharing in this would indicate participation in the prayer, so the Christian would not share in this if the prayer were being offered by one who was not a worshiper of Jehovah God. For one’s prayers to find acceptance with God, they must be offered in the way that he commands.
Patience and regularity in the service of Jehovah God are important. (Jas. 5:8) Displaying these qualities, Jehovah’s witnesses will present at the doors during September the fine Bible-study book “Let Your Name Be Sanctified,” and a booklet, for a contribution of 50c.
DOES BIBLE PROPHECY AFFECT YOUR FUTURE?
Never before in man’s history has the light shown so brightly from God’s Word. Particularly is this true in the field of prophecy, because we are living in the climax of the time of fulfillment of the major prophecies of the Bible, a time when God has foretold that he will make known his name and sanctify it the world over. How is this to be done? What are the prophecies proving that it will be done in our day? What does it mean to you and your future? Read the rewarding book “Let Your Name Be Sanctified.” Send only 50c. You will receive free the timely booklet “Look! I Am Making All Things New.”
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
October 21: “The Word”—Who Is He? According to John, ¶1-34. Page 553.
October 28: Prehuman Existence, ¶35-69. Page 560.