Prayer as a Guard Against Prejudice

The Internet is a great source of news and information, not to mention knowledge. But I often notice myself going only to sites that affirm what I already know or believe in. I often read only those sites or writers I can agree with. When I chance upon a material that disturbs me or I don’t agree with, I often do not finish reading up the whole thing.

I am a creature of habits. I suppose most people are too. All too often I slip into a comfort zone, whether it be a physical place or a mental state or a psychological predisposition, from which it is very hard to get out of. Once my bias is formed or my opinion shaped, I tend to stay with it until proven otherwise. And unless there is a compelling reason, I do not try to prove it otherwise.

Moments of prayer and reflection provide me with the opportunity to go over my beliefs and commitments, as well as my biases and prejudices. I can get out of my comfort zone leisurely and in a non-threatening situation. Any other time, I would just tend to dig into my prejudices and preconceived notions. In prayer, I can affirm or challenge what I hold dear, what I believe in, what I aspire for and what I want to become.

The nations shall revere your name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
Psalm 102

Jesus summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”
He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 15:10-14

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