Is it a sin to pray in public?


Is it a sin to pray in public? I ask because of the part of the Bible where Jesus says to pray in secret.


Do you think people sin against the will of God. If they pray in public? Do you judge all those people in the history of the world who have prayed in public. Including saints who prayed in public as they were being killed?


If you are doing it to make yourself look holy or if pride is involved in anyway - then its about you and not about God. It would be all about your motive for praying in public - and only the person praying would know that.

The above poster is not being very helpful in answering your question. You did nothing wrong by asking.


No it is not a sin.

Now if one is doing it for the wrong reason…then there can be sin.


Then how do you account for Judaeo Christian worship services throughout history? The Mass?


What is the wrong reason? And does it happen often. We pray before meals at restataunts. It’s a visible witness.
Athletes do it to publicly give glory to God.

Do you have an example if a specific person or action that has been sinful? Besides the biblical example?


One can pray in public for show only and not out of true devotion. That would be sinful.

To the OP: No, it is not (generally) a sin to pray in public.


I’m afraid you are not taking the “sin” in the context which Jesus was speaking about. What Jesus is saying is that to pray in front of other people specifically for them to see, so that you can be glorified by them because you are so holy as to pray in public. He was talking about the Pharisee’s who loved to be honored by the people because of their “great works”.

Praying in public is not a sin in the least, in fact the Lord loves our public prayers, as long as they are done for the right reasons. Ask yourself when you pray, are you doing this for your glory, or to glorify God?


He meant those who pray so that they will be SEEN and perceived as holy.

Not people who choose to not be embarrassed to pray around others.


I have prayed my rosary in public multiple times. It’s a great witness to the faith. Though, someone decided to tell a neighbourhood watch group that I was carrying a “large chain” which is laughable if you’ve ever seen that rosary. We contacted the Sheriff’s department and the dispatcher thought it ridiculous…she’s Catholic.


We are not bound by the apparent meaning of the scriptures. Look at the entirety of the seamless garment of the Gospel message. “Vain” prayers. “Vain” repetition. Prayers so as to be seen.

Better to turn to the catechism than the bible at times.


I have a beautiful rosary and I no longer drive but walk to Church – to public transportation and when I’m walking to Church or to transportation I say a decade of the rosary–I couldn’t get through a day without it – I love my rosary!!!


when I lived a bit closer to a Catholic Church I would do that especially when to 8 am Mass. I would get up really early and be at the church about an hour early and I would walk 2.9 miles (4.64 km) Now I live 7.2 miles away (11.52 km) from the closest Catholic church so I can’t exactly walk there I could but I don’t want to. you know I think the issue at hand is misinterpreting Bible passages because I imagine that Jesus and the apostles would have prayed in public in fact there’s plenty of evidence in the gospels that they did. And what about the Holy sacrifice of the Mass? Are you not in a public place praying?


Thank you all so much for your answers! I really appreciate them!

Anyway, I have an example I want to ask about. Let’s say I am at a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment and I am in the waiting room. In order to pass the time, I decide to do something constructive by praying the Rosary. Would this be okay so long as I wasn’t doing it just to appear holy to others?


I think it would be a good way to witness! I used to read my Bible in ublic quite regularly but since I’ve been sick lately I’ve not really left the house and people would ask me about it and people would tell me how they liked the fact I was reading my Bible in public


It is NOT a sin to pray in public. It is NOT a sin to pray in public.


No! It’s a sin if you are praying out loud for attention, to look holy, to satisfy your pride.

What I think Jesus meant about that part where he said fast in secret…etc was to not do things to look holier than thou. I really don’t know how to explain it so I’ll use an example: a catholic who is fasting announces to everyone he is fasting, he posts pictures on instagram that he is currently reading the bible, basically says things that comes across as “I’m so holy”. Another person, prays at a clinic. Purpose behind it? To be healthy. He does not care if people notices or not. He does not try to draw attention to himself.


Of course not. Jesus was talking about humility. What are your reasons for praying? Would you pray more loudly/behave more ‘holy’ if there are people in the room? Don’t worry


Be respectful, and do it in a way that while is visible, public and witnessing to God; but at the same time is reserved, respectful of others and so on and do it for to glorify God and you will be just fine.

I often times (I have both the traditional rosary and a rosary ring) and using my rosary ring I say prayers in Times Square all the time, and also during my sons football games when he isn’t playing. Public prayer is very pleasing to God as long as it’s done for the right reasons and in the right way.


I encourage you to employ logic against scruples.

If you think God or the blessed mother would view your prayer as a sin, then you need to rethink a lot of things. Also, please remember that when you question these things you run the risk of judging others who do the very thing that you are questioning.

Please be at peace and let the scrupulocity go.

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