Season 25 of The Bachelor.

ABC/Craig Schoden

Matt James talks to his competitors about The Bachelor.

Matt James gave the traditional toast on the first night and led attendees in prayers for the franchise.

‘Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for bringing us all together in good health,’ Jacob said, asking the women to bow down. Give these women the courage to get through these few months. You say that you do everything for the good of those who love you and are called to your purpose, God the Father, and I feel that this is why I am here, and I feel that this is why these women are here, Lord. So bless this time together, Father, in Your holy name, please. Amen to that.

Although the prayer was well received by the women, it was greeted with online praise and criticism. Some audience members felt that the timing was inappropriate or uncomfortable for non-Christian participants.

When asked for an answer in a recent interview about The Bachelor Happy Hour, James said it’s the smallest thing I can do for someone who sacrificed their life for me, so if, for example, praying for a group of women is a bad thing, then I don’t want to be a part of the good.

As James explained to the podcast hosts, former bachelorette Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay, even though he had months to prepare, he was nervous and turned to prayer, as he often does. He credits his religion with bringing him peace and giving him a basis for his values.

It’s a blessing to have someone pray for you, James said. It means they are thinking of you, caring about you. I care about all the women who were there and…. I want them to live in peace.

However, he made it clear that religion is not necessarily a deterrent in his relationship. My brother is an atheist and I would die for him, the broker said. He went on to say: I’m not going to impose a religion on anyone, because guess what, you can’t. You can’t pressure anyone.

But he went on to say If you’re uncomfortable with that, it’s like we’re not meant to be together. But just as I would never ban someone for not being a believer and not sharing their faith.

Given his desire to connect with participants to find his future wife, James explained that he hoped prayer would also humanize him so that women would see him as more than just a bachelor.

The prayer has been received with mixed reactions

Jacob’s decision to pray has generated a lot of online reaction. Some thought that since it was his search for love, it was appropriate to share his religion at the beginning of the season. As one Twitter user wrote: He is trying to find someone he loves and who shares his faith. I think it was a great idea because it shows itself in its true light and gives women a chance to break free. It was absolutely the right time.

He is trying to find someone he loves and who shares his faith. I think it was a great idea because it shows itself in its true light and gives women a chance to break free. It was absolutely the right time.

– Kaitlyn Steffich (@Kaitlynrose724) January 5, 2021

Others, however, felt that this put a participant who did not share their beliefs in an awkward position. As another wrote: What if one of them is an atheist? What’s to be done? I’m an agnostic. I’m not sure I like it. So I can only imagine an atheist in this situation.

What if one of them is the most dangerous? What’s to be done? I’m an agnostic. I’m not sure I like it. So I can only imagine the worst.

– We passed (youth only)✌-Chelsea (@ChelseaMoffatt) January 5, 2021

Rob Mills, executive director of ABC, was surprised by‘s reaction.

In a recent appearance on The Viall Files, Rob Mills, director of the CBA, expressed shock at this reaction.

I didn’t expect [prayer] to be such a hot topic, Mills told former bachelor Nick Weil. And I understand some of it where it says: What if it was someone with a different dominance?

He went on to say: I heard some words in prayer: Bend as you are used to or as you wish. This guy just met 32 women. The fact that he didn’t tell people how: If you disagree. I think he was just trying… He didn’t embarrass anyone.

READ NOW: Bree Springs at The Bachelor: 5 quick facts to know

 

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