Why do we have to remove our hats during prayer?

One day, an experience in school prompted my son to ask me the following I had never really considered: “why do we have to remove our hats when we pray?”

In other words, why is it respectful to remove our hats during prayer? I thought about this for a moment then responded: “What is the purpose of hats?” Mainly, to protect us from things–whether sun, rain, or debris. But when we pray, we are trying to open and expose our souls to the Lord. Therefore, we remove our hats to symbolize that we are not trying to protect or separate ourselves, but trying to establish a connection by fully opening and exposing ourselves to Him. Thus, the opposite of what the hat signifies.

The hat or head covering can also signify a position of power and authority, and to remove this for prayer might also express humility and discarding any notions of authority before the Creator, Who is the only Power and Authority in all the Universe.

Hence, the idea of removing hats or head covering is about subordinating oneself in humility to the leadership of a higher power. In the case of the human spirit, the highest power is the Almighty God.

This is an example of children helping you reflect on the meaning of things that you otherwise would not. What a great help they are.

~Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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