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Praying for peace is one thing, and Americans of various beliefs must feel solidarity with religious groups marking Pentecost around the nation in a ''Peace with Justice'' week.

But praying for peace in defiance of the law is another thing. More than a hundred of the Washington ''Peace with Justice'' contingent were warned by police that it was illegal to pray or picket inside the Capitol. They prayed there anyway as the House debated the MX. By inviting arrest, their demonstration won a certain amount of attention in the press. But that is not how prayers get attention where it counts

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