Since writing last week about my illegal prayer in the name of Jesus at a City Council meeting (Click here to read it), I have thought deeply about this issue and have decided to obey the law next time I’m asked to give an invocation at a venue that specifically forbids “sectarian” prayer. I will not pray in the name of Jesus.
But here is what I will do… Before I open an event in prayer I will say something like this:
“I understand that prayers at events like these can be controversial. The pressure is great to offer an invocation that everyone will be comfortable with.
But since there’s a large diversity of beliefs—and non-beliefs—here, I realize that simply isn’t possible.
Therefore, since I have been asked to offer the prayer this morning, and since I am a Christian, I will pray in a way that is consistent with my conscience. I will be praying in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, the One who has saved me from Hell when I was guilty of breaking his Commandments,
though I will not be specifically mentioning Him by name in the prayer.
You are welcome to join me if you like, or quietly wait for me to finish, as you wish.
I thank you in advance for your understanding and your tolerance if your particular way of praying—or not praying, as the case may be—is different from mine.”
[I will then pray, ending the prayer with]:
“For Your sake, and for the sake of Your Kingdom.
I obey the law; everybody’s happy; and God still gets the glory.
They might even ask me back!
(Thanks to Stand to Reason for this prayer suggestion.)