The Illegal Name of Jesus, Part 2: Ready for the Bottom of the List


I’m ready to be demoted.

The lady who schedules the invocations for the City of Torrance told my administrative assistant that I would not be able to pray in the name of Jesus, and that if I did, I would not be asked back again. She scheduled my invocation slot for this evening.

I thought back to my conversation with the very friendly City Clerk last year before I was to pray: “We ask that the prayer be non-sectarian” she said. (Read part 1 here).

“I’m sorry; I can’t do that,” I replied. “I will be praying in the name of Jesus.”

“That’s okay, but we’ll probably not be able to ask you back. We don’t want people to sue the Mayor.”

Despite assurances from the Mayor (pictured) a few months ago that I could pray in the Name of Jesus, the iron-clad, politically-correct posture of the city was still in place. Again, I remembered the solemn warning from last year’s pre-prayer chat with the City Clerk after telling her that I had to pray in The Name: “It’s okay,” she said calmly. “We’ll just put your name on the bottom of the prayer-person list from now on.”

No problem. I won’t pray in His name. Really. I won’t pray in Jesus’ name.

Here’s what I plan on saying after considering some sage advice given by Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason, a wonderful apologetics ministry.

“Thank you for the honor of being able to give the invocation at this Council meeting. I understand that I am not allowed to pray in the name of Jesus. I will honor that request, but want to let everyone know that I will be praying to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who saved me from Hell by dying for my sins on a cross. I don’t want anyone to be confused on whose God I’m praying to.”

I will offer my prayer, then close with something like, “And I pray this in the Name that is above all names, the King of King’s and Lord of Lords, Amen.”

I emailed Ray Comfort to solicit his advice on the matter; this is how he suggested I close the prayer: “And I pray this in the name of the One who rose from the dead on the third day. Amen.”

So, that’s what I’ll do!

What do you think will happen? Click here to find out….


  1. Luh-kee! (say this ina Napolean Dynamite voice)

    Way to go Steve

  2. I know what will happen! Christ will be presented and God will be glorified! Can’t wait to read the rest!

  3. May Jesus’ Name be Praised!! I’ll be praying in Jesus’ Name for you this evening!

  4. Praise the Name of Jesus as He will be honored and glorified in the presence of those who will know exactly who you are referring to unless they come from an unknown distant planet in an unknown distant galaxy!

    Pray on brother as you are supported in prayer…in the Name of Jesus! Amen!

  5. I heard of someone else, a long time ago, who was in a similar predicament and they used your solution…”and I pray this in the Name that is above all names.” May He use you through that prayer! I’ll be praying too…in the name of JESUS! 🙂 Blessed be His glorious name!

    Shalom! 🙂

  6. I don’t usually say “…in Jesus name…” at the end of prayers anyway, but always thank the Father and Son for the promise that they made before all of creation to send the Son to redeem His people, or I mention some thanks for the Son, our Lord and Savior, for dying for our sins and rising again defeating death that we might live. I think Ray made a good comment there about the resurrection.

    So you don’t have to mention the name “Jesus” but can definitely still make exclusive statements so that people know who you’re talking about. Also using different (but accurate) terminology in reference to our Lord, like you mentioned “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” might make some people who have been inoculated to the name “Jesus” to think a little more/differently about just who this Jesus guy… who this Redeemer is. Maybe? Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you and I’ll be praying for the situation and everyone involved!


  7. What is “invocational slot” anyway?

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