Generic Prayer

June 24, 2009

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” – John 16:23-24

As a pastor, I’m often asked pray in some public setting. And very often when I’m asked, the person giving the invitation tells me, “Now we want this to be an ecumenical prayer,” or “We want this to be a kind of generic prayer.” Generic, ecumenical – these are just code words for, “Whatever you do, don’t mention Jesus!” Sorry to disappoint these folks, but I can’t go into a public setting and deny Jesus or my faith.

On the other hand, I think it’s important when praying in a public setting that includes non-believers, that we say, “I pray this prayer in the name of MY Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” It would not be a true statement if we were to say, “OUR Lord and Savior.” But when we say, “in the name of MY Lord and Savior,” then that is through our own faith that we are speaking to God. It still may be offensive to some, but it’s a way of acknowledging it as our faith and not the faith of everyone who is present.

So, if you are asked to pray in public, don’t deny your Lord. Just remember He is your Lord and not necessarily the Lord of all who are there.