I was asked to say a blessing before a meal at a public venue not too long ago, as I often am. Of course, I was happy to oblige, and as I always do, I ended my prayer with the words, “in Jesus’ name”.
However, after my prayer on this particular occasion, a well-meaning colleague reminded me that I shouldn’t use those words when I pray publicly in order to respect the various religious affiliations that may be present.
Instead, he recommended, I pray in God’s name, my Savior’s name, or my Lord’s name. Or just say Amen. This would be more respectful and not be compromising to my own beliefs.
I guess this is true and I completely understand the point being made. I also never want to be intentionally disrespectful.
I thanked my colleague for their advice and pondered his remarks in my mind. I even prayed about it and felt completely resolved not “remove” Jesus’ name from my prayer.
A few months later I was asked to pray at another public event, and as I approached the end of my prayer, those key words flashed through my mind, and I actually thought for a moment – should I say something more diplomatic?
I was then reminded to all Jesus has done in my life. How He saved my marriage. How He literally saved my life. How He provides for me daily, and loves me unconditionally. I was reminded that He isn’t ashamed of me and to speak my name before His Father, and therefore, how could I ever remove His name from my prayers? I could not and can not. For He is why the Father hears me. He is my Lord and my Savior. He is Jesus and can not be removed (Mathew 10:32).
I do not want to be offensive, but I must be honest – it is Jesus to whom I specifically pray. Jesus is my God, my Lord and my Savior. He is God.
So, in conclusion, I ended my prayer as I always do and always will, and my colleague knows that if I’m asked to pray, it will be in Jesus’ name.
May we always be kind, loving, gentle, and respectful peace makers, but never compelled to conform to being “less specific” and remove the name of the Greatest Gift this world ever received – Jesus Christ.