Today's reading: John 16
Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16: 23 NRSV
When in India in the mid-nineties I remember my seminary class being invited to dine with a Hindu family. Before we began eating, our professor asked everyone to stand and then he proceeded to pray a blessing, ending the prayer with "in Jesus' name."
We were agast! How rude -- this was a Hindu family. Surely we had offended them!
But later our professor told us that if he had not prayed in Jesus' name, the Hindus would not have believed the prayer to be effective. They believe our prayers only work if we pray in Jesus' name.
If only we were that convicted!
Too often I hear Christians say that we shouldn't pray in Jesus' name in public settings because we might offend someone. If that is the case, I say don't pray at all! Is it better to offend God than people?
I don't want to get onto a religious freedom kick here but I do want to say that I respect the right of others of other faiths to pray or not as they choose. But I respect even more Jesus' own words to his disciples.
God, help us to respect others but to respect you more. Create in us clear boundaries between political correctness and our lives of faith. May you be a priority in our lives, including in our prayer life. In Jesus' name we do pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims