30 April, 2008

The Pragmatic National Day of Prayer.

From Slice of Laodicea

Ingrid had this to say about responses she is receiving on the Jesus-less National Day of Prayer:

I have never had quite so much email on a subject. This National Day of Prayer issue really touched a nerve among Christians. Yesterday I was asked to speak by phone to a group of top evangelical leaders of large ministries who were meeting in Florida. By speaker phone, I was questioned about the National Day of Prayer’s official prayer leaving out the name of Jesus Christ for pragmatic reasons. I did the best I could to succinctly explain that it is wrong for evangelical leaders who are so fond of battling for the right to pray in Jesus name, to discard that same name in public on the National Day of Prayer.

These leaders are on the horns of a dilemma. If they say anything, they risk alienating themselves from the National Day of Prayer Task Force and the Dobsons. If they don’t say anything, they realize they are Scripturally in the wrong. Now they do know about it, and they are responsible for what they know. I will let you know what, if anything, comes out of this group of men. Unfortunately, courage, the willingness to be unliked, the willingness to lose something for standing up for the Lord Jesus, is in extremely short supply. I have had so many “Nicodemus” leaders call or email me—they come to me by night—saying, “Go, Ingrid! What you’re doing is right. We think it’s great. Go, Ingrid, Go.” But you will never see them take a public stand. They’re all hiding in the tall grass while a woman takes the flak for a position that they know is right. I must take a stand, but I’m going to say this bluntly—it’s to the shame of these men that I have to do this with so little support.

Ingrid, I can completely relate. Been there, had that happen, too. I am reminded that the Christian life can be lonely as Martin Lloyd Jones wrote.


Meloff said...

Ingrid is correct in her summary.

How does the Rev. think he is a witness to the Jewish contingent? By affirming to them that they can pray to and be heard by God? Apart from The Intercessor, Christ? How is this a witness?

Far better it would have been for him to have simply said, "I cannot abide by those regulations."

The court-martialed Navy chaplain has more integrity. God bless him and return to him 100-fold whatever he may have given up to honor his Lord and Savior.

Although I disagree on the issue of the Sabbath, this is why Eric Liddel's story is still so memorable - his refusal to compromise. Even for an event like the Olympics.

Rev. Z's prayer and response is dangerously like luke-warm water. Only fit to be spit out.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

When I served as a pastor, I was often asked to pray before football games (yes, we still do that in the south), at county commission meetings, and even before the Senate/Representatives in the captial. At no point did I water down the prayer or feel that I couldn't pray in Jesus' name. If I had been given such restrictions, I would have simply thanked them graciously for the invitation, but declined.

I remember praying before the Senate in my state. It was a great honor, in a historic building. The presiding officer even wore a robe! I was impressed. The Senator who invited me told me that the only limitation I had was on time--because they literally typed out my prayer, engraved it on a beautiful frame and would have it presented to me at a later time. I saw no problem with that! I wasn't there to pray for every known sin, crime, or situation. To this day, when I look at the framed prayer, I see how I closed it: In Jesus' Name I Pray. Amen.

Ministers need to find some intergity in their prayers and what they willingly do for the "community."