Thursday, January 22, 2009

Praying on public occasions outside the church

It's always a bit tricky knowing what to say in a prayer on a public occasion outside the church e.g. an ANZAC Day parade. Do we pray with explicit Christian invocations because, notwithstanding the presence of non-Christians 'this IS a Christian country' or 'a Christian can only pray a Christian prayer'? Or do we modify our language according to the circumstance?

Th inauguration of President Obama provided such an occasion or two. At a pre-inauguration concert Bishop Gene Robinson prayed a prayer of great interest, because in the days before the event he had vowed and declared it would NOT be a Christian prayer. At the inauguration itself Rick Warren prayed - a matter of interest because many had objected to him being asked to pray in the first place!

Bosco Peters helpfully sets out both prayers for us to read and to reflect on.

What do you think?

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