Why I Declined to Pray for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Recently I received an invitation to give the invocation at a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ meeting.  This is a huge blessing.  The Supervisors are some of the most powerful people in Los Angeles. Some call them the Five Little Kings, refering to their power and influence.  This would allow me to meet them and probably receive a certificate of appreciation. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity and said, “Yes, I’ll pray.” But then it happened. I received an email outlining the “Invocation Guidelines,” which prohibits me to pray “In Jesus’ Name.” My heart began to ache. I posted on Facebook if I should still go to pray or not.  This hot button issue received mixed responses. Some said, “Don’t do it.  You can’t deny Jesus!”  Others said, “Go.  You’re a missionary and Jesus will be with you.  There’s no hard rules to ending prayer.” So what did I do?……………………………………..I respectfully declined. I declined NOT out of religous zealotry or legalism.  I know God hears me when I speak to Him even though at times I don’t use Jesus’ Name.  And I don’t think other ministers who go to pray are denying Jesus. But I declined out of deep personal conviction. I’m a Christian minister – I pray “In Jesus’ Name.”  To invite me to pray is to invite me to be who I am and to do what I do.  Besides, the Name of Jesus is what delivered me from deep darkness.  And I came out of deep, deep darkness (You can obtain my autobiography here). I don’t have it in me to pray a public prayer intentionally not using the Name of Jesus. This is just me. P.s. I just got a good idea. I’ll pray for that Board meeting right here: “Lord God, I thank you for the privilege to pray to You.  I thank you for the LA County Board of Supervisors and their staff. They have a great work to do. I ask your Hand of blessing upon the LA County Board of Supervisors and their meeting.  I pray You fill them with wisdom to make the right decisions that LA County may prosper in every way.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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