As followers of God in the way of Jesus,
we pray in the name of Jesus.
Which is to say, simply and quite literally,
that when we get to the end of our prayers, we often say,
“in Jesus’ name, Amen,” or some variation thereof.
Which is not so much to say
we want Jesus to chime in and lend us his authority—
that our prayers somehow don’t count,
or don’t count as much, coming from just us.
But which is to say, less literally
and more provocatively—more challengingly,
we pray in consistency with the being of Jesus.
Which is to say, rather shockingly, we pray who God is.
Now that’s actually clearer than you might think.
It means we pray love;
we pray justice;
we pray peace;
we pray hope;
we pray compassion;
we pray grace;
we pray forgiveness;
we pray righteousness;
we pray humility.
Which is to say, sadly, we all too often pray for a reality other than is—
in our prayers for God’s will—God’s commonwealth—
reflections themselves of God’s being.
So sometimes it is, in truth, a discipline
to pray to incarnate God’s word
which is to say Jesus.
But God’s being is made manifest in true and honest prayer.
Which is to say, wonderfully, God is present in true and honest prayer.
Which is to say, terrifyingly, we pray in the presence of God.
And who’s to say what might thus be?