AN AMERICAN STUDENT'S PRAYER
BY KELLY COGHLAN

“In God We Trust” is printed on every U.S. coin and dollar bill—and today, Lord, we likewise acknowledge that we not only believe in you God, but we trust you.  We trust you with our lives, with the lives of those we love, and with our futures.

The truth that we are “One Nation under God” is affirmed in the Pledge of Allegiance and recited in every public school—and today, Lord, we likewise acknowledge that you are above all and that we are answerable to you individually and as a Nation.

And as the Supreme Court and every other federal court in America open each day with the prayerful plea, “God, save the United States and this Honorable Court”—we likewise pray that you save the United States and our public schools.

In light of these often repeated truths for which this Country stands, we acknowledge you as our God, and ask your blessing, guidance, and protection on our schools, our friends, our families, and on this Nation.

God,……bless America.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. [i]


[i] Why does this prayer end "in Jesus' name"?  Not every American student is Christian, so, not all will end this prayer “in Jesus’ name.”  But why do Christians?  The phrase, "in Jesus’ name," is not a tag line intended to proselytize or to offend Jews, Moslems, atheists, or others but is said to comply with a basic tenant of the Christian faith John 16:24,26:  [Jesus said,] "Until now you have asked for nothing in My name.  Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full....In that day you will ask in My name...."  John 14:13,14:  [Jesus said,] "And whatever you ask in My name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."  John 15:16:  [Jesus said,] "... so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you."  Colossians 3:17:  "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."  Acts 3:6:  "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have, I give to you:  "In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!"  Acts 4:12:  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."  John 12:32:  [Jesus said,] "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself."
       Prohibiting a Christian from ending a prayer “in Jesus’ name” would not only cause the person to violate his or her conscience but would cause the individual to violate a basic commandment of his or her faith. 
       If someone prays in the name of "Allah" or "Jesus" or "The Lord God of Israel," and the listener is a non-adherent to the particular name, the listener may believe that the person has prayed to nothing.  How can one logically be offended if they believe someone has spoken to the air?  There are many children who believe in Santa Claus and tell others of their faith in and petitions to him.  Does this offend anyone?  A reasoned reaction might be amusement, but not insult.  The same should be true concerning religious expression.  Another's prayer should offend no one any more than a child's heart-felt proclamation:  "Santa Claus is coming to town."  A sincere prayer is not intended to offend but rather to honor God and seek protection and blessing for believers and non-believers alike.  The idea of a person being offended by the expression of another's sincere prayer may simply be a euphemism for intolerance.     ŠKC94-07