In prayer, names and words matter
To the editor:
The Baker City Council's dilemma over the policy of prayer at the opening of meetings has long had me puzzled, until I read the July 9 edition of the Baker City Herald.
Apparently the issue isn't prayer alone, but prayer offered in the name of Jesus. This reminded me of an incidence in scripture, so I looked it up. To quote: "But so that it spread no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no more in this name. And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus." Acts 4:17, 18.
Prayer is defined in the dictionary as: "A reverent petition made to a diety or other object of worship." Therefore silence would not be a prayer. It could only be appropriate if there was nothing to pray to.
Names are significant and important. By names we identify each other and all other things in our lives. We trust certain products because of their brand names. The trap of nothingness would be a sea of confusion, leading to despair.
Fortunately we are still a nation of great diversity and the freedom to use and express it. If this is offensive perhaps motives need to be re-examined.
To invoke the blessing of the Almighty One on our fair city is not bad, but good. Ministers of different denominations and faiths should be invited to do such. This would be for our enrichment, education and unity of the community.