Religious Tolerance logo

An essay donated by Susan Humphreys

An alternative generic prayer

horizontal rule

I read with interest the two part essay on the issue of prayer at town council meetings in Greece, New York.

When I first moved to my area, and joined the local Master Gardener group, we would gather twice a year for a potluck dinner. The husband of one of the members who was a minister was asked and always offered a ‘blessing’ before the meal. He often started quite generically, giving thanks (not to God or any diety, just a simple acknowledgment that we are thankful) for friends and rain (this is a farming community and we were all gardeners), for good nutritious food then ended with “in Jesus name we pray.”

I don’t pray in Jesus name and was bothered but said nothing, I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was the new girl in town and was still feeling my way around this new community. I was disturbed that with those five simple words he had turned a generic offering of thanks into a Christian’s prayer.

Later, I joined the Chamber of Commerce in the smaller town closer to where I lived where I had a small weaving studio and arts and crafts gallery. This group met once a month over lunch. Another local minister was asked and gave a ‘blessing’ before each meal. Again I didn’t object. I knew I was the only odd one in this gathering. I could tolerate what for me was a meaningless gesture. I still wondered why this man felt he had to add those same five little words after what started out as a purely generic expression of thanks.

An essay on this web site offered four alternative solutions to the problem in Greece, NY and for other municipalities. I would like to offer a fifth solution -- a generic solution for volunteer group meetings and municipal/governmental meetings:

"We are thankful for friends and family, for this good food and great weather. Whether you are a believer in God or a non-believer we are thankful that we are all gathered here today to celebrate this season and our fellowship.

We assemble today to conduct the business of this community. Whether you are one that seeks guidance from your God or wisdom from your soul we ask all to put aside their differences and seek the common ground, to consider the needs and rights of everyone in this community so that we can make wise decisions that will work towards making this a better place for everyone."

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Perhaps some of the readers might send in suggestions for other generic "prayers" and "blessings." It is possible to be all inclusive, IF we leave out those five little words at the end.

IF there is a God I am sure he is wise enough to know that the believers are acknowledging his gifts even IF they don't mention his name out loud! AND I'd think he would be pleased to see the respect shown by everyone, believers and non-believers, towards each other.

Click here to email your alternate prayer to us

horizontal rule

First posted: 2013-AUG-17
Latest update: 2013-AUG-17
Author: Susan Humphreys

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the Municipal prayer menu, or choose:


Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Additional Info

Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Sponsored links: