In Whose Name Do You Pray?

A Faith Manifesto by Peter DeHaanIn whose name do you pray? This isn’t a trick question or a pluralistic implication of approaching the god of your choice. This is a simple query. When you pray to the God who is revealed in the Bible, whose name do invoke at the conclusion?

Do you pray “in Jesus name” or “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?”

The various streams of Christianity tend to prefer one over the over. Each will have historical or theological reasons for their particular preference, not to mention the mere custom of their upbringing. While some may be adamantly entrenched in one practice over the other, even to the point of dogmatic rhetoric, most give no thought to an unexamined habit.

I, for one, don’t think it really matters. A Trinitarian perspective says that God is three persons in one, so to fully embrace this stated belief means that either practice addresses the same God in totality, regardless of the actual name or names used.

Though I was taught one way and not the other, I now prefer to mix it up. For one, this helps to keep the end of my prayers fresh and avoid mindless repetition. It also reminds me that the God, as Trinity, is involved — regardless if I name him fully or implicitly. Lastly, it reminds me that just as there is diversity among those who follow God, there are also diversity in how to approach him. And that is a good thing.

[Read more about this in Peter DeHaan’s e-book A Faith Manifesto: A Christian Perspective on Unity and Acceptance.]