Praying by Name

Praying by Name

Since shortly after the pandemic disruptions began, we have prayed every Sunday morning for the President and Governor by name, usually in a prayer petition asking God to grant wisdom to our nation’s leaders and to give a generous spirit to all during these extraordinary times.

Grant wisdom and clarity of mind to all who lead,
especially to Donald our President and to Eric our Governor,
to our mayors, public health officials, and community leaders of all kinds.
Lead us into a shared commitment to the common good,
and to a special concern for the vulnerable among us.

Scripture bids us to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:2), and the Christian tradition has long included in the weekly prayers of the church petitions for those who govern. Our elected leaders have a significant impact on us, on our community, and particularly on the vulnerable among us. For this reason, we pray that God grant wisdom to our leaders, that they would exercise their considerable authority wisely and for the common good.

The church traditionally prays for all people, including community and national leaders, by first name – the name in which the church baptizes. Thus, when we pray for our president and governor, our bishops and congregational leaders, mayors, and local officials, we pray using the person’s first name. Titles are used only as reference points to recall their authority and responsibility – the reason we lift them to God in prayer. Honorifics (ie, “the honorable” or “her excellency”) are avoided.

This past Sunday was the first in a few months that we did not pray for the president and governor directly. Starting this month, I am reworking the prayers to create a rotation of public leaders for whom we will pray by name in worship. This past week we prayed by name for both for leaders of the church and our school superintendents. In the past we have prayed by name for our mayors, representatives in congress, and teachers.

For whom else shall we pray by name? Are there leaders in the community, state, nation, or world that you would like us to lift up in prayer? Let me know. Send me an email at, or call the church office at 317 896-1402. I welcome your input as we make it a point to pray by name for those who have authority, responsibility, and influence over the affairs of our community, nation, and the world.

May God grant each of us wisdom, compassion, and grace in how we live our lives, interact with others, spend our gifts, and exercise our power – whatever there may be of it – for the common good.

Pastor Chris

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