Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don’t Like that Prayer Card? Try the Multi-denominational Invocation Card

Last week Stand Firm noted the death of the Alaska Airlines prayer card. Maybe there’s a solution for those prayer card blues. This week Raymond Walsh, on his blog Man On The Lam, offers a rather tongue-in-cheek solution to what he phrases “the separation of church and plate.”

Why not ditch the prayer card in favor of a multi-denominational invocation card like this one by Indonesian-based Lion Air:

This is the shotgun approach to airborne prayer. Invoking the gods of Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism should pretty much cover the majority of travelers on the Lion Air route map. I’m a little disappointed though that they didn’t include Scientology in the list. Oh yeah, Tom Cruise says Scientology isn’t a religion. Yet there’s something not quite right about this – they don’t have a prayer for the atheist, making it a PC failure. What’s the atheist going to pray?

I’d definitely have to monkey with the front of the invocation card too. The overwrought English-speaking trekker won’t be comforted much by that big bold first word: DOA. Implying that you’ll be Dead On Arrival doesn’t seem like the best way to begin a relationship with the average jet setter.

My conclusion is that the best prayer card would be one that speaks to every person on the face of the earth, one that is universally applicable using a single prayer. That response has already been written, formed by the pen of the LORD’s prophet Isaiah:
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.' I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18-22 ESV


Anonymous said...

As an LCMS Lutheran, I hate being lumped in with generic Protestants and the corresponding watered-down theology.
Scott, the Lutheran card is missing.

~Cafeteria Lutheran

Anonymous said...

With the addition of a Lutheran segment as "Cafeteria" suggests above, this card would be ideal for the seeker-sensitive LCMS congregation. You'd have your traditional worship, your CoWo and blended services, and invocation cards that are theologically inclusive. Talk about outreach!!

Joe Strieter

Scott Diekmann said...

Considering that the Protestant and the Catholic prayers are basically interchangeable, other than the Catholic prayer is Trinitarian, I don't hold out much hope for the Lutheran prayer being very Lutheran. They could have at least thrown in something about the mediatrix in the Catholic prayer! Of couse, considering that Lutherans are catholic and evangelical, they only need a Lutheran prayer.