Q & A Response: Prayer for Leaders

Q&A Response

Question: I have noticed that we sometimes pray for leaders by their first name. Why don’t we use their full names when we pray for them?

Answer: It is a very old tradition to use only the first names of those one mentions in prayer (it isn’t a formal address TO them, but a compassionate offering of prayer FOR them). In fact, one’s first name (if one was Christian) used to be referred to as one’s “Christian” name. So it was the Christian name that was used in prayers by Christians when praying for others. Our prayers are a demonstration of love, and as such, are properly “informal” when we offer them for our sisters and brothers in the human family, regardless of the positions they hold in society.

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