Following the killings at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, the Alliance of Baptists asked me to write a Prayer of Concern for our Muslim Sisters and Brothers. This prayer was to be included in a resource packet being compiled for use by our congregations. What follows is the prayer I wrote. I share it with you in the hope that you might find it useful and as a way of reminding us of the peaceful essence of the message of Jesus, and as a way of urging us to be careful with our words for so many of the messages pouring out of the Christian community seem little influenced by the life and teachings of the one whose name we bear.
The Holy Book of Islam begins, “Praise be to Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.” For our brothers and sisters who seek simply, who seek to live this commitment, to walk in this way and to follow this path of submission, we pray. We pray for them when they are blamed for acts they denounce and deplore. We pray for them when they are demonized by those who judge without understanding. We pray for them when they are told there is no place for them in this land so blessed by those seeking refuge from oppression, freedom to worship as they please. In these days of great pain let us commit ourselves anew, as those who are trying to follow Jesus, to recognizing that Jesus has followers that go by other names than Christian. Amen.