Praying in the Name of Amen and Awomen

Praying in the Name of Amen and Awomen

The United States Congress started up again for the 117th time. As is the usual, someone prays.

The basic idea behind prayer is that our communication (words) here in the physical world would somehow reach something or someone in the spiritual world.

We would never attach the word prayer to every day conversations with one another. Prayer is a unique and special time where our focus is other-worldly.

The Representative from the state of Missouri takes center stage as he has been selected to bring the 117th United States Congress before God in a time of spiritual communication.

As Representative Emanuel Cleaver II speaks to the divine, his heart and desire is genuinely god-centered.

Eternal God…we bow before your throne of grace
…we gather now, in this consequential chamber
…the members of this…
body, acknowledge your sacred supremacy and therefore confess that without your favor or forebearance…
empower us with an extra dose of power in it’s principles…may we model healing
…may we so fill our presence…insert in our spirit a light so bright
…see ourselves as we really are…now may the God who created the world
…may the Lord make his face to shine upon us…lift up the light of his countenance and give us peace
…we ask it in the name of the monotheistic God Brahma, and god known by many names, by many different faiths…


After Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II closes his prayer, the media and some Christians “loses their minds!”

“How dare he say Amen and Awomen?” “He doesn’t know what that word means!” “This is a sign that America has forgotten the truthfulness of Christianity!” “He is trying to infect us with the gay.”

On and on, everyone forms an opinion without listening and understanding what and who this person is.

What I love about a “faith in Scripture” is that we can use the Word of God to measure how I react to the statement of “Amen and Awomen.”

The Bible has laid out a picture of humanity, a snapshot of a few thousand years, of how humans work and how they approach physical and spiritual matters — all in one fairly large book.

When I first heard of the closing “Amen and Awomen” statement, I didn’t feel moved to disbelief. I merely thought it was the continuing legacy of mashed-potato-faith that has plagued our American Society.

Everyone has a belief and everyone’s belief should be respected. What I didn’t hear at first from the media was how this public servant closed his prayer in the Name of Brahma3 and however else you want to call it (God).

After listening to the whole prayer (you can watch here) I realize that as Christians we are so inclusive in our thinking that if someone uses key phrases from the Bible, we believe that they are Christians or are representing Jesus correctly.

That being said, Emanuel Cleaver II does belong to the Christian denomination United Methodist, where is is ordained as a pastor. So in this case, Emanuel Cleaver II does come from a denomination that espouses a Christian faith and he is empowered by his church/denomination to perform the sacraments of that denomination. In addition, as a Democratic Representative of Missouri, he is empowered to represent the people in his political borders (district).

Should we be judgin’?

This is the point at which many Christians become increasingly more judgmental: Who are we to judge the servant of another?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, should we examine the words of Representative Emanuel Cleaver II?

The Bible has numerous verses that tell us to judge one another and limits that initial judgment to those who proclaim to be of the same faith as ours (1 Cor. 5:12).

So, the Biblical answer to Should we be judgin’? is YES. The Bible commands us to judge each other who are in the faith (1 Cor. 5:12), and to do it with gentleness (Gal. 6:1), thoughtful and loving speech (Col. 4:6) and by keeping in mind our own frailty to make errors and sin against God (Gal. 6:1).

In the prayer offered up to the God of all creation, Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, does detail the nature of the god he is praying to. I also admit, that what he asked of this god was really thoughtful and matches the prayers of millions of people who go before the god of all creation (true or false).

His request is a beautiful and godly request.

Pray In the Name

As you listen, you’ll hear words like LORD, God of Creation and some direct quotes from Scripture:

May his face shine upon you… Numbers 6:24-25

The Eternal God… Deuteronomy 33:27

Light (as a spiritual power)… John 12:46

These all sound like good things and Biblical, but it’s his closing of the prayer that should make us become very judgmental.

He ends, “…we ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and god known by many names, by many different faiths…”

Why is this so serious?

Praying in a Name is more than just using words to neatly close up your speech. Praying in a Name is about spiritual power and authority and the Name that Representative Emanuel Cleaver II uses is far more dangerous than his use of “Amen and Awomen.”

Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

If we asked in “Jesus Name” we would receive what we ask.

In the Old Testament, God instructed Moses and the people that He would choose a place for his Name to dwell (Deuteronomy 12:11).

Throughout Scripture there is a connection to how God was going to determine who would receive answers to their prayers and it was in a place that had His Name.

As a Christian, who raised as a child in the Catholic practice, raised as a Christian in the Pentecostal “Lite”A practice and now living as Bapti-costal, the Name of Jesus was always used as a closing to a prayer.

Many times, I believe, that it was used to invoke the holiness of God in the prayer, but mostly, it was a tag-0n and an indicator to those listening that the prayer was over.

…in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

As a Christian, saying “…in Jesus Name…” was expected. If it didn’t happen, there was a feeling like the moment wasn’t officially ended, that there wasn’t enough closure and we might look around at one another to see what was happening.

The Name and the use of the Name became a routine ritual. This isn’t how God intended for it to be.

The Name of Jesus was intended to be a way of living that was followed by power. This is exampled in the lives of the followers in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:21).

Oswald Chambers expanded on Jesus’s words:

“At that day ye shall ask in My name,” i.e. in My nature. Not — “You shall use My name as a magic word,” but — “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.”1

Praying in the Name is super important and the prayer offered up in the Name of Brahma will not be heard by Jesus. It’s like making a call to the wrong number and Jesus isn’t petty in His seriousness.

Why does Jesus get to be The Name?

Jesus has earned the right to take any and all prayer requests.2

By praying in the Name of Brahma and in the name of any and all named/un-named gods out in the world, Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, has misrepresented the God revealed in Scripture. By doing so, he has lowered the value of Jesus’s Name, an honor and position which He paid a high price:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth…” Philippians 2:9-10 KJV.

The real issue here is not the Representative from Missouri’s, Amen and Awomen statement, which he explained he did to honor a Congress with a record number of women representatives, but his invoking of the name of a false god, Brahma.3

Brahma is a god who cannot save. In the Prophet Samuel’s opinion he warned:

“Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.” (1 Samuel 12:21 NIV)

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other NAME under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NASB emphasis mine).

There was a time where God overlooked prayer to other gods, but now He no longer accepts.

Paul in Acts 17 enters a forum that displays all the known gods in the greek theo-sphere. He sees one statue labeled, “To the Unknown God.”

Paul, under the brilliant power of the Holy Spirit explains to the crowd of god-seekers that the God of all creation, maker of heaven and earth, the one who gives you breath to move and sing, He has a Name.

“So having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now proclaiming to mankind that all people everywhere are to repent, because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him [Jesus] from the dead.” Acts 17 30-31

There is a Name, only One Name that we pray in.

Do you believe in the Name?

No: Then let me encourage you to learn more about Jesus. Learn about how He is the Creator and Savior to those that would call upon His Name/

Yes: Then let me encourage you to sharpen your understanding of Jesus. There is an infinite depth to growing in an intimate relationship with Jesus. The Bible, has been given to us so that we can learn about Jesus and all that His life did for us (and yes, Jesus appears on the first page and the last page of the Bible).

Lastly, communicate to God. Use your voice or thoughts and talk to Jesus. If you talk to Him in His Name, you’ll get immediate access to His direct line and start a wonderful life long relationship with love Himself.

  2. The theology of Jesus as the God Man (Christology) can sometimes become confusing and is larger than this article can cover. How can Jesus earn what He already has? Jesus, the Man, as a prototype for believers did physical actions on earth that were pleasing to God His Father and thus is spoken of as someone who has attained His position as King. As the Son of God, He has never ceased to be a King although He limited certain rights when becoming human (Philippians 2:7), but as the God-Man, He is rightfully the Human King and the Divine King. This distinction is a temporary distinction until the work in humanity is completed (1 Cor. 15:24).
  3. Who is Brahma? Check out Wikipedia for more details here.

A. What is Pentecostal “Lite”? I define Pentecostal “Lite” as a denomination that still holds to the primary differences that make a person a Pentecostal, but with out severe legalism. Normally called Spirit Filled, Full Gospel, Five-Fold, etc. The Lite is in reference to software that does not come with the full capabilities.

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.