How to pray? What to say?

A church member submitted my name to the Carolina Panthers football team, and I have been asked to deliver the invocation prior to the preseason game on August 29. Accepting the invitation was fun and easy. Now that it is time to prepare the invocation, I have been wondering how I should pray and what I should say.Panthers Logo

I agree with the team’s requirement that prayers should be respectful and ecumenical. I also agree with the requirement that they should last less than one minute.

My challenge has been to craft words that recognize the importance of prayer, fit within the time limit, and respect all the people who will be present.

I keep considering a question: what is prayer in a setting like this?

I think it is an effort to lift our sights beyond ourselves, to affirm good things about the event and participants, and to offer a good word.

Is there something else or something more? If you have ideas, I would appreciate knowing them. You may reply to this post, or you may send them to

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