The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


January 22, 2008

Come, Lord Jesus?

I was channel surfing the other day and stopped at The Power of 10 because, frankly, I had flipped through three times and still hadn’t found anything to watch. Contestants tried to predict how the American public responded to research questions. One of the questions was: What percentage of Americans usually say a prayer before dinner? Answer: 42 percent. The contestant lost—she thought it was lower percentage.

Additional statistics on the Web site show that 31 percent of those aged 18-29 usually say grace. The numbers steadily go up until we reach 53 percent for the 65 and older group.

A later question asked:
What percentage of Americans said if they won an award, they would thank Jesus in their acceptance speech? The response: 62 percent. We can assume the odds of needing to make an acceptance speech are lower than those of needing food. Yet more people would thank Jesus for something that might happen instead of thanking God for the food in front of them.

So I wonder: Are we less inclined nowadays to ask Jesus to “be our guest and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen”? Do we need a new emphasis on asking the Lord to “be present at our table”?

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