Over half of evangelical leaders (59 percent) said they would publicly pray at events involving those of different religions, and 41 percent said it would depend. No one answered no to the January Evangelical Leaders Survey question, “Would you accept invitations to publicly pray at events involving clergy or leaders of non-Christian religions?”

Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), said, “I’m a little surprised by the unanimity of evangelicals praying alongside leaders of non-Christian religions. They believe in the importance of Christian prayer more than they worry about being misunderstood.”

Prayer is a central part of evangelical Christian faith and practice. The recent survey shows that evangelical leaders are ready and willing to pray when and where they are invited, even in the company of clergy from other faiths.

“Most evangelical leaders just want the freedom and respect to pray in the name of Jesus – not to offend others but to be faithful to Jesus Christ,” Anderson said.

Several leaders included comments similar to that of Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director Emeritus of the Christian Reformed Church, who said, “But only if there are no restrictions on the prayer to be offered. I would not be willing to offer a generic prayer that essentially denies or omits the name of Jesus Christ.”

Steve Moore, President of Missio Nexus, added, “As long as my participation did not suggest I was endorsing or affirming the beliefs of other non-Christian leaders, I would consider the invitation.”

Some leaders noted the missional value in such invitations. Rocky Rocholl, President of Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, said, “I see these opportunities as a chance to share the good news with those that seldom, if ever, hear it.”

Mitch Hescox, President of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said, “As we are commanded to love our neighbor, it is our Christian duty to pray at all times for all people. Praying publicly with non-Christians represents a wonderful way to witness to the gospel and share Jesus’ love for all the world.”