Sample Invocation for a Public Meeting

Updated on February 27, 2020

What to Do When Asked to Pray in a Public Setting

Invocation for a Public Meeting

After receiving more than 16,000 views of my previous hub "Sample Invocation", I felt that another sample for a different context would be appropriate. This is based on more than 20 years of experience praying before local governmental meetings.

Preface to the prayer for the one giving the invocation: This prayer was designed for use as an invocation for a city council meeting. It can be modified to fit many other types of settings involving government bodies. As you prepare to modify it for your own use, keep these basic rules in mind:

  • Understand the context. Is the event purely secular (non-religious), or within your particular faith circle? Make sure you employ a prayer-style and vocabulary which everyone can relate to.
  • Be who you are. If you have been invited to pray, then do your best to represent your tradition or faith-community well. Make sure that you speak to God on behalf of the entire group.
  • Pray for what is appropriate, given the occasion--and then stop. A rambling or repetitious prayer soon becomes offensive. Be very careful to abide by whatever time restraints have been put upon you.
  • Make sure you pray in a voice that is slow and loud enough to be heard by everyone present. On the other hand, most people dislike a preachy or ranting tone in prayer.
  • Be genuine. Far better than simply mouthing eloquent words, aim at true communication with God.
  • There is nothing wrong with writing out your prayer beforehand. This will prevent saying something silly or unclear. If you read your prayer, put your heart and mind into the words you are saying.
  • Remember, you are asking God's blessing on the gathering in some way. That alone is enough to take the assignment very seriously.

So, Here Is the Template:

Will you bow your head as I pray?

Dear wise and loving Father: First let me say, “Thank you” on behalf of all who are gathered here today. Thank you for your many and abundant blessings. Thank you for life itself, for the measure of health, we need to fulfill our callings, for sustenance and for friendship. Thank you for the ability to be involved in useful work and for the honor of bearing appropriate responsibilities. Thanks as well for the freedom to embrace you or the freedom to reject you. Thank you for loving us even so-- from your boundless and gracious nature.

In the scriptures, you have said that citizens ought to obey the governing authorities since you have established those very authorities to promote peace and order and justice. Therefore, I pray for our mayor, for the various levels of city officials and, in particular, for this assembled council. I am asking that you would graciously grant them:

  • Wisdom to govern amid the conflicting interests and issues of our times
  • A sense of the welfare and true needs of our people
  • A keen thirst for justice and rightness
  • Confidence in what is good and fitting
  • The ability to work together in harmony even when there is honest disagreement
  • Personal peace in their lives and joy in their task

I pray for the agenda set before them today. Please give an assurance of what would please you and what would benefit those who live and work in and around our beloved city of Fresno.

It is in your most blessed Name I pray, Amen.

I hope that this will be helpful and provide some clarity. Enjoy.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Chaplain Al 

      18 months ago

      I am not ashamed of my God the Father. Am I not one of His children? I have had a few harsh comments about the boldness of using Jesus. We were told that it is to be expected. So the very subject contained in Scripture is the fire from the altar, not to be dampened.

    • profile image

      Rev. Joseph 

      21 months ago

      I appreciate this and will use some of it. The rules are good, but the example reflects a somewhat exclusive expression of faith. Secular environments are not the place for exclusionary prayers. So I would recommend a few changes:

      1. Not all people of faith call God, "Father," some even recognize a feminine divine. So change the opening to "Wise and loving one,"

      2. Don't use scriptural specifics. To begin with, most people won't remember them if asked spontaneously, and secondly, it excludes those who don't uphold the same scriptures.

      Additionally, this prayer points to a very human authoritarian view and focuses on human agency. So I would also recommend these changes:

      3. Don't say "I pray," "we pray," "I say," instead speak to God. If we say to another person, "I hope you'll wash my car," we're being passive-aggressive. Instead, say, "Would you please wash my car." Don't be passive-aggressive with God. Instead of, "I pray for the mayor/this agenda," say, "Bless our agenda to be fruitful and for the common good." or, "Grant that our mayor and council have ears to listen to the people they serve and wisdom to act for justice." "I pray" is vague and essentially meaningless.

      4. Be sure to include something that speaks to unity or to listening to others, or patience. Prayers to support human authority can also promote conflict and divisiveness. In nearly all major religions, leaders are called to serve for the betterment of all. Our prayers with leaders should include reminders that the primary role of leaders is to serve, and the primary goal is for the sake of the people they serve.

      I appreciate the insights, but I also have concerns.

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      really useful, many thanks.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      It is my first time to pray in the gathering of our President

      Thanjk you so much for the few points of advise it really help me with the ground work on the etiquette of the special God given honour to pray at such a special occasion .

      Thank you.

      God Bless your ministry.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      So glad I stumbled across your post. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      Cookie Walton-Garcia 

      2 years ago

      I was able to switch some words around to fit the agency that I am doing the invocation for. Thank you so much for your help.

    • profile image

      Derrick Lane 

      3 years ago

      I know this is old, but I came across this as I am giving my first invocation this week (hopefully many more to follow). Your example has been the most helpful and truly blessed me! Thank you for sharing this. I pray it continues to bless many more!

    • profile image

      Charito Valdez 

      5 years ago

      Thank you it is a very helpful for me as a beginners

    • profile image

      Robert Frazier 

      6 years ago

      This is beautiful. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Debbie Stoddard 

      8 years ago

      Thank you, just the help I needed for my prayer request.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      .....great prayer...thanks for posting...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, that was wonderful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)