This is certainly surprising!
During a recent Friday night service, a pastor at New Life Church, an evangelical Protestant megachurch in Colorado Springs, CO, reportedly led the congregation in something you wouldn’t normally expect: the Sign of the Cross and a prayer of a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Redditer /u/MarvelDCgoodwithme, who is Catholic, explained on the /r/Catholicism subreddit that his Protestant mother attends the church and thought the prayer sounded Catholic. So she took pictures of a few of the slides with the prayer, which you can see at the bottom of this article.
And sure enough, it’s a prayer for consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesuscomposed by Pope Leo XIII in 1899! The slides also have a picture of the statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
“She said it happened after the sermon,” the redditer explained in a private message, “the pastor presented the slides and asked the congregation to read the pray and if they agreed with it to pray it with him. The pastor also closed his prayers with the sign of the cross.”
We’ve reached out to New Life Church to learn more about their thinking in using the prayer but haven’t yet received a response.
New Life Church was founded in 1984 and has about 10,000 members. It was in the news in the early 2000s when its founding pastor Ted Haggard admitted to using drugs and regularly visiting a male escort. He was also later accused of making unwanted sexual advances on a young man in his 20s at the church. After Haggard was dismissed from his position, the church appointed a new pastor Brady Boyd who has since greatly expand the church’s reach.
Here’s the full text of the prayer:
“Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
“Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
“Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
“Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
“Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.”