A Nashville pastor is defending a NASCAR pre-race prayer in which he thanked God for his “smokin’ hot wife,” saying he wanted a blessing that would be remembered.
Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church gave the invocation at Saturday night’s Nationwide race at Nashville Speedway. Late in the prayer, Nelms channeled his inner Ricky Bobby when he borrowed a line from the film “Talladega Nights”.
“Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin’ hot wife tonight, Lisa, and my two children, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call, ‘The Little E's,'" he said, while also thanking automotive companies, like Goodyear and Sunoco, Reuters reported.
Later, in an interview Monday with Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint,” Nelms said he didn’t want to do “cookie-cutter prayers.”
“I want to get somebody’s attention, so that’s been our desire every time we’ve been up there, to try to make an impact on the fans and give them something they’ll remember, and maybe they’ll go home on a Friday night or a Saturday night and say, 'Maybe I ought to get up and go to church in the morning,'" Nelms said.
Fans at the NASCAR race weren’t the only ones surprised at Nelms’ prayer. His wife heard his invocation for the first time when it was being aired on live TV, Nelm’s said in the interview.
“I don’t rehearse it, so she was hearing it for the first time. She said my daughter laid on the floor laughing. She didn’t even hear me say her name for laughing at me saying smokin’ hot wife,” Nelms said.
Nelms, who has been a NASCAR fan since a young age, was happy for the opportunity to pray at the event and isn’t taking the criticism to heart.
“I’ll take the good (reaction) with the bad any day, as long as they just keep praying," he said.