When the Donald stood in Trump Tower and announced a run for the Presidency, many of us thought it was just a stunt. Could the reality TV star be serious? He was. After the ugliest campaign in my memory, he sat down with President Obama yesterday to start the process of the transfer of authority in these United States. A year ago, who would have thought it probable, much less possible? I have some deep concern about the kind of policies that will find support under President Trump. But, he will be my President and, as a Christian guided by the Scripture, I know that it is my responsibility to offer up sincere prayer for him; indeed for all those who are entrusted with authority.
Read this passage with a heart of faith and submission to the Spirit, won’ t you? “Pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2, NLT)
Let us renew our commitment to obey God’s call to pray for our leaders. The important work that we are told to do making this a just society begins with bended knees and broken hearts! We cannot speak the transforming Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with any real conviction or effect until we have received a supernatural empowering. The party in power has changed but our commission to feed the hungry, to care for the dying, to visit the imprisoned, to become the defenders of the oppressed, to offer love to the outcasts and hope those who are enslaved by their sins is unchanged.
Christians are citizens of Heaven and our first allegiance is to Christ. However that does not exempt us from being good citizens of these United States. The Spirit tells us that “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do.” (Romans 13:1-6, NLT) It is not hard to understand the plain meaning of this passage. God is able to use very flawed people to accomplish His purposes. So, we pray!
We are foolish if we substitute our own ‘wisdom’ for His eternal truth. Before we decide that those words were just ‘for another time’ we need to recall that when the Spirit told disciples of Jesus to submit to authority and that those who ruled were “God’s servants” it was a time of pagan emperors and intense persecution of Christians! Imagine the faith it required of them to pray for the very people who were trying to destroy them. Pray for our President, asking God to use this flawed man. Pray for those who will work alongside of him.
And renew your hope in this amazing promise that is as true today as it was on Monday before this election. Hear the word from the Word.“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV)
Father in Heaven, I thank you for Your reign!
Today, I pray for our leaders, particularly for President-elect Trump.
Grace him with virtues of Wisdom, Justice, Courage, Humility, Faith, Hope, and Love
as he prepares to assume the Presidency.
The challenges presented to him in our world are many.
Work deeply in his heart and mind and draw him to a new understanding of Who You are.
Spirit of God, call your Church to a new understanding of her place in this world,
a place of bold commitment to Truth, to service, and prayer!
May we interact with our government,
even when those who govern in ways that are hostile to Your ways,
with grace and gentleness.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in us.
All of this, I ask in His holy Name, Amen.