Inauguration Day is just days away. It is hard for me to believe that this day is actually coming, in a lot of ways. For one, it has been a long eight years since I watched Obama’s inauguration. I remember sitting in the booth of a local barbecue joint with my family, watching history take place. I was 18 at the time; a lot has happened since 18.
This Friday, history will take place again. Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. He didn’t get my vote, but he will be my President. No more recounts, no more electoral college debate. The people have spoken. And Friday, it all begins.
One thing I didn’t do well during the Obama administration is pray for our nation and its leaders. It wasn’t a malicious move – more than anything, laziness. Perhaps it is because I am getting older and becoming more sensitive to these matters, but this particular election has convinced me that if I want to see true change, I would do well to point less fingers and look introspectively into how I can effect change, in my own heart and in my own context. Prayer for my country and its leadership is a great place to start. I don’t pray for America because I’m a nationalist (for I belong to a greater Kingdom), but because I believe God has called the American church to proclaim the gospel, love others, and to await the coming 0f Christ through worship.
With us celebrating MLK Day today for Dr. King’s lifelong sacrifice for justice and equality, and the burden of this Friday upon me, I want to dedicate this week’s post to fervent, genuine prayer. I want to pray these prayers regularly, so I decided to write them out, and then decided to share them with you. Perhaps they will give you words to say, if you are struggling with how to feel about this new administration or the state of America. I hope these prayers are, more than anything, coming from mouths and hearts that pray with empathy, resilience for God’s truth, and love for others. Join me in praying:
A Prayer for Donald Trump
LORD of Hosts, You have appointed Donald Trump to be our Commander-in-Chief foreseeably during the next four years. We do not know for what reason You have ordained his leadership. Perhaps You seek to anchor our faith in You; if so, draw us to Yourself. Perhaps this is an opportunity for judgment on our nation; if so, bring us to repentance. Perhaps You have determined to do mighty things for Your Kingdom through his administration; if so, let us be a part of Your work. Whatever the cause, we pray for President Trump specifically. We pray for his soul, first of all. We pray that somehow through this administration that You will bring him to confident, assured, gospel-centered faith in Christ. We pray for his family, as they adjust to a different lifestyle. We pray for his protection; no one deserves to be the subject of threats, hostility, or violence. We pray for wisdom, that You will equip him to make wise decisions, in everything from minute policy matters to crises moments. We pray for humility, both for President Trump and for us, that he will own his limitations and lead from meekness, and that we will not be so quick as to think ourselves as intellectually and every-way superior to our elected President. We pray that You will help us submit to his leadership, and help the President submit to his responsibilities. We pray for his courage, that in the midst of opposition that may come, he will lead from a position of conviction, and care for our country and its people of all types and kinds. Amen.
A Prayer for our Government Leaders
Wonderful Counselor, not only have You ordained President Trump for such a time as this, but have sovereignly placed an array of leaders, advisors, aides, and workers around him. We pray for Vice President Mike Pence, that You will give him the strength to use his position to complement President Trump, and serve as an effective leader for our country. We pray for the Presidential Cabinet and advisors, that You will give them sound wisdom and judgment for the years ahead. We pray for the Secret Service, that You will equip them to properly protect our Presidential leadership. We pray for Congress, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court, that these branches of our judicial system will work with President Trump to adhere to the Constitution and uphold values innate to the Imago Dei. We pray that during the course of this administration, that you will raise up politicians and government leaders at the local, state, and national level who will serve You faithfully in their offices. We pray that you will increase our awareness to the larger system of government beyond the Presidency, and we ask that you would create in us a motivation to be informed, to vote in secondary elections, and to voice our concerns to our local and state representatives. Amen.
A Prayer for Unity
Healer of the brokenhearted, we pray for a greater sense of unity across racial, economic, and party lines. We have experienced an increasingly troublesome amount of division, hostility, and ugliness between different groups and sects that make up our nation. Many of us would consider it a miracle to see these lines of division narrow during this administration, but You are our mighty Miracle-Worker, and so we implore You. We pray specifically for the President in this matter; that you would remove bitterness and strife from his tongue and heart and help him to see instead the beauty of peace and unity for all peoples. We ask to see less violence in our streets, less contempt in our conversations, less defamation of others. Bring healing to our communities and our classes. Help us, in our points of division, to pursue one another out of love and with grace. Amen.
A Prayer for The Unheard
Voice for the voiceless, we especially pray for minority communities who may be particularly worried about the days and years ahead. Many groups have been hurt by the election process of 2016. We pray for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Arab-Americans, and more of whom who share a lineage with other countries. We pray for immigrants, legal and illegal. We pray for refugees, homed and homeless. We pray for females, confident and insecure. We pray for the poor, by circumstance or by choice. We pray for the disabled and the handicapped. We pray for evangelical conservatives and irreligious liberals alike. We pray for the unborn. We pray for our nation’s leaders to expose the darkness of marginalization, and we ask for change in oppressive systems and legislature. We pray that for Your people who feel as if they have no ability to be heard, that they will know that You hear their prayers and cries, that You are Just, and that You will exact Your judgment in Your wise timing. Amen.
A Prayer for Christian Leaders
The LORD Our Banner, we know that this administration is likely to bring its own new set of questions, talking points, and issues on which the Church must respond. We pray for courageous leaders in our churches who will take a stand in Washington, even when it costs them. We pray that we will protest sin, stand for religious liberty, and continue to graciously care for the image-bearers that make up our nation, for the sake of the gospel. We pray that we will make efforts to go beyond private political commentary, and seek to effect real change in our government when necessary. We also pray for our pastors, elders, and church leaders within the local church, that they will preach faithfully the Word of God, seek to help our churches live for Christ in these days, and engage the culture around them for God’s glory. Amen.
A Prayer for Guidance
Our Chief Shepherd, in these days we will often feel like sheep, wandering in the fields and feeling like we have little guidance. We may feel like we don’t know where to turn, or where to graze, or where to rest. We ask that we will become more aware of Your leadership, that we will follow You and trust You as You lead. We pray that in these days, that we will have faith in future grace, with confident and assured steps down the paths You lead us. We pray that You will make Your Word a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. We pray that You will give us the strength to not be ashamed of the power of the gospel. Amen.
A Prayer for Allegiance
Maker of Heaven and Earth, while we believe that it is right to pray for the good of our nation, its leaders, and its people, we never hope to express a sense of nationalism that makes us superior to others, and most of all, to the everlasting Kingdom You are building for us. We pray that You will strip away any sense of supremacy within ourselves and make You all-supreme in our words and deeds. We have prayed for the good of America, because we hope to live in a nation that is good and God-fearing, but this is not our final destination. We pray that we will put not our trust in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation, but that we will anchor our allegiance in Christ the King alone; for His Kingdom has no end. Amen.