Why I Prayed for Obama

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This photograph has been hanging in a frame on my wall since November 2008. It’s served as a reminder of my obligation to our leaders and our nation. It served as a reminder of my duty as a Christian…and it isn’t coming down any time soon.

After the election in 2008, many people approached me to question my decision to vote for President Obama. They wondered how anyone could feel comfortable with that choice. After all, he was going to take away our guns, kill our babies, and if the rumors were true, wasn’t even born in the United States. I chose not to argue. I determined not to escalate the discourse. Instead, I decided to pray.

It was surprising to hear voices of anger and frustration from so many who called themselves Christians. It was shocking to see the violence and hatred resulting from a free election. It was obvious that the next 4 years would be difficult. It was clear that we all had a duty to our government and our nation. And so, I decided to pray.

The Bible guides us in this. Paul writes to Timothy, I urge, then, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority, so we can live peace and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” -1 Timothy 2:1-2

Paul doesn’t tell Timothy to pray for our leaders’ failure. He doesn’t guide us to pray for only those with whom we agree. Paul tells us to lift our voices to heaven concerning the Kings and rulers, not for their good but for the sake of the people. It makes perfect sense to me.

So the first thing I did was find a picture that would best capture the heart of the Obama family. I framed this picture and placed it on my wall, where I would see it daily, reminding me to lift our President and his family in prayer. I don’t know if my prayers made a difference, but I responded to Paul’s instruction as best I could, hoping for God’s guidance for this man, praying for protection over his family, and pleading for peace in our land.

Eight-years later, another election has come and gone. It was a season unlike any in memory, filled with division and hate. It was an election cycle that revealed deep problems in our country. It was an outcome that surprised nearly all the pundits, many politicians, and quite a few of the populace.

It is surprising to hear voices of anger and frustration from so many who called themselves Liberals. It is shocking to see the violence and hatred resulting from a free election. Once again, it is obvious that the next 4 years could be difficult. It is clear that we all have a duty to our government and our nation.

And so, I have decided to continue to pray.

trump-portThe Obama family photo will not come down. I believe they will need our prayers more now than ever before. But alongside this portrait, I will hang a new picture. It isn’t a snapshot of a warm and fuzzy family moment captured on the lawn during a fun family picnic. Instead, it is a portrait of our newest President, our newest leader, square-jawed, determined, looking powerful and determined, even presidential.

I’ve selected this picture of Donald Trump because it is a portrait of a confident person, in control. It reflects the man as I hope he will be. It reflects the President-elect as I pray he will be. I will look at this picture each day…and I will pray. It’s my greatest hope for living a life of peace, quiet, and dignity.

 

A Call to Action

Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth,

Last night was cold.  While I slept warm and snug in my bed, there were people sleeping on the streets, under bridges and in doorways:  People in this very town slept under the stars and exposed to the winter chill.  They are unknown to me.  They are a problem for some government agency to fix.  They are people who would benefit from a program of some sort.

I’m praying today because I realize that these people are not unknown to you.  You know them by name.  If they matter to you, they should matter to me.  If they are precious in your sight, they should be precious in my own.

And so I pray that you will lead me to action.  Guide me to caring.  May I know how to act on your behalf before another blanket of bone chilling cold settles this night.

I pray.

AMEN.

For Our Nation

God of All Nations,

We lift these United States to you today, asking that you would unite us, not under one President or a Congress or Senate.  Unite us under One God.  Make us Indivisible.  Draw us under Your Banner.

May we put aside our politics and pick up our Bibles.

May we stop the arguing and begin loving.

May we seek not the spotlight but Your Kingdom.

So that, in the end, we will be a light to the nations, a beacon of hope.

Amen and Amen.

A Prayer for our Government

Global PerspectiveDear God,

Our Congress, our Senate and our President need wisdom.

They need insight.

They require humility.

They push to the deadline instead of having vision for a future.

They are divisive for party’s sake rather than unifying for the country’s sake.

They listen to their own voices but do they listen to yours?

In this new year, we pray for our leaders that they will hear you, they will hear the people they serve and they will act like leaders who will take us to bigger and better places.

Amen.

A Prayer for our Veterans

Dear Great God,

So many men and women have willingly given their all for our country.

So many Veterans sacrificed their youth, their strength, and their health for this cause:  That this country they love would continue to know peace and freedom.

As we honor them this day, may they know our eternal gratitude.

Bless them, Lord.

Bless them.

Praying for the Vote

Dear Lord Above,

Today, we vote.

Today, we make our voices heard.

Whether Republican or Democrat, we place our mark.

Whoever we’ve elected at the end of this day, whoever we’ve chosen, may they serve this country with strength, grace and wisdom.

And may we follow you, as we pray for them, our chosen leaders.

AMEN.

 

Election 2012

Dear Powerful God,

I want to just be honest with you, Lord.  I’m sick of politics.

I want to believe that the system we have here works, that the best man or woman for the job will be chosen by the people and then they will lead us with integrity and honor.  I want to know that each candidate brings wisdom and knowledge to the position.  I want to trust that the leaders of our towns, our states, our country will see that our education system is declining, our people are hungry, our status is waning.

But all I hear is accusation and innuendo.  All I see is petty politics and foolish argument.  All the while, the people they serve are lost in the pointless debate.

As we near election day, I pray that someone will rise above and give us a choice, give us leadership and give us hope.

God Bless America and we pray that America will Bless God.  AMEN.

For Our President

God,

You’ve asked us to pray for our leaders…all of them.  You didn’t ask us to only pray for the Republican leaders or the Democratic leaders.  You’ve asked us to pray for all of them so that we can live in peace.

And so today, I pray for President Obama.  I pray that he would have wisdom of Solomon.

That he would know the difference between what is right and what is convenient.

That he would know how to deal with other countries and their leaders.

That he would know the plight of the poor in his own country.

That he would be a good husband and father while he tries to manage the difficulties of his office.

That he would seek to follow your guidance as he seeks to lead our nation.

AMEN.

A Prayer for Our Leaders

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” -1 Timothy 2:1-3

Dear Lord,

We ask you to Bless America but we fail to pray for those who lead us.  We point fingers.  We heap criticism.  We accuse and abuse.  But we fail to lift those men and women who make our laws, lead our country, represent our interests.

And as a result, we are dissatisfied and downhearted and we have lost hope.

More than ever we need your guidance.  In this vicious, mean-spirited political season, we pray for those running for office.  We lift up those already in office.  And we ask for your mercy on a country and its people.

AMEN