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.

 

Voting is NOT a Right

We wait in line to vote with our wonderful neighbors, Chris and Jen.

We often forget that one of the privileges we enjoy by living in the “Land of the Free” and the “Home of the Brave” is the ability to choose those who represent us.  We have the freedom to step behind a curtain and make a mark that indicates who will live in the West Wing, who will fill that seat in Congress or the Senate.  By casting our ballot, we have the ability to determine who is on our school boards and who will be our next governor.

One would think that the incessant television, print and radio advertising would jog our memory but for some reason, when it comes time to vote, many – if not most – of Americans don’t take the time to step into the booth.

But this act of voting is a gift that many people around the world will never receive.  This is an act of Democracy that so many others will never enjoy.  And we flaunt it like a rich kid who is bored with his presents because he has so many.

Yes, the vote might be between the lesser of two evils but that is our fault for not demanding better.  Yes, it is hard to know what the candidates truly stand for but that is our job to research and dig to know the truth based on their histories, not their promises.

Yes, it requires standing in line, a photo ID, and determining your proper poling station.

But a person who fails to vote has thrown away one of the most important gifts that Democracy has to offer:  The Voice of the People.