Praying for the President, A teachable moment or a time to apologize?
Recently Franklin Graham called Christians to pray for the President of the United States on a certain Sunday. Thousands of churches had a special time of prayer for the President. The President even made a surprise visit to one church and asked for prayer.
The question, is it wrong to call for prayer and to pray for the President? The answer has to be a resounding no it is not wrong, as a matter of fact it is obedience to the Word of God.
“1 Timothy 2:1-2 - 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.
1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Romans 13:1 - Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Jeremiah 29:7 - Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
2 Chronicles 7:14 - if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Scriptures to Pray for our Leaders:
Psalms 2:10-11 - Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Proverbs 11:14 - For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
Proverbs 21:1 - The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Job 12:23-25 - He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
Proverbs 2:1-8 - My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2) turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3) indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4) and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6) For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7) He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8) for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
(From an article by Jason Soroski)
There was however some pushback from some corners of the church in America concerning this call to prayer. Some felt it was too partisan, other thought it an endorsement, some felt it violated the separation of church and state. First I must asked, when is it wrong to pray for anyone? Second, the scripture is VERY CLEAR that we OUGHT TO PRAY FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY.
Are we to decide who is worthy of our prayers? Are we to only pray for those in authority with whom we agree or who represent our party? When we refuse to pray for those authority or even apologize to those who may be offended by our prayer are we adding to the division in our county rather than teaching disciple to obey the Word of God?
I would suggest that the latter is the point. We SHOULD PRAY for those in authority and we SHOULD TEACH others to pray out of obedience to the Word of God. I confess that I prayed for the president and that my wife and I pray for him and our governor every day. By the way I have prayed for each president and been a member of the President’s Prayer Team for more than 18 years, Praying for Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, those with whom I agreed and those with whom I disagreed.
I have never apologized for praying and never apologized for loving this county. In seeking God’s best for the nation I pray for the all of our leaders and I pray for a mighty movement of God to bring a GREAT AWAKENING to the nation.
Whether you agree or disagree with whoever is in office, PRAY. I will never forget praying with Miss Bertha Smith at her Penial Prayer Retreat Center in Cowpens South Carolina in 1977 as she prayed for then President Jimmy Carter. I will not go into the content of her prayer, but I can tell you that she taught this young preacher (at that time) a lot about praying for leaders.
“Lord teach us to pray”