On January 20th the 45th President of the United States was sworn into office.
I don’t like Donald Trump.
I struggle to see an ounce of wisdom or integrity in him. But I have a predicament. He is now the President of the United States. Whether I like him or not, as a citizen of this country and as a follower of Jesus, I am compelled to pray for him out of respect for the office that he now holds and out of obedience to the God that I serve. I confess. This is really hard for me.
I am not suggesting that Mr. Trump’s actions can’t or shouldn’t be criticized. The First Amendment guarantees the rights of citizens in a healthy democracy include: Freedom of the Press, with the liberty to speak openly without fear of government restraint and, Freedom of Speech as demonstrated by a vocal and engaged citizenry with the right to express any opinion without censorship or restraint.
At the same time, the Scriptures urge us to pray for “all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
Have you ever prayed for someone you don’t like? I don’t mean pray they’ll get hit by a bus or covered in boils, I mean really pray for their soul. I don’t remember the last time I did. Mainly because there aren’t many people that I truly dislike.
So, what to pray for Mr. Trump? This is a challenge and is something I’ve thought about long and hard. I’ve searched the Scriptures and considered my own life. I confess that I am a sinner and that I am often willful, proud, thoughtless, unkind, selfish and stubborn. I am painfully aware of my flaws and my sins. Daily, I confess them and ask God to transform my life and remake me into His image.
As an act of obedience and discipline in my own spiritual journey, and keeping in mind my own sinful nature, I composed a prayer for our president.
The prayers I pray for myself are the prayers I will pray for him. The transformation I seek for my own life, is the one I seek for his.
“Father in heaven, I pray that President Trump would be aware that he is a sinner, confess his sins and accept the forgiveness that is available through the death of your son Jesus.
I pray that as he receives your grace and forgiveness, he would extend that same grace and forgiveness to others.
I pray that You would replace his spirit of pride with a spirit of humility.
I pray that he would live a life of generosity, and consider others above himself.
I pray that he would be devoted to caring for the poor, the hungry, the immigrant, the sick, the prisoner and the marginalized.
I pray that You would grant him a humble and contrite heart.
I pray that he would exhibit self-control and be compelled to live his life as a man of truth and integrity.
I pray that he would listen more than he speaks.
I pray that he would grant mercy instead of seeking revenge; for Your Word declares that mercy triumphs over judgment.
I pray that he would be an advocate for peace.
I pray that he would be a man of grace and dignity, treating everyone he meets with respect and that he would see them as Your beloved children, created in Your image.
I pray that the fruit of the spirit would be evident in his life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I pray that he would hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Transform him Lord, into a man of integrity and into a leader who is sober-minded, thoughtful, compassionate, wise and good.
With the same measure that he blesses others, may he also be blessed.”
These things I pray for my own life and for the life of my president. Oh that we may “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.” Grant it Lord, I pray.