"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 peaceable and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” -The Apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:1-2
The responsibility of the Presidency is bigger than any one who has ever served in that capacity. Because of the responsibility of the Presidency, no person could rise above such a position. It is a shadow and a presence that resides over any one person. Whether we did not vote for the seated President, agree with the political platform of the seated President, or believe in the religious faith of the seated President, we must pray for the President, his family, and the cabinet who serve with him daily.
God has convicted me and challenged me to pray for several things concerning our President and America at this time:
First, to PRAY AND PETITION AND INTERCEDE that the calling of the Presidency and the hand of God will shape President Barack Obama into the person that God created him to be. He is, after all, a child of God and not the enemy. Pray with me that almighty God will shape him into the best husband, father, and President he can be. That President Obama will find himself in the presence of God daily and that the Spirit would guide him to an intimate relationship with Jesus. Just this week, Jane and I had supper with a woman who was able to speak to President Obama and let him know that she was praying for him. His response? "Thank you, I need that."
Second, that THANKS-GIVING would be the speech of the American church as it relates to all of the authorities over us (government, civic, corporate, and spiritual leaders). Our words are powerful and they create attitudes that in turn create actions. What kind of actions are we creating with our words? Hateful? Racist? Divisive? Or, loving, healing, and unifying? Put away our party platform ideology and thank the Lord for our leader. I know that God is much more present in the White House and the affairs of our nation than most of us think. Thanksgiving moves the heart of God, and, gratefulness is an atmosphere the Spirit can work in. Be careful of our words. And be a team player.
Third, I am praying for PEACE AND QUIETNESS in our world. That our leaders would create this with their words and actions. That we ourselves would do the same. And that this peace and quietness would spread across the planet by our powerful example of Godliness. That peace will come through a much needed awakening for America. An awakening that heals the racial divides, places justice into action, and sets a humility in culture that creates honor and respect amongst people. Interesting that both President's Day and Black History Month can be celebrated at the same time.
And finally, for the youth in America (and specifically the church) to rise in cultural influence in this "Teen Decade" of 2013-2019. Seven years of youth revival and leadership like we have never seen in history. For youth to rise in natural and spiritual leadership in every community. As spiritual leaders we do not merely 'pastor churches', we 'pastor communities.' As the only living generation who has not seen a spiritual awakening, I am challenging young people today to get involved in a local church and help repair the failing reputation of the Body of Christ. I believe that this generation can lead the next great awakening if they want to. The United States of America are waiting for the church to rise and to bring its influence upon our culture.
Remember, Kings are placed in their position by people and by God. And don't you doubt that Kings can be shaped by his Almighty hand. One of the things missing in our present culture is respect and submission to authority. It is difficult for a society permeated with narcissism and autonomy to submit to authority. But, it is in submission that we find great strength. Because ultimately we are submitting to God Himself.
We must be team players. Because we lose an election doesn't mean that we can 'take our ball home and ruin the game for everyone else.' In closing, what does Paul say this will bring? His answer is clear in 1 Timothy 2. Peace, quietness, Godliness, and holiness. Our prayers for President Obama and America will bring great healing upon our land. Pray for God's Almighty hand and that the power of His Spirit would remain upon our nation in these coming days.