First of all, I apologize that I have not written this blog earlier. Because what I say is not meant to be a political piece. I would have written the same things if this was President Trump’s or Obama’s or Bush’s Inauguration. Truthfully, we need to be reminded of our responsibility more than once every four years. We need this reminder every day, really.
Why? Because as Christ-followers, our Lord expects us to be people of prayer. Prayer obeys God. Prayer blesses God. Prayer worships God. The Old Testament prophet writes in Daniel 2:20-21:
Praise the name of God forever and ever, for He has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise.
Every prayer – both yours and mine – acknowledges that God is the Sovereign Source of all authority. I might not understand all His purposes, but I still pray in worship to Him. No matter who sits in the White House, God sits on the throne.
Still, our Sovereign God says that we are to give respect and honor to those who are in authority because they are serving God in what they do (Romans 13:6-7). So, what should be the subject of our prayers for President Biden?
1. Pray for humility
Let’s point the finger at us, first. One night the Lord appeared to King Solomon and said: if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face…. (2 Chronicles 7:14).
We will be a good nation, a blessed nation, if we humble ourselves before the Lord. Thus, I choose this as the first quality to pray for regarding our president. As Father Leo O’Donovan prayed at the Inauguration, may President Biden be a man “on his knees” before God. That’s the best executive action for him to remember.
Yes, our president is a powerful man. But the great King David in the Old Testament wrote in Psalm 22:28: For dominion belongs to the Lord. He rules all the nations.
May our president speak to the One Who has authority over him. There’s just no better attitude for our president to start every day in office.
2. Pray for wisdom
King Solomon prayed in 1 Kings 3:9-10:
“Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of Yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.
President Biden has a lot on his plate. It’s a big plate.
In fact, none of us can even fathom how big it is. I can’t imagine the volume of information he receives each day! We want a president who is teachable and who listens well. We want a president who is willing to change when he needs to. We want a president who governs with a confident faith in God that brings true stability to our world and His blessing on our nation (James 1:5-8).
Do you want the Lord pleased with our president? I do! We all reap the benefit if our leader is Godly.
3. Pray for love
Initially, I was going to suggest that we pray for justice, but then I realized that love covers justice and compassion and sensitivity and a lot of other good things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Love seeks the best for people … for everyone. Love would make our country better, our families stronger, our lives more joyful and productive. Love would erase a lot of wrongs. To have our president not just love our country but to love our people like Jesus does would be the greatest legacy to our nation and to our world.
Jesus reminds us of the power of love in John 13:34-35:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.
This is the foundation of the Gospel. May it also be the foundation of our government.
4. Pray for peace
We’ve got to pray for peace in this time of division in our country. If you are a parent, you know how hard it is to settle disputes in your own home. But you know you must. Imagine trying to persuade 535 Congress men and women!
Division damages. It discourages people and derails progress. The Apostle wrote in James 3:17-18:
The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Archbishop John Carroll, who prayed at our first president’s Inaugural, asked God to assist with His Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude that this administration would be conducted in righteousness. I don’t believe God’s will has changed any bit in the past 200+ years. We, too, would be in God’s will to pray in the same way as our president leads our other government officials and influences our nation and our world.
President Biden, I pray for you the counsel of Psalm 2:10-11: Kings (Mr. President), act wisely! Serve the Lord with reverent fear and rejoice with trembling.
Are you still struggling with praying for this president? At the Inauguration, Garth Brooks asked us to sing together the words to the hymn Amazing Grace. One stanza reads, ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.
Our hope is in the Lord, isn’t it? We stand firm in His grace. We turn to God in times of need or difficulty. For some, you may feel that we are entering a new difficult time. All the more, then pray.
As one commentator said after the Inauguration, “He may or may not be the person you wanted taking the oath to lead our country, but he is the leader we have, and we desperately need him to be good.”
Sure, we don’t (and won’t) agree with any president, but let’s be united together as people who pray for the president whom God has placed in power. Let’s not just ground ourselves in our country, but let’s ground ourselves in our faith, first and foremost.
The benediction of Rev. Silvester Beaman is so true for us all: We need God at this time, every time … Teach us, O God.