Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pray For Trump?

Dear Friends,

During our church service last Wednesday at the assisted-living home in Sylmar, I deeply offended some of the people who had faithfully attended the services for the past year. Instead of the usual encouraging head-nodding and “amens,” I saw cold, hard stares. Instead of staying behind after the service to fellowship, some immediately rushed out of the room in their wheelchairs as soon as I finished the blessing of the congregation. They may not come back. 

This was not a loud, pulpit-pounding exhortation to the people. I knew what needed to be said was controversial and had given it much prayer. This church congregation is composed of Catholics, Mainline Christians, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians with people of different races, cultures and ethnicities. I am sensitive to different church traditions and don’t directly denounce non-biblical theology and traditions, but I do preach the Jesus-centered, Gospel message without apology. So in full awareness of our diversity, I said what I said with as much love and kindness as possible. The reaction to my words by some dear people, was one of instant outrage. Let me tell you what my offensive and infuriating words were. I said, “Those of us who are Christian believers need to pray for Donald Trump.” One person got right up and walked out.

Then I said: “President Trump has said and done some very offensive, harsh and upsetting things and while our human tendency is to hate, Jesus tells us that we are to forgive others. We need to pray for our President and even give thanks for him. That may sound outrageous to you, but God tells us to do outrageous things that we wouldn’t have chosen to do on our own. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT ‘I urge you, 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 that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.’ And in 1 Peter 2:17 we read, ‘Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.’ Some countries still today call their leader a ‘king’; in America we call him the ‘President.’ Our Bible tells us that we are to honor and pray for our President.”

I said, “I am hopeful today because, nearly all the key policy-makers in Trump’s Cabinet and Administration are Evangelical Christians, main-line Christians or Catholic. That’s one of the wisest things I have seen our new President do because, Proverbs 13:20 says, ‘He who walks with the wise will become wise’ and Proverbs 12:15 tells us that ‘Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.’ And Trump has surrounded himself with advisors whose faith requires them to love God with all their heart and then to love others. If you’re a Christian, then knowing that our Country will be run by many Christian men and women who have the same Biblical values as we do should be an encouragement to us all and give us hope for the future of our Nation.”

I said, “I know that some of us are feeling uncertain about our future and maybe feeling threatened. Some of us may even be fearful that we will be persecuted by this new government administration. It is highly unlikely that will ever happen, but even if it did, Jesus tells us that we still need to pray for our President. Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:43-44, ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’” 

(At that point, one woman said something to her neighbor and then stormed out of the room as she loudly shoved empty chairs to the side with her walker. Later on, I asked her seat-mate what the woman had said before she left. I was told, “She was angry when you read what Jesus said about praying for our enemy. She said that was blasphemy.” God have mercy on her soul for judging the words and commandments of Jesus Christ as blasphemous..)

I said, “According to the Word of God, praying for our President is not an option if you are a Christian and our calling to do so doesn’t depend on whether we like the President or not. I know many Christians who did not like Obama but they faithfully prayed for him and his family. My own prayer is that those who loved Obama and dislike Trump will also do what is right and pray for our new President and his family.”

Pray that Donald Trump will come to love God more dearly every day and that the Father will infuse in him a deep and respectful love for others. Pray that the Christian men and women who surround the President will hear from God, make godly decisions and recommendations and that Trump’s ears would be open to their wisdom. Pray that God will empower our President to do what is right in all that he says and does and that he would receive Spirit-led guidance to make all the decisions for our Country according to God’s will. Pray that God will grant him the grace of unity and peace to bring our broken Nation back to a place of healing and wholeness. Pray that he will be used by God to bring healing and reconciliation between races, countries and all men and women. Pray for the protection of the President and his family and pray that he would be used by God to protect Americans from all those who endeavor to do us harm. Pray that the resources of America be used to help all those who need our help – first those on our own soil and then others throughout the world. Pray that our Nation will enjoy God’s blessings, peace and prosperity during President Trump’s administration. 

We’ve seen a lot of protests lately. Protests are loud, flashy, newsworthy and dramatic. Then it’s over. Protest signs go in the trash. Damaged property is repaired. Protests are not sustainable. Prayer is sustainable. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes everything. And now you have a decision to make. Will you pray for Trump?

1 comment:

  1. I sure will pray for President Trump. Amen to that! Only God is perfect. Mr. T will need all the prayer circles he can get and I want him to succeed for the good of our great nation.