Jesus is the Christ: He challenges his disciples,
“Who do you say that I am?”
I first came upon the article excerpted below, written by Christian leader Mark Labberton, some eight years ago. He wrote it for the first inauguration of Barack Obama. Labberton’s advice is just as applicable today. Please allow these words to guide you in prayer for President Trump and this new administration.
There is no better time to renew commitment to pray for leaders than the start of a new presidential administration. Our president needs our prayers, and we should give them freely and eagerly no matter how we voted.
I know our president needs prayer, because I know I do. My own life and leadership depend on prayer. Prayer increases readiness to live humbly, wisely, and courageously. These are also the qualities our new president needs. Our president and our nation need humility, wisdom, and courage. Leadership that is lacking in any of these three will be far less constructive than today’s trying times demand.
Our president needs the humility to live and lead in dependence upon God, practicing a clear estimate of human and national limitations. Humble servant leadership is the essence of Jesus' power. Let's pray that our president will live before God with a clarified awareness of who he is and who he is not.
When we pray for our leaders, we are praying for them to be wise: men and women led by the truth who will act with discernment and justice. We should be praying for leaders to have the wisdom to seek the shalom of the city, country, and world. This kind of prayer asks God to grant leaders the power and authority that allows people and communities to thrive.
We also need to pray that President Trump and everyone in government will have courage. Given the social, economic, environmental, and security threats today, we could accumulate a pile of fear-inducing situations to rival Everest. This is an exceptional time, when our leadership needs the strength of character and will to seek, say, and do what is right.
When we pray for these things—humility, wisdom, and courage—we are stepping beyond our own party affiliation or preference. We are seeking instead to be partners of God's shalom that comes, at least in part, through governments, civic leaders, and presidents.