Witness

The Most Subversive Thing Christians Can Do in Light of the Inauguration

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As we prepare for the Inauguration of President Trump, I am reminded of God’s command in scripture to pray for leaders in government. Now, more than ever, the Church is to lead the way in modeling priestly and prophetic imagination for a country and world that is in deep division and hostility. May our prayers serve as our theological and moral compass as we navigate through this next season of American leadership.

The reason we come to God in prayer is because in the words of Karl Barth, “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

The Church is to lead the way in modeling priestly and prophetic imagination for a country Click To Tweet

For President Trump

Lord, we pray for President Trump. We recognize there is so much complexity in any form of leadership. That complexity is multiplied ad infinitum in the role as President of the United States. Therefore, we pray that you would grant President Trump wisdom first and foremost. May this wisdom flow from a place of deep humility. As the scripture says, we are to call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure. We pray that President Trump’s life would be one marked by humble searching for wisdom.

We also pray that the words President Trump uses would be tinged with unity, healing, and grace, and not with division, condescension and marginalizing. Touch his heart in such a way that his words would restore hope in the common bond in our country.

We pray for his protection, his health and the protection of his family.

Lord, we also pray that President Trump would live a life of repentance. May he learn to turn to you, confessing his sins, and receiving your grace. We pray for him to deeply experience your kindness, which would lead to concrete acts of repentance in thought, in word and in deed.

Lord, we also pray that President Trump would live a life of repentance. Click To Tweet

For President Trump’s Administration

For the President’s Administration, we pray that it would remember to protect the most vulnerable. Whether the vulnerable is found to be the refugee, the immigrant, the unborn, the family beneath the poverty line or the religious minority, grant a spirit of love and mercy to those in power. We pray that each member of President Trump’s cabinet would carry the burden of justice and compassion for all.

For the Church

Lord, this political season has revealed some deep divisions in the Church. We have often chosen the way of judgmental partisanship and lust for power.

In moments like these you call us to take on postures of humility, discernment, unity, justice and reconciliation. In humility, grant us the posture that confesses our blind spots and limited understanding. The truth is we often don’t know what you are up to, Lord. To presume to know exactly what you are doing is spiritually presumptuous.

Grant the Church the gift of discernment. This is perhaps the most important gift we need at the moment. We live by faith and not by sight. Our faith is rooted in your faithfulness. Help us to wait in what often is the mystery of your life and action, discerning the way forward. Lord, give us a deep sense of unity. What unites us as a Church is not our political affiliations. What fundamentally unites us is our confession of who Christ is. May this confession lead us to be people united in living according to the way of your kingdom.

Instead of using our tongues to curse, may we use them to speak truth in love. You do not bless our curses, but you move in power when you hear truth spoken in love. May the words we speak about President Trump reflect the life of our King Jesus.

May our tongues also bear witness to the prophetic and urgent message of the gospel. Like the prophets and apostles in scripture, give us the courage to speak truth to power. Give us the resolve to fight for those who have been on the underside of history; to see life from the view from below.

For Our Country

Lord, our country is divided. Families have been torn apart in this past election season. Friendships have been called into question. We have often viewed each other in reductionistic ways. We have often failed to see the fears, the pain, and the hopes of our fellow citizens. We pray for a spirit of goodwill between each other. May this goodwill start by seeing each other as more than who we voted for. May we seek to understand before being understood.

For the Kingdom

 In all of this, we remain confident in the reality of your inaugurated kingdom, Lord Jesus. In your birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, your kingdom and rule has been put into effect. We long for the day when you will fully and finally reign. As we wait for that glorious day, may we say with our words, with our hearts and with our deeds, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”

May your just and compassionate Spirit lead us.

Amen.

May we seek to understand before being understood. Click To Tweet
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