Not all confessions are to be made public, but I’m compelled to share this one. For the past week, the next verses of scripture in our current sermon series have challenged me. And during the presidential inauguration yesterday, Franklin Graham read the very same words for the entire civilized world to hear;
“I urge then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men…” – I Timothy 2:1-6a NIV
At first, I thought about how odd the timing, but later as the Obamas flew away on Executive One, I felt remorse that I hadn’t prayed for them enough. Regardless of the politics of the past eight years (of which I have many thoughts on), I simply didn’t do what I knew to do. What really drove the point home was studying the context of those words originally written to believers in Ephesus. They were under great pressure, but strongly instructed to pray for leaders who were literally hostile and brutal toward them. The truth is, when I compared myself to them and their situation, I felt ashamed.
Regardless of your political opinions, if you’re one of God’s people, our new president needs your prayers. As a matter-of-fact, we’re under charge to pray for him and his family. We need to be involved in real prayer that connects with heaven and the Lord’s purposes. For that we need to be clean before the Lord, setting aside our petty grievances, listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice, and fighting the good fight because it is “good and pleasing” to our Savior.