WASHINGTON, DC – Preparations for the President-elect to take the Presidential Oath of Office on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building at noon on January 20 are underway.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Government workers are preparing in accordance with predetermined plans. They know exactly what they need to do. The question for Christian Americans is, “Do we know what we should do?”
Sometimes we ignore the most obvious choice. If anxiety is our initial response to uncertainty, something is wrong. We need to check our hearts. We also need to remind ourselves what Scripture says about times such as these, particularly with regard to our relationship to leadership.
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. [1Ti 2:1-2 NLT]
This is how we are to pray for our new leaders, whether we agree or disagree with their political orientation.
- Intercede for them. We should come before the Lord on their behalf. Some of our leaders may not have access to God. We do. Therefore, we have the sacred task of praying “on their behalf.” Our nation’s peace does not rest in our president’s hands as we think. To a great extent, it rests on us to pray that the Lord will direct their decisions so that we are able to live quiet lives with godliness and dignity.
- Give thanks for them. There is at least a reasonable chance that at least half of our readers do not agree with our incoming president’s policies. Whether we do is not relevant because the very next verse says,
“This is good and pleases God, our Savior.”
If we want to please the Lord in this matter, we will pray for our new leaders and thank the Lord for them.
Respect their authority
No one on this planet has any authority unless they receive it from someone else who holds a higher rank or position. The Scripture clearly explains in Roman 13:1 that
“All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” [NLT]
We may select the president, but his authority does not come from “we, the people.” His authority must come from a higher source. Like any leader in a position of authority, the president’s authority comes from God.
The president, therefore, is accountable to the Lord God who gave him the authority that goes with that position. Our responsibility is to be honorable, to do good, and to live uprightly. [Romans 13:3] We too will be held accountable.
Trust the Lord
Our new president will be tasked with leading a nation of 372 million people that are deeply divided. His job will not be easy.
He may be our country’s highest-ranked decision maker, but Christians hold higher positions of influence before the throne of our God. And, He hears us when we pray.
So, let us begin right now to intercede for our leaders on Inauguration Day and all the days thereafter.
And, let us begin right now to thank the Lord for those whom He has placed in authority. His ways are higher than our ways. We need to trust Him and obey His clear directions.
Sources: USA.gov, Voting and Elections