I am a nationalist. I LOVE THIS NATION, flawed as it is. I cry every time I hear our national anthem at football games. Heck, I even cry when I sing it by myself in the car, which is often. I love our military. I love the Constitution. I love our freedoms. I love the fact that to be an American means to participate in advanced citizenship. I love being an American. Even in today’s America which is polarized, rabidly hostile, volatile, and petulant (which isn’t much different than the way America has always been).
Before I am a citizen of this country I am a CITIZEN OF HEAVEN. I trust, without hesitation, every decision Jesus makes. I never, and I mean EVER, question the judgment of the One Who Has Creation & Resurrection Power. Jesus is my King. But for some reason that my finite, human mind cannot fathom, King Jesus has allowed Donald Trump to occupy what is arguably the greatest earthly seat of power in the world. Make no mistake, I would be equally dumbfounded if Clinton had won. Even though I voted (too many women, black folks and white folks died for me to have that right- I will not squander it), I voted for neither candidate since neither candidate seemed to have any moral integrity, which I think is just a little bit important for leaders to possess.
Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States of America. Even as I type that I am shaking my head in disbelief.
And I am sad. Authentically sad.
And so where do I take this consternation? This profound grief over the poor quality of the man now responsible for leading our nation?
I don’t take to Twitter in tirades of rage. I don’t fill the little white boxes of Facebook with emotional questions angrily thrown into the universe that welcome idle debates, lofty ideas, vapid “likes” or scarred egos.
I take it to Christ. BECAUSE. HE. IS. SUPREME.
He is Lord of all the earth Who is neither surprised nor worried over who is president of our little country. I say little because EVERYTHING is small compared to God. Everything. Of course we are facing enormous problems. Things that seem insurmountable. Issues and people and countries that are, quite honestly, frightening.
That is nothing new to God.
Jesus is not frightened. He is not shaking in His boots. He is sitting down quite comfortably (Mark 16:19), on His throne (Rev 3:21) that His Father established (Psalm 89:4), watching history unfold. And lest you think He is an absentee landlord, recall that He is purveyor of a history He entered in the flesh and chose to redeem with His own blood. A history full of people like Donald Trump. People like me. People like you.
People that fall grotesquely short of the glory of God, which all of us do.
And that is the only thing that shocks me more than a man like Trump in the White House. The fact that Christ would die for the people that put him there. And die for the people who didn’t. For the people who protest against him. And the people who are silent. And the people who are indifferent. The people who laugh at it all. The people who spend hours arguing on Twitter with strangers, locked in a fruitless debate that kills understanding and births anger and enmity and the arrogance of thinking that your way of viewing the world is the only way it should be viewed.
I marvel that Christ would die for any of us.
But I also cannot overlook the glaring difference between myself and Donald Trump, between you and Donald Trump…. which is the cold, hard fact that you and I are not the President of the United States with all of the power, influence and authority that that office holds.
And I’m going to do something about it.
I’m going to take action.
I am spending the day praying for the very broken & fallen man who is our president. And I am going to keep praying for him every Tuesday. In my heart every Tuesday will be Trump Tuesday.
Is that a let down to you? Then you obviously don’t know the power of prayer. Were you hoping I was going to say I marched? Or that I am starting a petition or that I am going to spend the day calling my representatives? Those are all important acts. Acts that change legislation. Acts that change nations. All needed.
But when I think about it, prayer is the same thing. If hundreds of thousands of people around the world are praying for Trump, that qualifies as a march on the Throne Room of Heaven in my book. But this “prayer march” is no noisy sign-wielding crowd demanding to be heard and demanding that THEIR will be done in the earth. No. The kind of march I am talking about is one of reverence, one of humility, one of adoration and joy. One of a people so aware of the Holiness and Power of God that we enter the throne room crawling on our knees awaiting permission to look into the eyes of our Savior. Not because we aren’t welcome, but because we are so full of awe & adoration that we wait to be invited in. Because the One holding court is the entire reason we can even crawl to His throne. We are a crowd of believers carrying the POTUS in our arms and laying him before the ROTES (Ruler of the Entire Sphere).
In this way, every prayer is a call to the Great Representative. Not just the “powers that be” but the only true “Power that Be.”
And will always be.
No matter who is president.
You see, I believe Christ is in control. I believe He is the one who “holds the heart of the king in His hand” (Proverbs 21:1). Who “appoints kings and tears down kings” (Daniel 2:21). And so if I am going to take action I am going straight to the top.
I’m going to the One Who can change the heart of the man in the Oval Office.
My kids once asked me who I thought was the greatest superhero of all time. Who has the coolest powers? Who was the strongest? The most ferocious? Wolverine? Hulk? Superman? Jean Grey?
My answer was Jesus. Because all the other superheroes had to use their powers to subdue, control, outwit, restrain, capture or kill their enemies.
None of them could change their hearts. And it is the heart of a person that makes them an enemy… or an ally.
And so I pray to the One Who Can Control the Heart.
As you can see, I was inspired once again by desiringgod.org. I’ll primarily be praying from a prayer John Piper prayed on Inauguration Day. I invite you to join me. I know it will be hard. I don’t feel like praying for him. But I am commanded to by the One Who is the Reason I am Even Here to do so. And I refuse to let Him down. I have prayed for our presidents ever since I became a Christian. But my prayers for this one are already more fervent. This morning I found myself in tears crying out that Christ would change his heart, his mind, his thoughts, his words, his actions. That Jesus would change not just his presidency but the man himself. The husband. The father. The leader. The friend.
Oh Lord, please help us to help President Trump by praying for him consistently. By putting aside our fear, anger, shock. Or conversely putting aside our admiration and affirmation. Let us focus on You, Jesus, and what you would have us pray for this man. Please give him a spirit of repentance and wisdom as he governs this nation. Please give him a spirit of equity and mercy, compassion and kindness. Let him be in agreement with You and Your Word on both matters of the heart and matters of policy. Give us, Your people, wisdom, discernment, understanding, courage, strength, peace, patience, grace, mercy, boldness and LOVE as we pray for the President of the United States of America. Give us eyes to see. Give us minds to think. Give us ears to hear. Give us hands to act. Give us hearts to love. But mostly, give us You. Because each time we bow our heads to pray it is an opportunity to be close to You. And anything or anyone, no matter how flawed, that moves us into Your arms is a blessing.
Even Donald Trump.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.