Prayers for the next president

Published 10:18 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

By Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr.

What an amazing election cycle our nation just went through, with an astounding result that no one predicted!

Whether President-elect Trump got your vote is a matter between you and God. Whether he gets your prayer support is matter of obedience to God. That’s because Scripture commands us in 1 Timothy 2 to “pray for kings and all those in high positions.”

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It makes sense, right? Don’t presidents and other leaders in high positions have enormous influence? And can’t we influence them by praying? The answer to those questions is an emphatic, “Yes!”

Therefore, I am going to be praying for our new president and congressional leaders like never before. Here are some of the things I will be praying, and which you may want to pray for President-Elect Trump:

  • For his health and protection. He will need physical stamina and energy for the task. There are certainly enemies who would love to bring him harm.
  • For his family. The family life of a leader is critical to success. Pray for closeness to his wife and children.
  • For him to surround himself with wise counselors, and be willing to listen to wise counsel. Therefore, we should be praying faithfully for those who give advice to the president and for him to have the grace to listen, the wisdom to see what is right and the courage to do what is right.
  • For him to appoint good judges. We have seen over the past few years that judges have enormous impact regarding issues like religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage and a host of other issues. Pray for judges who will abide by the intent of the authors of our Constitution.
  • For him to have the right blend of strength and humility. I was encouraged by President Trump’s victory speech, and by many of the things he has said since the election. Perhaps the weight of responsibility is creating a new sense of humility in him.
  • For him to reach out to all Americans and seek to bring us together. This is what the best leaders do. They rise above criticism, reach out to people (even those who have been opponents), and show people that they really do care for them. Not everyone is going to be on board, but the best leaders make people feel that they really matter.

Clearly, a lot of people supported President-elect Trump because they felt neglected. They felt their leaders did not care about them. Now they feel they have a president who hears them.

Clearly, a lot of others are upset by the result of the election. Rightly or wrongly, they feel that our new president doesn’t particularly like them.

That’s why I am praying President-elect Trump, despite all the heated rhetoric of the campaign, will now rise above bitterness, pettiness or revenge, and prove to be a great leader who loves all Americans.

Speaking of love, that is something we must do, if we call ourselves followers of the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.

In our polarized world, followers of Jesus must lead the way in loving others, especially those who have a different skin color or different religion. You can make a major difference each day, simply by your smile and kindness.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.