Pray for the president

Published 10:21 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

By Thurman Hayes

After President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, it was time for the talking heads and pundits to weigh in. As some weighed in with criticism, and others with praise, I was convicted of a biblical truth: As followers of Jesus, we are commanded to “weigh in” with our prayers.

No matter what your political leanings are, if you are a follower of Jesus, you should be praying for the president.


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First, it is a matter of obedience. 1 Timothy 2:2 commands us to “Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God.”

Second, it is a matter of love. Love for God, first, because in praying for the president we are obeying His command to do so. But also it is a matter of love for people. Think of how many people the president’s decision-making impacts, here and around the world!

Speaking of decision-making, do you realize that your prayers can impact those decisions? Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.” In other words, just as we can direct a stream of water with our hand, God can direct the heart of a leader with His hand. Therefore, we should be faithfully praying for God to direct the hand of our president.

As I pray for President Trump, these are some of the things I pray for:

  • I pray for his health and safety. I pray for God to give him wisdom. I pray for his family. I pray for his close advisors and his Cabinet, that they would give him the best advice.
  • I pray for his foreign policy decisions. I pray for wisdom in dealing with the rogue governments of North Korea and Iran. I am deeply thankful for the great improvement in our relationship with Israel and pray for it to continue. I pray for him as commander in chief of our military. I pray for continued progress in freeing people from the terror of ISIS. I pray for decisions that will end up helping more hurting people around the world to have religious freedom, prosperity and peace.
  • I pray for him to continue to appoint good judges who will abide by the Constitution, protect religious liberty for all people and uphold the sanctity of human life.
  • I pray for him to continue to make decisions that will help grow our economy. As a trustee for a large missions agency, I’ve seen firsthand how a vibrant economy helps people give to the work of the gospel.
  • Since immigration is a current issue, I pray for a final result that will show both compassion and concern for security.
  • I also find myself praying a lot for God to give the president restraint and self-control in his words. In my opinion, the use of Twitter to personally attack critics is just not helpful to the president or to the country. So I find myself praying that he will learn to “stay above the fray.”

President Trump has one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world. It impacts billions of people. I’m praying for the man. God tells all of us to do so.

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