Pray for the king

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Franklin Graham did not offer a prayer at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He walked to the podium and after a quick joke about the rain, he read the Bible. Here is what he read from 1 Timothy 2:1-6a:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”

Instead of making some hyper-nationalistic statement like, “America being the hope of the world,” he read a text of the Bible that explains that Jesus is the ultimate hope of the world. There is one mediator between a holy God and sinful men, and it is Jesus. It is Jesus who will rule the world someday, not a president. And it is Jesus who desires all people to be saved, including the president. 

Every Sunday that I am given the privilege to lead our congregation in prayer, we pray for the president. We pray that he is guided by truth and wisdom.  We pray that the Lord strengthens him to keep the homeland safe. We pray that he repents and believes in Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and men, if he hasn’t.  And guess what? We have been praying for the president long before Trump was elected. This might be repeating the plain teaching of the Bible, but Christian friends, I hope you pray for your president, Republican or Democrat. It’s a sad mark on the church when people are surprised that the pro-life pastor is praying for that pro-choice president. We are called to pray. 

You may think that a particular president is unworthy of your prayers. First, that’s self-righteous, and the point of the Gospel.  None of us are worthy of Jesus or his help.  Grace is a gift undeserved. But second, let’s think about what the Apostle Paul is saying to his original apprentice Timothy and his congregation. Pray for the king and all in high positions. Pray for the king! You mean, the king of the Roman Empire? Caesar! You mean figures like Nero who was burning Christians as torches at his palace parties? Yes, pray for the king. Presidents aren’t looking so bad now, are they? 

Friends, let’s live peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way. Let’s pray for the president and all that God has sovereignly allowed to be an authority over us; even if you didn’t vote for them.

Matthew Homan is the pastor of Eureka Baptist Church. His email address is