Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Praying for the President-elect

The wife has a great call for us to pray for the President, and to honor those to whom honor is due.

As the Scriptures teach us, "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..." (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Justin Taylor reminds us,
No matter who you voted for--or whether you voted at all--it's important to remember that, as President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).

     * We are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
     * We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
     * We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7).
     * We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17).


Courtney said...

Amen to that.

John said...

Amen, sister!

rich said...

What about imprecatory prayers? Can we not pray these in his direction also?

John said...

I think these are to be reserved for those who set themselves up against Christ & his Church, not simply because of personal dislike or different political convictions.

Word is still out about their appropriateness for folks with messianic complexes.

rich said...

So could they have been prayed against the very emperor who Paul gave the above instructions to the church concerning (the emperor who was persecuting the church, Nero, Caligula)? I am assuming that that is a yes.

What about Hitler? My (very limited) understanding of that situation is that he set himself up against those Christians who were trying to be faithful by resisting the slaughter of the Jews, but he did not (probably just b/c he didn't have the opportunity) set himself up against the church as an entity.

rich said...

By the way, the number of deaths caused by abortion will pale in comparison to the number of deaths that will occur due to legal and federally funded embryonic stem cell research (which both of the two major candidates support), and even mandated murder that will occur if Obama has his way (see his bill on cloning that was introduced).

John said...


Re: Nero & Hitler, yes & yes.

John said...

Addendum, Rich.

It is no contradiction to thank God for ministers of state that he has by his sovereign will installed, and to pray against their policies that are in rebellion.

I think the analogy is true with the 5th Commandment. Honor is to be given to parents, even if they are not honorable.

And to the degree that leaders persecute Christ & the church, let the imprecatory prayers flow....God answers according to his sovereign purposes. He could say "no" b/c the leader is part of the discipline of His church, which in our case is worldly and wedded more to the American dream that the Kingdom of God.

rich said...

I agree with your statement, "It is no contradiction to thank God for ministers of state that he has by his sovereign will installed, and to pray against their policies that are in rebellion." My point with the Hitler analogy is that imprecatory prayers (in addition to all other sorts of prayer) could possibly be aimed at him b/c of his murder of humanity, even if the church was not the specific target. And when I pray for the death of the wicked (such as the gov't of the Sudan), I pray that it will come in either of two forms, either repentance or death before more harm can come, preferably the former. Also, breaking the teeth of the wicked could take the form of blunting their ability to destroy their victims (which is what you are getting at with the policy thing). In any case, I am not disagreeing with anything you said in your post. I am just trying to press on the idea (to see if it really can hold) that imprecatory prayers are to be reserved only for the explicit enemies of the church, rather than including the explicit enemies of large quantities of humans. I am still tossing this around in my head.

rich said...

What would you say distinguishes Obama from these murderous rulers? On what basis should I not ask God for his judgement in Obama's case? I am not being rhetorical.

John said...

Good question. I don't think we can distinguish our leaders from the people. God gives us leaders according to our desires. So, God can't judge him without judging us.

I'm just saddened that a huge number of Christians willing elected a person who has vowed to enact federal laws that will move this country to the point where debate on the issue of abortion is a thing of the past. Says something about the state of the church, which I think is also under judgment, which always begins with us and moves out.

You may want to check out Adam's "War Psalms of the Prince of Peace." Read it in seminary.

rich said...

I am teaching a Sunday School class on the Psalms and making use of that book. My other comments will be under your latest post about FOCA.