I looked at my 18-month-old daughter today and realized that she was among the relatively few persons who was completely clueless as to the historical moment we all witnessed: the inauguration of the 44th President's 2nd term. As her father, I know she'll have questions down the road about the times that she was born in. I'm responsible for letting her know several things about the president that was in office when she was born. First, that God is sovereign and that He chose President Obama for these years. Secondly, that this man's racial make-up makes a very strong statement about the status and potential for ethnic minorities in this country. The list could go on, but for the sake of staying on topic, I won't.
Thanks to internet archives, I know my daughter will hear other things about this presidency:
The "prophecies" from MLK and RFK re: the future presidency of a black man in America.
That Obama isn't just a president, but the "messiah"
Obama's unique ability to bring excitement to certain members of the national press
The president's widespread generosity in extending telecommunication privileges to the least and left out
But what do the scriptures say about this man? I would say that the Bible says nothing at all different than what is said for all who have been or ever will be in his position: pray.
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quite lives in all godliness and holiness"
1st Timothy 2:1-2
And I know that many are happy to pray for a president that they voted for. However, millions who did NOT vote for this President, while praying about him, are not particularly "moved" to pray for him. As a member of a predominantly black church that I am very proud to be in affiliation with, I personally know dozens of people who will fervently pray for President Obama's safety, his family, his success as a president, wisdom to avoid the various pitfalls plaguing the presidency, etc. For sure, all these are good requests to bring before the Lord in the name of Christ on behalf of the leader that the LORD Himself ordained for the nation at this time.
Can I suggest another? Pray for the blessing of Abraham to overtake our President's heart and life.
"And you are heirs of the prophets and of the the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, He sent Him first to you TO BLESS YOU by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
-Acts 3:25-26 (emphasis added)
I'm a man happily associated with Obama lovers and Obama haters-- both groups can be found within the various churches that proclaim Christ and His gospel. But because of some racial, political, ethnic, and other less important lines of division, these groups rarely intersect in meaningful ways either on the topic of Obama or his presidency. But since so many on both sides generally agree on doctrine and practice, they would be more prepared for partnership if they could first partner in prayer. Certainly, within the body of Christ, we can agree that this president would be more effective if blessed with an ever-increasing love for God that flows from a heart of repentance. To be sure, the blessing of Abraham is Jesus Himself, the true Seed of Abraham through Whom we can all find forgiveness and His gospel commands our repentance.
For all my friends who love Jesus first and are sincerely grieved over the obvious violations of scripture either continued or enacted by this president, I simply ask, "Have you prayed that God would grant him repentance?" I don't complain about your continued cataloging of his each and every public offense against the word of God through policies he supports. I stand with you on that. But in all your justifiably righteous indignation, have you sincerely prayed for God's mercy on your president such that he would renounce evil both in national government but also in his heart? Or have you committed God's appointed man over our nation to utter destruction forgetting that the king's heart is in the LORD's hands? If you're convinced "he ain't saved", pray for his salvation! If you think he is a believer, at the very least, pray for repentance.
For all my friends who love Jesus first and can't understand how anyone could deny this President's faith, integrity, and greatness, I simply ask, "Are you blind?". Do you truly believe that Obama's complete commitment to "protecting" children from assault rifles but failure to protect the unborn is a thoughtful and consistent with a biblical perspective? When he openly embraces homosexual unions, thus betraying traditional marriage as outlined in the Bible, do you think that this pleases the God you serve? If you are so eager to see Obama exalted, then you must know that he must first be humbled before the Lord. Pray, therefore, for his repentance.
I openly confess that I have not truly prayed for President Obama these last 4 years as I should have. But I have been convinced and convicted of my sin before the LORD and am determined to pray for his repentance even as I repent of shamefully weak intercession for him and his profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Who is with me?