Politics, Prayer

Throwback Thursday ~ 7 Ways to Pray During the Trump Administration

Originally published January 20, 2017

7-pray-trump

Whether you love it or hate it…

Whether you voted for him or not…

The reality is that Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States today. The election has come and gone. Our part is over.

Or is it?

A lot of people – both those who voted for him and who voted against him – have a lot of concerns about the things Donald Trump might do or say (or Tweet) as President and about the trajectory of the nation over the next four years. Of equal or more concern are some of the actions his opponents have threatened. But does God want Christians sitting around wringing our hands in worry for the duration of the Trump administration?

Nope.

God has told us exactly what He wants us to do with regard to the rulers He has installed in authority over us.

Step 1:

romans-13-1-2

God wants us to remember that He is the one who places leaders in their positions, and we are to trust His decisions and respect and obey our leaders (unless they command us to do or not do something that conflicts with God’s word – we always submit to God and His word first).

What if the leader is immoral or ungodly? Well consider that when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen these words, Paul was living under the rule of Nero, and I think you’ll have your answer. In so far as we are biblically able, Christians are to obey those in authority over us.

Step 2:

1-ti-2-1-2

God wants us to pray for all people, but He draws our focus to praying for “kings and all who are in high positions.” Why?

  • “That we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
    Consider the persecution the first century (and every subsequent century to the present day) church faced: Christians fed to lions, immolated, beheaded, quartered, family members tortured, and more. We’re to ask God for the government to allow us to quietly live in peace and pursue godliness.
  • “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,” 1 Timothy 2:3 goes on to say. It is good for us to pray for our leaders simply because it is pleasing to God. When you get right down to it, do we really need any other reason to obey God?
  • Because God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” says 1 Timothy 2:4. Even though God doesn’t have to give us a reason to obey Him about praying for our leaders, He chooses to reveal something to us about His nature and character by explaining why He wants us to do so. God’s heart is for all people to know Christ as Savior – including our rulers. God wants to save them because He loves them as individuals made in His image, but He also wants to save them so they will be godly rulers and – bringing us full circle to 1 Timothy 2:2 – so that God’s people will be able to lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

So now that we know that God wants us to pray for our President and others “who are in high positions,” and why God wants us to pray for them, what are some of the things we can pray for during the Trump administration?

1. Pray for God to save our unsaved leaders

Lip service to God does not a regenerated believer make. Many people claim to be Christians yet have never repented of their sin and placed their faith in Christ. The Bible is clear that those who consistently live in unrepentant sin are not saved. Don’t listen so much to what our leaders say about God, rather watch what they do. If he walks like a heathen and quacks like a heathen, pray for God to save him.

2. Pray for the daily walk of our saved leaders

Can you imagine how hard it must be to live a godly life as one of the few Christians in the political arena? For our leaders who not only talk the talk but are striving to walk the walk, pray that God will give them ample time in His word, in prayer, and in church. Pray that He will enable them to resist temptation to sin. Pray that they will walk uprightly in their day to day lives. Pray that they will seek to honor God in their work and decisions. Pray that God will give them boldness and open doors to share the gospel with others.

3. Pray that God will move all of our leaders to make right decisions

Even if they make those right decisions for the wrong reasons. Even if they meant their decisions for evil. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lordhe turns it wherever he will.” Pray that God will turn our leaders’ hearts to make right decisions.

4. Pray against governmental intrusion and persecution in the lives of Christians

Unfortunately, over the past several years we’ve seen the beginnings of persecution against Christians in the U.S. Christians have been fired and lost their businesses for refusing to provide services for homosexual weddings. Christians are having to comply with government mandates regarding transgender issues and abortion. The government has interfered with private parenting decisions made by Christians. Pray that God would move our leaders to back off and allow Christians to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

5. Pray for the church

It’s very likely that we are in the last days of freedom of religion in the United States. Pray that God would continue to bless the church with that constitutional right. And while we still have it, pray that pastors would boldly preach Christ and Him crucified. Pray that Christians would faithfully love, serve, and attend their churches every week. Pray that the church would properly disciple Christians to live as lights for Christ in the world. Pray that we would send out unprecedented numbers of missionaries. Pray that we will work the works of Him who sent us while it is day; for night is coming, when no one can work.

6. Pray that Christians will share the gospel

This country will not be changed by leaders and legislation. It will only be changed by the Lord. The United States will only become a godly nation if the majority of the people of this nation have had their hearts changed by the gospel. Pray (again, while we are still free to do so) that God will light a fire under those of us who know Him to unabashedly share the gospel everywhere we go, with everyone we meet.

7. Pray that God would protect this nation

From our enemies and from ourselves.

Take some time to pray for our leaders and our country
today and every day.

If you’d like, add your prayer below in the comments.

Mailbag

The Mailbag: What’s your take on White-Howse/Charlottesville/Trump?

 

What’s your take on the James White/Brannon Howse IFD controversy? The Charlottesville tragedy and other issues of racism? Anything and everything Donald Trump says and does?

There are a lot of divisive situations going on in the world these days. It’s no longer simply, “Did you hear the news?” but, “Which side of the news are you on?” And it seems like, more and more, the evangelical public requires – demands even- that every Christian who has any sort of an audience must declare to the world whose side we’re on or what our position on the issue is. I mean, come on; if people are asking some nobody like me where I stand on various news stories, you know things have gotten out of hand. It’s not that I mind people asking my opinion, it’s just that I’m baffled as to why anyone would care what I think.

But for those of you who really want to know what I think on these issues, here ya go:

1. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what God’s Word says.

I’ve said this, like, at least a thousand times on this blog in relation to homosexuality, female preachers, church attendance, and any number of other biblical concepts, and it applies to current events as well. I could give you my opinion, but if it differs from what Scripture says, you’d better not listen to it. And if it’s in line with what Scripture says, well, the Bible says it far better than I ever could, so my opinion is superfluous.

2. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what YOU think.

When it comes to what or how to think about a certain situation, the primary source that should shape your thoughts is God’s Word. Not me, not Christian celebrities, not your family and friends: the Bible. You need to be able to think biblically for yourself, not just blindly believe the thoughts and opinions of someone you look up to. When you stand before God one day, I don’t know what all He might ask you, but I feel pretty safe in guessing that He’s not going to ask you what Michelle Lesley thought about a dewdrop on a blade of grass. If you want to know what to think about something, get your Bible out and study what it has to say on the subject.

3. It doesn’t matter what I think because voicing my opinion isn’t going to help or change the situation.

Take the White-Howse controversy for example (and if you don’t know what that is, Google it – I don’t have the energy to get into that whole can of worms). I don’t know, have access to, or closely follow either James White or Brannon Howse, so not only do I not have a dog in this hunt, but no public declaration from me is going to patch things up between them, bring about repentance wherever it might be needed, or solve the problems involved. I do, however, have friends on both sides of the issue. So the only thing a public opinion from me would do would be to alienate people on one side or the other, and, personally, I don’t think this particular controversy is worth that.

4. It’s an unnecessary distraction from the focus of my ministry.

Maybe the focus of your ministry is on racial issues within Christianity. Or rightly applying Scripture to politics. Or the proper way to evangelize Muslims. If so, it would only make sense that you’d speak out about the issues enumerated in today’s Mailbag question. The focus of my ministry is women’s discipleship: teaching Christian women how to rightly handle and apply God’s Word to your life so you can grow in Christ and better serve Him, your family, your church, and others. I’m willing to get controversial when I have to and when it furthers that ministry focus (such as my discernment articles). But to get off into the weeds of, say, the border wall, health care, and taxes (and all the questions, comments, and controversies that go with those issues), would be a distraction from what I’m trying to accomplish here.

5. Not every hill is a hill to die on.

There are a lot of hills I’m willing to die on, and virtually all of them have a chapter and verse reference. I do not like to see Scripture mishandled and false doctrine preached because people’s eternities are at stake, the health of the church is at stake, and Christian women’s sanctification is at stake. I am willing to fight those fights to the death and take the flak the Enemy and his servants hurl at me. But if I fight every fight that comes along, I’m not going to have the time or the strength to fight the battles that God has uniquely gifted and equipped me to fight. Other Christians, have a much better grasp of, and experience with, for example, the racial issues plaguing our country today. I would prefer to remain silent and learn from them. Sometimes the best contribution I can make to a discourse is to keep my mouth shut and listen.

6. It’s just annoying noise.

It makes me crazy when something happens in the news and that’s all anybody can talk about – in person or on social media. (It’s not wrong for people to talk abut these things, mind you, it just gets on my nerves hearing the same remarks and conversations over and over again.) When a scrillion people have already given their opinion on a particular issue – especially when a lot of them are saying the same thing I’d say – what is the everlovin’ point of adding my voice to the cacophony? All that does is put one more annoying opinion in your social media feed when you’d rather be seeing pictures of your friend’s new baby, reading someone’s quote of a Bible verse, or drooling over the latest recipe video.

Sometimes I comment on current events. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t it’s usually for one of these six reasons, or because I don’t have time, or I’m not interested in the subject, or I’m not knowledgeable enough about the subject to make an intelligent comment, or because I’m not in the mood.

Or maybe I just found a really good recipe video to drool over instead :0)


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Politics, Prayer

7 Ways to Pray During the Trump Administration

7-pray-trump

Whether you love it or hate it…

Whether you voted for him or not…

The reality is that Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States today. The election has come and gone. Our part is over.

Or is it?

A lot of people – both those who voted for him and who voted against him – have a lot of concerns about the things Donald Trump might do or say (or Tweet) as President and about the trajectory of the nation over the next four years. Of equal or more concern are some of the actions his opponents have threatened. But does God want Christians sitting around wringing our hands in worry for the duration of the Trump administration?

Nope.

God has told us exactly what He wants us to do with regard to the rulers He has installed in authority over us.

Step 1:

romans-13-1-2

God wants us to remember that He is the one who places leaders in their positions, and we are to trust His decisions and respect and obey our leaders (unless they command us to do or not do something that conflicts with God’s word – we always submit to God and His word first).

What if the leader is immoral or ungodly? Well consider that when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen these words, Paul was living under the rule of Nero, and I think you’ll have your answer. In so far as we are biblically able, Christians are to obey those in authority over us.

Step 2:

1-ti-2-1-2

God wants us to pray for all people, but He draws our focus to praying for “kings and all who are in high positions.” Why?

  • “That we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
    Consider the persecution the first century (and every subsequent century to the present day) church faced: Christians fed to lions, immolated, beheaded, quartered, family members tortured, and more. We’re to ask God for the government to allow us to quietly live in peace and pursue godliness.
  • “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,” 1 Timothy 2:3 goes on to say. It is good for us to pray for our leaders simply because it is pleasing to God. When you get right down to it, do we really need any other reason to obey God?
  • Because God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” says 1 Timothy 2:4. Even though God doesn’t have to give us a reason to obey Him about praying for our leaders, He chooses to reveal something to us about His nature and character by explaining why He wants us to do so. God’s heart is for all people to know Christ as Savior – including our rulers. God wants to save them because He loves them as individuals made in His image, but He also wants to save them so they will be godly rulers and – bringing us full circle to 1 Timothy 2:2 – so that God’s people will be able to lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

So now that we know that God wants us to pray for our President and others “who are in high positions,” and why God wants us to pray for them, what are some of the things we can pray for during the Trump administration?

1. Pray for God to save our unsaved leaders

Lip service to God does not a regenerated believer make. Many people claim to be Christians yet have never repented of their sin and placed their faith in Christ. The Bible is clear that those who consistently live in unrepentant sin are not saved. Don’t listen so much to what our leaders say about God, rather watch what they do. If he walks like a heathen and quacks like a heathen, pray for God to save him.

2. Pray for the daily walk of our saved leaders

Can you imagine how hard it must be to live a godly life as one of the few Christians in the political arena? For our leaders who not only talk the talk but are striving to walk the walk, pray that God will give them ample time in His word, in prayer, and in church. Pray that He will enable them to resist temptation to sin. Pray that they will walk uprightly in their day to day lives. Pray that they will seek to honor God in their work and decisions. Pray that God will give them boldness and open doors to share the gospel with others.

3. Pray that God will move all of our leaders to make right decisions

Even if they make those right decisions for the wrong reasons. Even if they meant their decisions for evil. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lordhe turns it wherever he will.” Pray that God will turn our leaders’ hearts to make right decisions.

4. Pray against governmental intrusion and persecution in the lives of Christians

Unfortunately, over the past several years we’ve seen the beginnings of persecution against Christians in the U.S. Christians have been fired and lost their businesses for refusing to provide services for homosexual weddings. Christians are having to comply with government mandates regarding transgender issues and abortion. The government has interfered with private parenting decisions made by Christians. Pray that God would move our leaders to back off and allow Christians to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

5. Pray for the church

It’s very likely that we are in the last days of freedom of religion in the United States. Pray that God would continue to bless the church with that constitutional right. And while we still have it, pray that pastors would boldly preach Christ and Him crucified. Pray that Christians would faithfully love, serve, and attend their churches every week. Pray that the church would properly disciple Christians to live as lights for Christ in the world. Pray that we would send out unprecedented numbers of missionaries. Pray that we will work the works of Him who sent us while it is day; for night is coming, when no one can work.

6. Pray that Christians will share the gospel

This country will not be changed by leaders and legislation. It will only be changed by the Lord. The United States will only become a godly nation if the majority of the people of this nation have had their hearts changed by the gospel. Pray (again, while we are still free to do so) that God will light a fire under those of us who know Him to unabashedly share the gospel everywhere we go, with everyone we meet.

7. Pray that God would protect this nation

From our enemies and from ourselves.

Take some time to pray for our leaders and our country
today and every day.

If you’d like, add your prayer below in the comments.