On Wednesday we inaugurated a new president. This inauguration has been contentious since November 3, but the dissension and sentiments that fuel this contention were brewing long before that. Many of you are elated that Joe Biden is now our president. Many of you want to scream.
I’m not here to address whether or not voter fraud took place, whether the election was stolen from Donald Trump. I just want to ask one question: as we move into the era of the Biden administration, what will you do? How will you respond?
We are to respond to those with whom we disagree by praying for them (Matt 5:44). Peter said,
“Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits” (1 Pet. 2:12).
I’m going to call you and your church to a singular, biblical response. A singular response for both Republicans and Democrats. I can do that because, if you are a follower of Christ, we have one Lord and one faith. We are His first and foremost. If you are a Christ-follower, you are a Christian first, an American second.
This is what I’m calling you to do.
Pray for the President. Believer, this is not an option. It’s a command from Scripture. “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3). Lest you think the apostle Paul doesn’t understand our situation, he was inspired to write those words when Nero was the Roman emperor. Nero, one of the most vicious, cruel, and vindictive emperors in Roman history, persecuted Christians and put to death Paul who penned these very words.
Pray for Biden’s wisdom. Pray that he would make good decisions. Pray that he would do what is right, not what is politically expedient. Pray that he would listen to wise council from all sides. Pray for his heart. Pray that President Biden would humble himself before the One who is greater than the leader of the free world. Pray that He would turn to Christ.
Pray for our country. Pray that we would find ways to work together. Our country will move forward in doing what is right when the church moves forward in doing what is right, so …
Pray for the church. The church needs to repent. Too many who claim to follow Christ are making the person who sits in the Oval Office more important than God. We are letting our politics divide even the bride of Christ—and the division is happening because we are letting our doctrine take second place to our political views. Too many are trusting a political party more than they’re trusting God. It’s got to stop. Pastor Samuel Rodriguez said, “We must repent for permitting the donkey and the elephant to divide what the Lamb died for on the cross. “
The church will only repent and seek to honor God in this country when we as individual believers repent and seek the things of God first.
Pray for yourself—and let that prayer begin with confession. Confess the pride you have in your own political views, a pride that you are right and the other side is wrong. Confess your own role in judging the other side, speaking viciously and disparaging of those who have a different political view.
Pray and ask God to empower you to speak on all topics with love and grace. Jesus did not slander those who opposed Him—and you shouldn’t either. It doesn’t matter how right you are if you miss the love and grace. To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13, “If I rightly understand all things in politics and have all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing.” Pray that your conversations would always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
The kingdom of God will never end. This country we love so much eventually will. Work to lift up and promote the work of Christ and His perfect kingdom more than you work to lift up your political views.
Make this your prayer:
Father, I confess the role I’ve played in partisan politics. There are issues I believe strongly in, issues that I believe are in line with morality and biblical teaching, but I no longer want to express those views in a way that does not honor You. I’m sorry for the times I failed to express love and grace to others, even when they vehemently disagreed with me.
I ask that You work in President Biden’s heart and life. He needs wisdom. He needs fortitude to do what is right. He needs You—and lead Him to see that and humble Himself before You.
Our whole country needs You, and we need to turn to you. Begin with Your church. Remind us that we belong to a kingdom that transcends partisanship and politics. In these dark days, let Your light shine. Let Your light shine through us. Lead us to live out the truths of Scriptures with love and grace. Help us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
And in all I ask for the church, Lord, begin with me. Work through me to express myself in all matters with love and grace. Help me to love my neighbor. Lead me to do everything, whether in word or deed, for the glory of God.
I ask this in Him whose kingdom of love and light will never end,
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