I’ve had people ask me before, with more than a hint of criticism, “Why do you post these prayers? Are you trying to parade your righteousness before others?” While I suppose there is always the danger that one puts out a prayer for the praise of men (a danger with any public post), that’s not why I include prayers like this on my blog (at least not what I think is going on in my heart). I post prayers from time to time because (1) we need examples (even imperfect ones) of how to pray, (2) it serves my congregation, and (3) sometimes when I don’t know the right analysis or the best way forward, I figure I can at least pray.
So here’s how I led my church in prayer this past Sunday.
Our good and gracious heavenly Father, we praise for your almighty and ever present power, by which you uphold, as with your hand, all things.
When we don’t know what will happen with our health, we trust you. When we don’t know what we will happen with those we love, we rest in you. And when we don’t know what will happen with our nation, we turn to you.
In the midst of a world filled with triumphalism on the one hand and recriminations on the other, in a world where we tend to assume the worst of those who are not like us, help the church to show a more excellent way. May the world look in at our counter-culture communities and say with astonishment, “See how they love one another.” Give us the empathy to listen to one another and the wisdom to learn from what we hear.
May the church show forth the kind of diversity worth pursuing—the diversity of every nationality, and every race, and every class, and every color confessing sins together and together worshiping the risen Christ.
As we are commanded in 1 Timothy 2, we pray for Donald Trump, the next President of the United States.
Grant him wisdom, courage, and integrity as a man and as a leader. Keep him faithful, kind, and loving as a husband and father.
Give him a heart for the poor, concern for the powerless, and compassion for the weak. May he resist the temptation to settle scores and tear others down. Give him a heart, a disposition, and a commitment to honor women, protect the vulnerable, and reject all racial animus.
Put before him the best information and the most intelligent counselors so he can make good decisions about economic and foreign policy and choose capable men and women for a vast array of judicial, cabinet-level, and bureaucratic appointments.
May the President be guided by both courage and restraint as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. Make him a defender of the unborn and a champion for religious liberty.
Make him a man of prayer and a daily student of the Scriptures. Give him the humility to see his sins, the honesty to admit his faults, the grace to forgive his enemies, and the strength of character to change his mind.
Lead him to a firmer understanding of the truth of the gospel, a resolute commitment to obey the Word of God, and a passion to promote what accords with your truth.
By your grace, heavenly Father, may President Trump be a better man than many expect and a better man than we deserve.
And no matter the smiles or frowns of providence, keep your people faithful to the things we know we must do: to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Make us quick to serve and eager to speak the truth in love. Grant us the privilege to bear witness to the only King who keeps all his promises and the only One whose kingdom knows no end.
In the name of Christ—the only name given among men whereby we must be saved—we pray, Amen.