God Bless America?

Today sees the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. And while many of us will have strong opinions about him given his very controversial statements during the election campaign and the vast array of incompatibilities between his policies and Christian values I wanted to remind us of the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 2: “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 Saviour” (1 Timothy 2v1-3).
Donald Trump may not be your choice of President. You may be worried about the impact his presidency will have. There is a lot of uncertainty (huge uncertainty, really huge). But not matter your politics and regardless of whether you think he will make American great again (so great, the greatest) we are reminded by Paul that our first priority is to pray for him.
We may disagree with his polices. We may be afraid of the instability they could bring. We may have concerns about how they will impact on our freedom to live as followers of Christ. But we are called to pray for all who are in high position.  For ultimately it is not by criticizing or protesting that we will have influence, but through prayer. It is easy to share a facebook post in protest against a leader that you disapprove of, but what takes real courage is getting down on your knees and asking God to work through them even though we are opposed to them.
When faced with a leader we dislike we can despair and turn our back on them. Or we can get serious about praying for them, asking God to work through them, interceding on behalf of them that no matter what they promised during their campaign that when they enter office they would be convicted by God and bring about policies that advance His kingdom. Pray for unity rather than division. Pray for reconciliation rather than the building of walls (metaphorical or physical…).
At a time when there is much in the news to discourage us and leave us anxious we must remember that God is sovereign. And if He was able to use Balaam’s donkey He surely can work through the President. While there is much protesting going on today we must remember the instruction from Paul in Romans 12:14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”. It can be easy to fail into the trap of cursing and mocking political leaders we disapprove of, but that is not what we are called to do. Jesus commands us to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
So today no matter how you feel about President Trump, regardless if the thought of The Donald in the fills you with joy or dread, do not get dragged into cursing or belittling those on the other side of the political divide to you. Instead let’s resolve to get on our knees and pray for God to move in power, remembering the words of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
As we enter uncharted territory with the inauguration of Donald Trump may we pray to the Lord on behalf of America, trusting that no matter who enters the White House ultimately He is sovereignly in control and sitting on His throne forever.

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