10 Prayers for the President — And for All of Us
1. “Don’t play for safety. It’s the most dangerous thing in the world.”— Hugh Walpole, Fortitude
It may sound counter-intuitive, but safety really is fraught with risk. Presidents — and all leaders — must understand when to strategically invest in big, bold steps . . . and then they must not be afraid to take the necessary leap. We must pray for wise risk-taking — for our president and for all of us.
2. “The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”— G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job
It is easy to believe that, given the founts of knowledge that surround us, we can figure this crazy world out on our own. But some answers still lie just beyond our human ability to comprehend. Today, we seek peace in the unknowing. As much as we pursue knowledge, let’s pray that our president — and each of us — will also continually pursue and find the One who knows.
3. “Every time your enemy fires a curse, you must fire a blessing, and so you are to bombard back and forth with this kind of artillery.”— Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts
We pray that God would condition our reflexes — so that when we’re attacked with hate and malice, we can respond with grace and love. From the seats of power in Washington to our respective homes, it’s a crucial reflex to have.
4. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”— Philippians 4:8
We pray for a particular kind of focus, for our president and ourselves. There are so many inputs bombarding us every day — in our physical lives, on social media, over the air waves. We ask God to draw our leaders’ attention (and our own) to those things that edify and away from that which distracts and destroys.
5. “I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.”— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
We pray that our president, and all of us, will see the face of God in those around us. Having adjusted our perspective, we seek to draw our worldly opponents ever closer in grace and love.
6. “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”— George Bernard Shaw, George Bernard Shaw His Life and Works
We pray that our president would leave it all on the field. That at the end of his term, he would look back and know that his torch burned as brightly as possible before he passed it off. We pray the same for ourselves as we run this good race of ours.
7. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”— James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
We pray that if our leaders — or any of us — have intense feeling, or even hatred, for one another, that those feelings would be released. We ask God to search our emotions and root out any ill will. We may have reasons — good reasons — for certain antipathies, but today we make an effort to forgive. Once we have forgiven, we ask God to help us deal with the underlying pain.
8. “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.”— Toni Morrison, Tar Baby
We pray that, for our president and for each of us, the beauty of this world will be enough. We don’t need to capture it, tweet it, write it down. We let go of our need to control today as God’s creation moves freely around us. And we rejoice in the Lord’s good work.
9. “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.”— Karl Barth
This thought is echoed in Psalm 126:2, “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’”
We pray for a spirit of laughter today, both in the White House and in our own homes. Would the weight of the world melt away for even a moment, and would the sides of our leaders’ mouths curl up into a smile more than usual. And would joy be on the president’s heart and on ours.
10. “There is a profound ground of unity that is more pertinent and authentic than all the unilateral dimension of our lives. This a man discovers when he is able to keep open the door of his heart. This is one’s ultimate responsibility, and it is not dependent upon whether the heart of another is kept open for him.”— Howard Thurman, A Strange Freedom
We pray for open hearts, dear God for our civic leaders and for ourselves. Would you open our hearts to instruction unheard, to possibilities unseen, to love unfelt, and to joy unknown. If we have been closed off, we repent. And we ask you to open our hearts. Amen.
Written by: Joshua DuBois
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