In the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, American’s wake up to a new day that doesn’t necessarily mean all the same things to everybody; but for all, it definitely is a new day. For all, the historic election of a black candidate proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that racism is where it should be for the overwhelming majority of Americans: in the past. It is indicative of an almost miraculous change in the hearts and minds of millions upon millions of Americans. Obama’s historic victory by no means guarantees that the residual challenges/problems of race will be done away with…time is the most effective remedy for many of those challenges; but, when examined in light of America’s past, I think American’s should see Obama’s victory as proof of a good thing.
I sincerely hope that Republicans and Conservatives will not allow their many and profound differences with Obama to mar this moment. Let us all, for a little while at least, allow this moment to be appreciated, that America is truly beyond the shadow of a doubt, a country where race is less important than the person.
But, despite the positives of Obama’s victory, for Republicans and (more importantly) Conservatives, the negatives will in the long run far out way the positives. The plight of the unborn stands to greatly worsen due to the election of Obama, the economy stands to gain nothing and lose more under Obama, the war in Iraq will end prematurely, in all likelihood negatively impacting the War on Terror (not something all conservatives agree on but something I believe to be true), socialist welfare and fascist government control will be further entrenched as the norm in our country (the words fascist and socialist are not used in the negative sense, merely the factual)…and the list goes on. But I don’t need to exhaustively list the negatives of Obama’s pending presidency; you know all or at least some of which I speak (in the not unlikely event that some reading this post are Obama supporters). The crucial question of the day for Republicans and especially Conservatives is…what now? This is the question that should be foremost on all our minds.
I will not get into my personal take on how Conservatives need to change their strategy to regain power and (more importantly) influence-we have months and years to do that-but I would like to issue this challenge because it is of critical and immediate importance.
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 Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)
The Bible explicitly states that we are to pray for our leaders and to give them respect. Therefore, if Christians truly wish to honor God then they will pray daily for Barak Obama and Joe Biden…and they shouldn’t pray that for their hurt or their failure…they should pray that God will touch them mightily, opening their eyes to His Truth and lead them in on a path that will honor God and benefit the American people, not the Republican Party or any other specific agenda driven group. I firmly believe one of the greatest shortcomings of Christians in the last decade is their willingness to ignore their responsibility as Christians to intercede before the Throne of Grace for ALL their leaders. They have interceded on behalf of their nation, but not ALL their leaders as specifically commanded. Many, for instance, skewered George Bush but failed to humbly and unselfishly intercede on his behalf before the Throne of Grace. The same is true of many individuals treatment of Bill Clinton, an object of particularly strong scorn.
I remember on numerous occasions my parents, my Mother in particular, lamenting the lack of respect Christians show for the leaders they disagreed with on many issues. Instead, they allowed their personal differences to mar their application of biblical spiritual responsibilities, sacrificing true Godliness to petty, selfish partisanship. May that not be the case this time! I sincerely pray that all Christians will pray daily for our leaders, particularly President elect Obama and I rejoice to see so many already committing to do just that. Let us never cease to remind ourselves of this, even when locked in great cultural and political battles.
If we are to right what needs to be righted we cannot rely on the halls of Washington or the various state capitals; we cannot rely on the courts; we cannot rely on the media or even community town halls or minority outreaches. We must rely on God, His providence, and our faithfulness. The conservative comeback, which I think can undoubtedly take place, will ride on the strength of the prayers and humble petitions of Christians like you and I. Let us never for a moment lose our focus on that point. May we never fail to honor our responsibility to honor and pray for those God has placed in authority over us.
Our current President has a quite extensive “Presidential Prayer Team” that has many members and I believe it is largely motivated by George Bush’s strong faith. I was initially fearful that they would not continue to their efforts on behalf of President Obama, but I am happy to see that they will continue to lift up our President in prayer beyond George Bush’s tenure in office. Here are some quotes from people you will recognize taken from the prayer team’s website (presidentialprayerteam.org).
Prayer is…always affected by the character and conduct of him who prays. Water cannot rise above its own level, and the spotless prayer cannot flow from the spotted heart. Straight praying is never born of crooked conduct.
President-elect Obama faces many challenges, and I urge everyone to join me in pledging our support and prayers and he begins the difficult task ahead.
—Billy Graham, November 4, 2008
I’m very proud to have supported Senator McCain and the only regret is that more Americans didn’t share my conviction that he would have made an outstanding President. I not only recognize, but respect that we are a nation in which the people choose and tonight they have chosen Senator Obama. He was not my choice, but he will be my President and I will pray for him to lead this great nation with God’s help and grace. He will face serious challenges to lead our country and he will need all Americans to give him a chance.
—Governor Mike Huckabee, November 5, 2008 on his blog
The new President will surely need our prayers because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world – challenges that, in my opinion, neither he nor any government on earth will have the power to overcome without divine aid. So this is no time for Christians to go into the bunkers. No time to wail or moan over our retirement plans. This is a time to repent, to pray more, to give more. It’s a time for Christians to lead, encourage, and minister to a faltering country in a faltering economy.
—Chuck Colson, November 5, 2008
The Pope assured President Elect Obama of his prayers that God would assist him in his “high responsibilities in service to the nation and to the international community” and “sustain you and the beloved American people in your efforts, together with all men and women of good will, to build a world of peace, solidarity and justice.”
—Pope Benedict XVI, in a telegram sent via the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
I wish and pray the best for President elect Obama and Vice President elect Biden. I didn’t vote for them because of deep and irreconcilable differences (as things stand) and I have no reason to believe that those differences will magically disappear now that they have won their campaign. So, I am quite prepared to disagree with them on any number of issues. But I am open to giving them a chance to prove me wrong and never will I oppose Obama (or anybody for that matter) just for the sake of opposing them. I will daily lift them up in prayer, specifically requesting that God would touch them tangibly and that they would heed His leading (I pray the same for myself) and that He would grant them an extra measure of wisdom and discernment as they lead our nation. Please join me in doing so.
Remember, though both have a past that rightfully should cause grave doubts, one thing we cannot doubt is that God is sovereign, and He can do what He will’s when He will’s it.
God bless and veritas supra omnis!
Edit: Duncan Ligon has some good thoughts on specific ways Christians should lift President Obama up.
Filed under: Responsibility to God |