We recently experienced an historical event, the election and subsequent inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. The recent financial and economic disasters and the first African-American elected President show these to be historical and unusual times, not unlike 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in the midst of the Great Depression. I have a few thoughts on the current situation.
First of all, we should pray for the members of the new administration and the new congress, that they will be guided by God’s wisdom and work in the best interests of the people. These times call for our leaders and representatives on both sides of the aisle to rise to the occasion, to put aside petty differences, to relearn the art of compromise, and to work for the good of the country as a whole, not the special interests (I encourage you to keep your representative and senators accountable). However, these times also call for us to put our faith in God, to seek out and follow his wisdom, and to live out our lives according to biblical principles. A quote I recently read says: “Our behaviour in times of need and crisis proclaims what we really are.” (by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones).
We also have to realize that the President is not our Savior – Jesus Christ is. We need to pray for and support the President, but we should put our trust in God to work through him and other leaders. If we put our faith in people and human institutions, we will surely be disappointed. Let us take seriously what is says on our money: “In God We Trust.”
Despite the terrible economic situation, I believe good can come out of all that is going on. The election of an African-American and the involvement of younger people in the election process indicate to me that good things are happening in this country.
I pray that barriers between races, ethnic groups, religions, and socio-economic groups will continue to come down.
I pray that true “tolerance” will be practiced in this country, not just “tolerance” towards those groups which are politically correct; that we will have true tolerance and mutual respect for all.
I pray that our leaders will not make bad long-term decisions in order to fix short-term problems.
I pray that this country will emerge with a stronger economy, the people will be closer to God, our lifestyles will be greener and less wasteful, and that we as a nation will have a stronger and more ethical character.
I pray for peace in the Middle East, a stable and peaceful Iraq, total defeat of the Taliban, the complete suppression of terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head, improved relations with Russia and other countries, the return of jobs from overseas back to the U.S., and a more equitable health care system in this country.
Most of all, I pray that more people will turn to Jesus Christ, and the drift away from God will be reversed. I pray that if you have drifted away that you will return to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Seek first his kingdom and all these other things will be added unto you.