Faith

7 Prayers for President-Elect Donald J. Trump

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Donald Trump won with a huge portion of Christian voters — Protestant and Catholic alike. But many conservative Christians have been rightly apprehensive about his forthcoming leadership. The man’s moral failings are notorious — and I’m not just talking about “locker room talk.”

This is, after all, the Republican nominee who bragged about sleeping with other men’s wives, ended two marriages through infidelity, called Jesus an egomaniac, tried to take a widow’s home to build a limousine parking lot, and said he has never asked God for forgiveness. He adopted conservative positions on abortion, health care, and religious freedom only recently, and seems to have become a Republican merely to win the presidency.

That said, Donald Trump is now president-elect of the United States of America. While I consider it a travesty that so many Christians voted for him, I completely understand their decision to oppose Hillary Clinton, who posed an insidious threat to my faith. Conservative Christians dodged a bullet when she lost, and for all his indiscretions, Trump does arguably represent a better situation.

Given this harrowing outcome, I am reminded of 1 Timothy 2, which calls on believers to pray for those in authority. “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high places, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

Given this injunction, and my earnest desire for the good of America, I have seven prayers for President-Elect Donald J. Trump, and I encourage others to join me in praying them. Some of these prayers ask directly for Trump to glorify God. By this I do not mean that God’s glory is dependent on Trump, but only that since Trump does consider himself a Christian, his thoughts, words, and actions may be a testament to the faith, and not an insult to it.

7. That he may be trustworthy.

One of my biggest problems with Trump has been his record of betraying the trust of other people: whether it be the trust of his wives or the trust of his contractors (whom he frequently paid less than his original agreements stipulated). I fear that he will prove faithless in keeping his promises to choose originalist Supreme Court nominees, to lower taxes and slash regulation, and to represent all Americans, among other things.

So I pray and suggest the following prayer:

“Lord, I thank you for the virtues of Donald Trump, and pray that you give me the eyes to see them more clearly. I pray that you would build his character, and help him keep his promises. May he truly be a man of integrity and stand up for what is right in our nation. Amen.”

Next Page: For wise counsel, peace with other nations, and healing for America’s divisions.

6. That he may listen to wise counsel.

One of Trump’s favorite sayings is “I alone can fix.” He is very headstrong, and that can indeed be an asset, especially for a president. On the flip-side, it can make him dangerously deaf to good counsel. Trump has shown a capacity for choosing some good advisors (in my humble opinion, Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway qualify on this list). It is important for his good, the good of his party, and the good of the country that he heed wise counsel.

So I pray and suggest the following prayer:

“Lord, I thank you that Donald Trump has chosen some good advisors, and pray that you give him the ears to hear their counsel. Give him a discerning heart, to know true from false and good from evil. May he heed good counsel and reject bad advice, for the good of our country and the glory of Your Name. Amen.”

5. That he may promote peace with all people.

Donald Trump is known as a passionate man, and he is said to hold long grudges. As the nation’s head of state, he will represent America to foreign countries, and many fear that his blasé attitude about nuclear weapons could be dangerous. Whether or not America should be the world’s policeman, its leaders have the duty to promote peace where possible.

So I pray and suggest the following prayer:

“Lord, I pray for prudence and diplomatic grace for Donald Trump. May his actions as president foster peace and not war, and in those cases where war or aggressive action is necessary, may he have the courage and foresight to apply it justly and with as few casualties as possible. You are a God of peace and I pray that Mr. Trump may further that peace. Amen.”

4. That he may heal America’s divisions.

I harbor no illusions about how divided America is right now. Both Trump and Hillary had record high “unfavorable” ratings, and it seems Trump’s victory is less a vote of confidence in him than a vote of no confidence in his disliked opponent. Nevertheless, Trump has declared his intention to be “the president of all Americans,” and to heal the country’s divisions.

So I pray and suggest this prayer:

“Lord, I thank you for Donald Trump’s promise to represent all Americans. Please give him the ability to understand other points of view and the prudence to address them. Give him the words to speak and the actions to show that he is not a racist and that he will respect the rights of all Americans. Soften the hearts of his accusers, that they may not see him as deplorable. May he respect the religious freedom of all, and fight radical Islamic terror without endangering that freedom. Amen.”

Next Page: That his faith may grow.

3. That he may read scripture frequently.

Donald Trump claims to be a Christian, but he seems dangerously ignorant of many orthodox Christian doctrines, such as the sinfulness of all men and the necessity for the forgiveness of sin from God Himself. There is also much practical wisdom he seems to lack in the pages of the Bible. I might suggest Proverbs, but Ben Carson already did.

So I pray and suggest this prayer:

“Lord, I pray that You might inspire Donald Trump to read the Bible and to meditate on it, however much he can. May he glorify You by learning Your Word and speaking it in the circles of earthly power. May it enlighten his eyes and guide him in all his works. Amen.”

2. May he repent and live a moral private life.

America will not soon forget the personal scandals of William Jefferson Clinton, and salacious details about his wife and family (though tantalizing and prized by conservatives) have damaged the public trust in the nation’s top officials. Donald Trump has more than a few personal scandals — whether falsely portrayed by the media or not — and it would be better for the country if they were to stop.

It also would help Trump’s Christian witness if he were to realize his own sin (all Christians must do this, I am not singling Trump out for judgment), repent of it, and live a moral private life. He will never be perfect, as each of us still has sin, but if he can refrain from those kinds of salacious acts which cause scandal, that would be good for the health of the nation.

So I pray and suggest this prayer:

“Lord, I acknowledge and repent of my own sins, which are heinous in your sight, and pray that you may convict Donald Trump and that he too might repent. Please grant him the grace to live a blameless private life, to minimize public scandal and promote the moral health of our nation. May his moral improvement glorify You, and may he praise You for it. Amen.”

1. That he may be humble.

Donald Trump seems to have tremendous respect for those who are proud. His disquieting praise of dictators like Saddam Hussein and ruthless leaders like Vladimir Putin suggests more than mere respect. As president, he will need humility above all else — to know the limits of his knowledge and his ability, limits he seems not to know, judging from his braggadocio during the elections. He may be putting on an act, and he may be much more humble than many fear, but it is good to pray for increased humility nonetheless.

So I pray and suggest this prayer:

“Lord, may You grant Donald Trump the wisdom to see himself as he is, a sinful man dependent on Your grace. Give him a knowledge of his own limits, coupled with a wisdom and courage to do the most good within those limits. I pray that the awesome power of the presidency might humble his spirit and bring him closer to a knowledge and reliance on Your power, grace, and love. Amen.”