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January 19, 2017

Prayer for Inauguration Day, 2017

Dear Father, as the transition of power is taking place in our nation this week, we take time to pray for our leaders as Paul brings the charge in Scripture, “The first thing I want you to do is pray.  Pray every way you kow how, for everyone you know.  Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” (1 Tim. 2:1-3, The Message)

We, therefore, come before you on behalf of the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, as he is inaugurated as our 45th President.  We thank you, Father, for his willingness to accept such a daunting task on behalf of the citizens of our dear nation.  We thank you for his commitment to our land even as we lift him, the appointments he has and will make, along with everyone in Washington with whom he will work, before your grace and your wisdom.

We ask, Father, that you will give President Trump a clear sense of direction for his administration.  Like King David of old, whom the Scriptures hail as model ruler and man after your own heart, help our President to pray “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17). We know that this kind of humility resulted in David’s government heralded in song, “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Psalm 78:72). Thus, we pray for President Trump to have a heart that governs the whole of our nation as it seeks to engage the whole of your counsel; and, we ask that you empower his hands for practical leadership to bring us together as the people we have always believed it our destiny to be– blessed to be a blessing within this world.

Help President Trump to sing in all sincerity the song King David sang as he led his people, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior — from violent men you save me.  I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies” (2 Samuel 22:2-4).  Give him, Father, a sense of your refuge and strength as he leads us in a turbulent world.  For all the strengths of leadership he brings to office and the pormise that his skills offer, we ask that you help him to daily submit to the the stronghold of your presence in order to balance the impressions that experience and opinions and varied points of view will seek to apply for his attention.

Father, President Trump’s job carries more weight and responsibility than any of our citizenry can imagine, and we can imagine so much! So for the difficulty of the days, we ask that you will help him to sense your wisdom for the journey.  Help him to hear you speak from that wisdom as you did to Joshua leading his govenrnment in Old Testament days: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey [the LORD] and do not turn from him to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go…Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-9). Lead our new President with such confidence from your presence, Father.

And, as President Obama concludes his historic days of service for our nation, we thank you for his trust in your grace — a trust that has sustained him in the difficult days of governing — a trust that will lead him and his family into further days of service.  Thank you, Father, for his encouragement to us just this past year: If Easter means anything, it’s that you don’t have to be afraid. We drown out darkness with light, and we heal hatred with love, and we hold on to hope.  And we think about all that Jesus suffered and sacrificed on our behalf — scorned, abandoned, shunned, nail-scarred hands bearing the injustice of his death and carrying the sins of the world” (White House Easter Prayer Breakfast, 2016). As he leaves office, help us to remember President Obama’s word pointing us to Jesus as our place of healing and hope.  Help him, Father, and all of us, to continue to look to Jesus as the author and perfector of our faith as we pray on for the health and well-being of our nation and it’s new President.

In many ways, Dear Father, ours is a divided nation yet a nation whose divisions are filled with passionate concerns, cultural strengths, and deeply-felt values.  So, for President Trump, for Congress, for state and local government officials and for each one of us in our places of “boots on the ground democracy,” we pray that you will help us have a heart for one another so that we seek to understand the reasoning of others’ passions and that we submit to be borne up by the strengths others contribute even as we share our values in the context of mutual respect deserving of neighbors living side by side. Help us to embrace one another as American brothers and sisters so as to reap the bounty of “opposable minds” geared toward the good you desire we have in common!

We are praying, Father, in the name of Jesus, for the blessing of your acknoweledged presence in the lives of those who now lead us, Amen and Amen.

Pastor Tony Tench

Inauguration Eve 2017

A Quiet Time, a Quiet Place, Before the Lord of Peace