First, the prayer. It’s what I put on my blog the day after election day in 2012.
Our good, gracious, and sovereign God, we pray for the the President of the United States.
Grant him wisdom, courage, and integrity as a man and as a leader.
Keep him faithful, kind, and loving as a husband and father.
Give him a heart for the poor, concern for the powerless, and compassion for the weak.
Put before him the best information and the most intelligent counselors so he can make good decisions about economic policy and judicial appointments.
May he be guided by both courage and restraint as he commands our armed forces.
Make him a defender of the unborn, a protector of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty.
Make him a man of prayer and a daily student of the Scriptures.
Give him humility to admit his faults, forgive his enemies, and change his mind.
Lead him to a firm understanding of the truth of the gospel, a resolute commitment to obey the Word of God, and a passion to promote what accords with your truth.
By your grace, heavenly Father, may our President be a better man than so many expect and a better man than we deserve.
In the name of Jesus our Lord, let it be.
Nothing terribly controversial in that prayer, at least not for evangelical Christians. (Yes, this prayer assumes the president is a man, because that’s what the options were on election day in 2012. But let’s take the gender issue off the table for the moment.) If I’m not mistaken, everything in the prayer above is pretty standard. If you are a serious, Bible-believing, church-going, Jesus-is-coming-back, you-need-to-be-born-again, orthodox Christian, don’t you agree it’s a good idea to pray that our president be faithful, kind, humble, wise, and compassionate? I hope every evangelical Christian reading this blog can say, “Yes, I pray for those things too.”
So here’s my plea: then vote for those things. If at all possible, the candidates we endorse should not be light years away from the prayers we pray. Is there more to being an effective President of the United States than what I’ve captured in these ten petitions? Of course. But if the Lord answered our prayers and gave us a president who checked all these boxes, we’d have a president we can trust, a president we can respect, a president for whom we can give abundant thanks. If you agree with a prayer like this, look for a candidate who most readily and genuinely, as best as we can fallibly discern, embodies the things we are praying for. If evangelical Christians pray for one thing and vote for another, we’ve either lost our sense for what really matters or we’ve become too cynical to care.
Pray first. Then vote. And make sure the two are related.