Whether you love President Trump or loathe him, if you call yourself a Christian, this appeal is for you. All of us, regardless of our background or voting preference, are called to pray for those in authority (see 1 Timothy 2:1-4). Now is the perfect time to pray.
We all know that the president is a very strong man, whether you call him stubborn or courageous, bullheaded or brave. Either way, he is as tough as they come.
How many others could take on the media the way he does, day and night?
Again, this is true regardless of whose side you’re on, regardless of whether you think it’s fake news or true news. Either way, the man is bombarded virtually 24/7.
Some of us get discouraged when one person unfriends us on Facebook or a stranger posts an unkind word about us on Instagram. How would we handle the kind of pressure Trump is under?
How many others could stand up to constant attacks the way he does, only to fight back with more intensity the next time around?
How many others could face down powerful world leaders on a regular basis like Trump? (To say it again, this holds true whether or not you like his style, his approach, his message, or his goals. I’m just speaking of his toughness.)
The man is a fighter like few others, and if anyone has a forehead of steel, it is Donald Trump, for better or for worse.
But he is only human, and the attacks are coming from every side. The endless Mueller investigation continues. Trump’s longtime personal lawyer has turned against him. His finances are under investigation. His past sex life is under scrutiny. And on and on it goes.
The incoming House of Representatives is stacked against him. They’re talking impeachment. More investigations. Stalling of his agenda.
This kind of pressure is suffocating, and it can’t be easy for anyone to endure, however tough they may be.
And every day there is more speculation. Will he serve out his term? Will he go to jail?
On the one hand, we’ve heard this all before. In fact, it’s the same song we’ve been hearing for the last two years, just to a different tune.
In the past, it was this: Trump is losing his mind. Trump is melting down. Trump’s White House is falling apart. Trump will not make it much longer. Trump is paralyzed. Trump is unable to lead. Really, Trump won’t make it much longer.
Yet here we are (and here he is), two years into his administration, still with a majority in the Senate (a slightly stronger one now), still with a number of major agenda items accomplished, still with a lot more in the tank, still with a lot of support.
My personal sense (and I don’t say this prophetically or with any claim to inside information) is that he hasn’t accomplished his mission yet and that this storm, too, will pass. In other words, with all his flaws and shortcomings, he is a man with a divinely appointed mission, and he has more work still to do. (For my full perspective, see here.)
You might feel very different about this. You might feel he’s made a mess of things. You may actually want him out of office today.
Still, if you call yourself a Christian, you’re called to pray for the president, which also includes praying for God’s very best in his life.
An evangelical friend shared with me a prophetic word he had heard several years before Donald Trump planned to run for the White House. As it was related to me, Trump would enter the White House as a non-praying man but would become a praying man in the White House.
Honestly, I don’t know how any president could survive without prayer. The pressures are so intense. Life and death decisions come your way every week. You have the fate of millions of people in your hands. And as the leader of the world’s most powerful nation, your decisions can affect billions.
If there’s a financial crisis, people blame you. If soldiers die in battle, the blood is on your hands. If a scapegoat needs to be found, your name is on it. If there’s a school shooting, it’s because you didn’t do more. If racial tensions rise, you’re responsible.
Who can live under pressure like this?
Just the sarcastic, caricatured depictions of political cartoonists are enough to destroy self-esteem. And that’s just the fun part. The daily onslaught through hostile media, watched and read and streamed and downloaded by hundreds of millions of people, doesn’t take weekends or holidays off.
This kind of pressure drives a man (or woman) to his (or her) knees.
So, how should we pray for the president? We can certainly pray that God will not let anything happen to him until he finishes his course, however long that course is. We could pray that for any president in office, asking the Lord for His best plan for their presidency.
But along with that, we can pray that God would give the president a heart to seek Him, a heart to lean on Him, a heart to pray.
He may be doing this already (I certainly hope so). He may be on his knees this very moment with a Christian friend or counselor or Cabinet member.
But at times like this, times that can crush and destroy us, we need to learn to take refuge in the Lord, and we do that best through prayer.
Since President Trump considers himself to be a Christian and since he certainly appreciates people praying for him, let’s pray this simple prayer. (I would welcome it for myself and have only the most positive, supportive intentions in posting this.). Let’s pray these words: “God, we pray that you would make Donald Trump a praying man!”