January 15, 2009

Pray for Barack Obama

Rev. E. Scott Hart has posted an important message about our Christian duty to pray for our president.

Like me, Rev. Hart did not vote for President-elect Barack Obama. We both have strong disagreements on policy, social issues, economic issues, and many other things. But Rev. Hart and I both claim the name of Christ and are instructed in scripture to pray for those God places over us.

May God grant us the grace to obey his will.

Isaiah 46:9-10

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose."

As we watch the increasing financial mess in our nation and in the world, and the potential "rapid and sudden collapse of Mexico," and so many other evidences of evil and poor judgment in our world, it is good for us to remember that our God is sovereign over all matters. God is working his history of redemption to its conclusion. May our eyes and minds not be distracted from the finish line.


  1. Someone told me the other day that Dobson has said he prays for Barack Obama that God will give him restless nights. I think that is actually very sensible. Mr. Obama needs to rethink and repent a lot of his policy commitments and intentions. Restless nights and second thoughts, qualms of conscience about these matters, are in his best interests in the highest of senses, and praying for them is praying for God's grace upon him.

  2. Hey Scott - I wanted to use your online name since I was pointing at your blog. Plus - it sounds very formal and imposing - kinda like Bishop Hart or Pope Hart. I kinda like it.

    Lydia - I'm uncomfortable praying for something we see as bad for someone else. I think in these cases we should pray for PEBO's salvation (I don't think he truly understands the gospel, nor does his pastor Rev. Wright). God uses many things to bring people to an understanding of the gospel. Sleepness nights may be a part of the equation. But definitely part of the equation will be God's Word.

    So I think one of the best things any of us could do is to try to find a way to get the gospel message to our president-elect. He needs to hear the Word of God on matters of salvation. His response to the gospel call is more important than any of the very important things he will have to handle in upcoming days.

  3. Oh - I just reread the post. I did get a little carried away with the "Rev. Hart" thing, didn't I.


  4. As long as we are praying in God's Will, we shouldn't be afraid to ask anything. The question then is, "Am I praying in God's Will?"

    However, we should be careful to search the scriptures to see what it is that God has specifically asked for us to pray about concerning our leaders. Then, if He directs us to pray for more, go for it.

    Be careful to remember, too, Jesus' rebuke of the prayer of the Pharisee and His approval of the prayer of the publican.

    Pray with wisdom, but above all, PRAY!!

  5. I saw something that made me shrink away from prayers for someone's potential detriment. There's a group out there related to the Vision Forum people who have posted online prayers that petition God to dash the children of their perceived enemies against the rocks. Although that concept comes from scripture, Israel's theocracy had a very different way of working than our democratic republic and I truly do not think we should be praying for hurt to come upon anyone.

    If we pray for God's will, he certainly may dash their children against the rocks or cause them sleepless nights, and he would be fully just in doing so. But God is the only one who can know the right course of action in such things. I think that if we pray for PEBO to have sleepless nights, we are revealing a mean-spiritedness that is unbecoming and sinful. If we pray that God will work in his life in a way that will direct him toward the truth and toward leadership that honors God and the Bible, then God may give him sleepless nights to bring that about. Or God may give him immensely restful nights to bring that about. Or God may dash his children against the rocks to bring that about. Or God may exalt his children to a high place and give them great honor to bring that about. Only God knows the right course of action.

    I think we can pray for specifics when they are positive--"please bless our president" or "bring our nation peace," but asking God for specific negatives does not sound well-intended to me. And therefore it sounds like sin. (Just my opinion - I may be wrong.)

  6. Well, I would certainly demur at the comparison between praying that someone would be bothered by his conscience and therefore have sleepless nights and praying that his children would be dashed against the stones. I mean, my goodness, think about that: The sleepless nights are supposed to be brought about by _conviction_, the sense that something is not right, which doesn't involve the murder of any innocent human beings and is, in fact, positively to the good of a person who believes in (precisely) dashing infants against stones--tearing them to pieces, etc.

    The hound of heaven, and all that.

  7. Perhaps my concern in even praying for the sleepless nights is that my heart would be in the wrong place, seeking the person's hurt rather than the person's ultimate redemption. It's probably more of a problem with me than with what James Dobson is doing.

    BTW - I like Dobson.


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