Praying on Inauguration Day
Today we will witness the inauguration of President Donald Trump in our country. Even as we come to inauguration day there seems to be a lot of anxiety and unsettledness in our nation. The politics of the recent election were filled with mudslinging and were some of the most divisive in our nation's history. Sadly, the division and tension didn't end with the election but seems to have continued up to this day. Whatever your political views or who you voted for, I believe as Christians we would all agree there is a need for healing in our land. I believe it is historically critical that as Christians we move from a focus on politics to a focus on prayer. I want to share some keys for effectively praying for those in government and finish by sharing some things I have personally felt led to pray prophetically in regards to the next four years.
1. As we pray for those in authority we are to honor the position and the office even if we have a hard time respecting the person.
In Acts 23, Paul was on trial before the Jewish high priest who had a guard unjustly strike him. Paul responded out of anger and basically said "God is going to slap you, you hypocrite." Yet when it was pointed out that this was the high priest, the Scriptures say... "Paul replied, "Brethren I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people." (Acts 23:5). Later when Paul tells us to pray for kings, we know from history that Nero was actually the emperor at the time. But the position was to be honored. Some of us may need to repent if we have spoken evil of our leaders.
2. Believe in your heart that Jesus is "the King of Kings!"
Jesus rules over the Rulers and can direct outcomes of decisions that may not have been His will to have been made. I remember as a boy our family had an RV and my parents would drive us while us kids were in the back sometimes horsing around in ways we shouldn't. Even though we didn't always do the will of our parents, we still ended up in the ultimate destination they took us to. God can override and redirect decisions in Washington for the ultimate fulfillment of His will. Proverbs 21:1 (KJV) says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will."
3. Make praying for our President and those in authority a priority in your life.
Among other things our prayers will affect the atmosphere of the government and the country that will determine how conducive it is for the spread of the gospel. I Timothy 2:1-4 says.."I urge then, FIRST OF ALL, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people; for Kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."
4. Pray bold prayers expecting them to make an incredible difference.
We know that the front lines of the war being fought for the future of nations and people's soul is being fought in the heavenly or spiritual realm; (Ephesians 6:10-12) not against flesh and blood but spiritual principalities. Moreover we know that "mission control" is in the throne room of Heaven where we have been invited to interceded along with Jesus in the war of the ages, where His enemies are being made a footstool for His feet. (Hebrews 4:16, Psalms 2) Heaven doesn't just react to earth, what happens in heaven is reflected on earth. There's a fascinating story in I Kings 22:19 where a decision is being made by King Ahab deciding whether to go to war with Syria. The curtain is pulled back in Heaven and we see how Angels and Demonic spirits are interacting. Ultimately, because Ahab refuses the words and prayers of a prophet, a lying spirit is sent to deceive Ahab through false prophets. The point is to see how the future was decided in the spirit realm. I urge us to boldly pray for heaven to breakthrough into our government on earth. In history one example of this happened during the second world war. During WWII Hitler was about to invade England after blitzing through the rest of Europe. During a decisive moment intercessors throughout England began to pray for an interruption in his plans. Suddenly, against the advice of his generals Hitler decided to turn his attention to the Soviet Union, many historians have commented that this seemed to turn the whole tide of the war.
My personal prayer leading
As I've been praying recently I have felt led to pray for our country in this way. I have felt the sense that our country has been heading down a slow, gradual, slippery slope towards greater secularism and the path that many European nations have taken. In the name of tolerance and other things, many of the core values rooted in Scripture that our country has generally embraced have slipped more and more and a hardness and darkness has been settling in. I have felt to pray that through this election there would be a "disruption of that" and that especially some near President Trump would have a strong godly influence on him and that a great space would be created in our country for revival and another great awakening. There is a verse that came to mind from Jeremiah 48:12 "Therefore behold the days are coming; declares the Lord, "When I will send him (speaking of a nation-Moab) those who tip vessels; and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars." The picture here is of wine becoming stagnant in a wineskin or cistern that is old, hardened, and dry. I believe that we are in a season where things will be "tipped over" in lots of ways. I am praying that God will tip over ways of thinking and attitudes of rebellion and hardness of heart towards God's commands, so that fresh wine of revival can be poured out.