Tuesday, September 01, 2009
A Prayer for Obama
I was saddened today to hear of a pastor in Tempe Arizona by the name of Steven Anderson who has reportedly preached against President Barack Obama even to the point of praying for his death by brain cancer so that he could die as Ted Kenedy last week (which he no doubt links to God’s judgment).
While this kind of hate-speak would be disturbing from anyone, it is particularly disturbing to hear such talk from a minister who identifies himself as a Christian.
Though the words from this pastor present us with an extreme case of Christians opposed to Obama, they do raise the question of how Christ followers are supposed to treat enemies and furthermore who can even be considered an enemy. I suspect that most Christians in America would probably very much disagree with this pastor’s rhetoric and yet many would still have absolutely no problem with associating Obama with the highest forms of evil and feeling very much justified in criticizing, opposing, and wishing ill to him.
It would do us good to remember as followers of Christ that no matter how much we may disagree with certain people, people are never the real enemy (no matter how much you may disagree with Obama he is not the true enemy). As Christ-followers we are to fight for people rather than against people, to love when hated, to bless when reviled, to return good for evil (Matt 5:43-48 , I Peter 3:8-9 , Romans 12:14 ). In this we reveal what God is like and overthrow evil. This doesn’t mean that we need to completely discard any views on politics, religion, or morality but that we cannot ever let our views excuse hatred, a desire for revenge, or even our own self-righteousness.
The path of Jesus is not easy, nor popular for that matter, but it is the only true option for those of us who consider ourselves Christ-Followers. We must be diligent to remember that Jesus overcame the evil of the world not by force or violence but by loving people sacrificially even when it cost him his own life.
So perhaps we can take our lead from Jesus and instead of criticizing Obama for his beliefs and actions we can pray for him, asking God to grant him wisdom and understanding and to surround him with His Holy Spirit. Perhaps we can pray for God to bless him physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and to bless his relationship with his wife and children and even with his colleagues. Perhaps instead of slinging more mud we can choose to love instead.
A prayer for Obama
We thank you for President Obama
We ask that you would bless him right now
Refresh him and renew him by Your Spirit
Let him feel Your grace and Your strength
We ask that even in this moment
that You would lift the stress and anxiety from his mind and body.
Grant him the wisdom he needs for this day in all of the situations he is facing.
Let him sense Your presence
And let his ears be open to what You are saying
We pray that every spiritual attack directed against him would be thwarted
And that You would uphold him and protect him from those who would wish him harm.
In the name of Jesus