Billy Graham was once asked the question, “Does it honestly do any good to pray for our politicians and other world leaders?”
Mr. Graham, who was often known as the “Pastor to Presidents,” followed up with his own questions: “How much worse would the world be if God’s people didn’t pray?” he asked. “What if we simply gave up and allowed the devil to carry on his schemes without interference?
“We may never know what impact our prayers are having,” Mr. Graham admitted, “but God is still at work in response to the prayers of His people.”
As America ushered in a new administration, Franklin Graham urged Christians—no matter their political affiliation—to turn their eyes to Jesus and pray for those in authority.
“As we approach a transition in the leadership of our government in Washington, it is critically important for followers of Jesus Christ to pray for those who will be making decisions that impact the future of our nation,” he wrote in a recent Decision article. “Just because we might not have voted for someone doesn’t mean that we get a pass to not pray for them. The Bible instructs us to pray for all of our leaders—‘all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior’ (1 Timothy 2:2-3, NKJV).”
And on the morning of Jan. 20, Franklin called on Christians to make Inauguration Day a day of prayer and peace.
“Today as our country inaugurates a new president, there are concerns that there could be violence in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals across the nation,” he posted on Facebook. “I encourage Christians to make this a day of prayer—for peace and calm, and praying for our new leaders, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”
In a similar message, theologian R.T. Kendall encouraged Christians to remember God’s sovereignty:
“On this day, the 20th of January 2021, history is in the making,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “Our new president, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated along with our vice president, Kamala Harris. I urge you to pray for these two. It is in our interest. It’s what God tells us to do—pray for those in authority. … Let’s see what God is up to. Because like it or not, He’s sovereign. This is His making, and that, we must never forget.”
And while Inauguration Day likely prompted a lot of people to spend intentional time in prayer, the Colson Center for Christian Worldview knew that Jan. 20 would not be the end. That’s why that ministry committed to hosting a weekly time of guided prayer for the church and our nation.
“The situation is dire, but not without hope,” John Stonestreet and David Carlson wrote at BreakPoint.org. “As Chuck Colson often said, despair is a sin. Christ is risen from the dead. God, in His gracious goodness, has revealed to us what is true and what is good. He has given us His Word and, through prayer, He has made Himself available to us.”
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