On a rainy, chilly January 20 at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Donald Trump was sworn in as our nation’s 45th president, assuming the weighty responsibilities of leading our country for the next four years.
It was a moment that very few people believed could happen during the course of a bitterly contested campaign that virtually every media pundit and poll had swinging clearly to Hillary Clinton. Even the Trump contingent itself admitted on the eve of the election that in all likelihood their candidate would not carry the day.
But, as I have said, I believe that God intervened to bring about the stunning results.
For 10 months, I had traveled across the country visiting every state capital, calling on God’s people to pray for our nation. I sensed at every stop that God was doing something special. Hundreds of thousands of people called on God to help our troubled nation, and I believe He heard our prayers.
When I was invited by President Trump to read from the Scriptures on Inauguration Day, I thought about which verses I should choose. After studying several passages, I decided to read from 1 Timothy:
“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 to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
I don’t have any doubt that it was the prayers of God’s people that changed the course of this election. It wasn’t prayers for a certain political party or candidate to win, because our hope is not in men or nations. Our hope is in Almighty God alone. Our prayers were for a spirit of repentance and sorrow for our sins that have brought us to this point, and for His mercy to heal, forgive and restore.
That’s why I believe the Lord led me to continue to stress the supreme importance of prayer for our new leadership in the days, months and years to come. I believe prayer has brought us to this turning point, and the intercession of God’s people is crucial if we are to see a return to the Biblical faith of our fathers, the faith that has guided and sustained our country for so long.
It is my feeling that the Lord has given us a brief window of opportunity for our nation to return to moral sanity and ignite genuine spiritual renewal. Perhaps, by God’s grace, the steady slide into the moral chaos brought about by a liberal, progressive agenda can be stopped, even reversed.
The past decade has seen an unprecedented moral decline in America, much of it endorsed by the past administration through its very public support of same-sex marriage, abortion and transgender rights. Additionally, there was systematic harassment and prosecution of Christian businesses across the nation.
While the rights of nearly every minority group in America were defended, the rights of Christians were trampled upon by numerous federal and state court rulings. The past administration granted leniency to virtually every minority group imaginable, while it targeted and opposed Christians who publicly stood up for their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The Bible says that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people” (Proverbs 14:34). The harvest that comes from repeated sinful behavior is bitter, but righteousness promotes individual and national well-being. There’s no doubt that God has richly blessed our nation in the past, and if we turn to Him in genuine repentance and faith, His favor and grace can rest upon us once again.
We pray to Almighty God, so that “we may live peaceful and quiet lives.” When our leaders truly rule with proper reverence for God and His laws, society experiences the satisfying effects.
For example, marriage between one man and one woman is God’s design. It produces the family stability that is the backbone of a well-ordered society, economically and relationally. Any law or government that seeks to redefine that meaning is flirting with disaster. The restraining influence of the church against the spread and infection of evil in our culture is critical for our survival.
We pray most of all that people will hear and respond to the Good News of the Gospel, so they will “be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Only the soul or spirit of man is immortal, living on forever either in the presence of God in Heaven, or away from the presence of God in hell.
So, as we enter 2017 with new leadership for our nation, the most critical thing you can do is pray, pray, pray.
Pray for President Donald Trump. Pray for Vice President Mike Pence. Pray for new cabinet members. Pray for the new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Pray for wisdom, clarity and humility before Almighty God. Pray for God’s healing for our nation, protection for our religious liberties and more opportunities to proclaim the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many as possible.
Christ alone is the One Mediator who can save us. To Him alone belongs all glory.
He is our only hope.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.