Today is a day for prayer. Of course every day is a day for prayer, but perhaps especially today is a day for prayer because today is Inauguration Day AND because our God has instructed those who are his people to pray for those who govern:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2.1-4)
This means, whether you are optimistic about the Biden administration or otherwise, if you are a Christian, living in the United States, to be faithful to God, we are to pray for whoever is President.
Why? Though there are many, let me give just two compelling reasons:
First, consider Proverbs 21.1
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
This is a reminder that, whoever is governing, God is sovereign. God is working his purposes out. God shapes the heart of those who rule. Therefore, it is preferable for those who belong to God to make their appeal to God rather than to make their appeal to other people through social media posts and letters to the editor. At least, it is preferable that we appeal to God first, before we make our appeals to others.
Second, consider 1 Peter 2.9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
While many rightly recognize from this passage that we do not need any human entity to stand between God and ourselves to communicate with God, because we already have Jesus as our mediator, what is often overlooked is the responsibility and the privilege this verse conveys to those who, by God’s mercy, are now God’s people.
The role of the priest was essentially to stand before God on behalf of the people, as well as stand before the people on behalf of God. When the priests stood before God on behalf of the people, they interceded for the people, asking for God’s mercy, offering the sacrifice required for reconciliation. We who have received God’s mercy, who recognize Christ as the requisite sacrifice, by whom we are now God’s people, and therefore now a royal priesthood, are responsible not only to represent God to people, but we are responsible to stand before God interceding for people. One way we do this is by praying for those who govern and lead.
So in faithfulness to Christ, our King, and for the benefit of our neighbors and fellow citizens, I urge us all to pray today, and to pray every day, for the President, and for all who govern.
For those who might benefit from a tool to help you in your praying, I commend to you The Presidential Prayer Team, and in particular their 100 Days of Prayer initiative for the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Their prayer for this Inauguration Day is:
Heavenly Father, on this important day in the workings of our nation, we come to You with complete confidence, knowing that You are the magnificent and benevolent Controller of All Things. You have repeatedly assured us of the righteousness of Your plans, and we stand in wonder as we watch You working them out through people and events. We praise You, O Most High God. Amen.