I have two admissions to make. Now that we are several days removed from the historic election which took place on Tuesday, my guess is that I am probably not going to lose friends over my admissions. Hopefully, you won’t even be upset with me (or “unfriend”me!).
Admission #1: I did not vote for Donald Trump. Although I am a long-time registered Republican, I could not bring myself to vote for the Republican nominee this year. As you might imagine, I did not vote for Hillary Clinton either. After doing my research, I decided to vote for a candidate you probably never heard of: Mike Smith. Smith, a conservative independent, received 7,244 votes in TN. I am not sure of his total nationally, but he didn’t come close in vote count to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (the third place finisher). In short, my vote (I trust, like yours) was a conscience vote. And, because I live in Tennessee, I had the freedom to “let my conscience be my guide.” Tennessee was going to vote for Trump on a massive scale. Everyone knew it. Final results have 61% in favor of Trump; 35% for Clinton. Had I lived in North Carolina, however, my decision would have been different. I would have voted pragmatically. The state was up-for-grabs and I would have felt the need to “take one for the team” by voting for the platform. Thankfully, enough voters turned out to put the state in the red (51%-47%). So, for the first time in my voting lifetime, I voted for a 3rd party candidate. It felt odd and good at the same time! But I can tell you this now: I am really hoping I can vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. I hope he proves himself to be an effective and wise leader who acts and reacts rationally, not with some of the knee-jerk decisions we all saw during the campaign. And that leads me to my second admission.
Admission #2: I am going to pray more for President Trump than I have for any other president in my lifetime. I’ve prayed for our leaders in the past, but not to the extent that I am committing myself to now that Mr. Trump won this year’s election. I’m not exactly sure why, but I feel as if God will genuinely hear and work through my prayers (something I should always believe) and that this man especially needs my prayers. He needs wisdom. He needs self-control. He needs discerning counselors. And–I want the freedom to live my life without harassment. Consider these words from the Apostle Paul,
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Those words at the beginning of 1 Timothy, chapter two, give us a great rationale for praying for President-Elect Trump and our government, doesn’t it?! We should indeed pray for wisdom for our leaders and self-control and for God to provide for them godly and wise counselors so that God is glorified and we are blessed. Without a doubt, we desire to be able to lead a peaceful, drama-free life marked by personal holiness and honorable behavior.
Here’s how The Message renders the passage:
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”
I won’t ask who you voted for on Tuesday. But I am tempted to ask if you are going to join me in regularly (if not daily) praying for our president and our leaders. They need Christ and we can bless them by obeying our Lord!