Monday was Presidents’ Day, a day of remembrance for the blessing of the leadership provided by previous presidents, in particular George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Looking back over the past two-plus centuries, our nation has been blessed with good leaders at key times, for which we should give thanks. But our God reminds us to pray for all our leaders at all times. The New Testament writers urged prayer for their political leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-6; cf. Rom. 13 and 1 Pet. 2) even though the Roman emperors were often corrupt, and at times, aggressively persecuted Christians.
Why offer “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” for those who are in authority, even if their worldview and character are out of step with the kingdom of God? Because as Christians, we see ourselves as living in two kingdoms, we are citizens of heaven but also, for now, citizens of countries whose days are numbered but whose role on the earth is established by God.
So whatever our politics or opinions of our president or governing officials, all Christians are called by God to unite in prayer for “kings and all who are in high positions.” With that in mind, I’ve adapted Psalm 72 below, changing the pronouns to help guide us into praying as citizens of both kingdoms. Don’t worry, I’m not rewriting Scripture, just applying it as believers have done for millennia, to assist us in praying appropriately for the country we live in, and the Heavenly Country we are destined for.
1 Give our president your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to our elected officials!
2 May our justices judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May President Trump defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!
5 May they fear you while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
6 May our legislators and justices be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
7 In our president’s days may the righteous flourish,
and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
8 May King Jesus have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!
9May desert tribes bow down before the Lord, and his enemies lick the dust!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before our God, all nations serve him!
12 For Christ delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.
15Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him!
May prayer be made for him continually,
and blessings invoked for him all the day!
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field!
17 May Jesus’ name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in Christ,
all nations call him blessed!
18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!