How to Pray for President Trump: Interview with David Swanson on participating in the Presidential Inaugural Prayer ServiceJanuary 20, 2017
David Swanson is pastor at First Presbyterian in Orlando, FL and he will be participating tomorrow in the 58th Presidential Inauguration Prayer Service. He spoke with us about being asked to pray for the new president.
With all the criticism and controversy swirling— and feedback sure to be offered to anyone who participates, we asked why he agreed to be part of the prayer service. In his answer, David provides all Christians with the foundational understanding as to why we pray for all our political leaders.
Obedience to Scripture
“If any Christian is of right mind and right heart, if someone asks them to pray for them, then you go. I think it is an act of obedience. Our faith demands we pray one for another, especially in this situation where you have two men who are assuming such an enormous responsibility, I think they need our prayers.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2 commands us:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving 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.
Now that we all are going to be praying, we asked how we can be praying today for our leaders:
Prayers for Unity
David shared the new President and Vice President requested prayers for unity and wholeness.
“The other thing that attracted me about this service, is the organizers were very intent on prayers for unity and wholeness and that was coming from the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect. They wanted it to be about that idea. If there is anything our country needs it is that sense of unity and oneness. And there is a great sense of polarization and a great sense of uncertainty.”
Prayers grounded in hope found only in Christ
But in praying for our leaders, we never lose sight of where our hope lies— not in a President or political party, but in Christ. David reminds us:
“We are not those who ascribe to a political story as if governments and social systems are what provide us hope. Our hope is found in Christ and our hope is found in the faith we have in God. So I would pray and invite others to join me in praying that God would be the one to orchestrate these events, who would be able to give great wisdom to our President and our Vice President and other elected leaders. That God would be the one who would be moving and working and give them what they need to lead our country.”
We also pray today for our friend David and all the other Christian leaders who will be praying at the service tomorrow and will be advising our leaders going forward.
Photo by Sam-H-A flickr