On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama assumed the leadership of a mighty but beleaguered nation. Regardless of whether we are individually thrilled, indifferent, or dismayed about the new American president and his Democratic majority, perhaps we should ask ourselves an honest question: are we sincerely praying for President Obama? A brief check of the world news and a brief analysis of President Obama's inaugural speech show us that there is a lot we should pray about.
In the opening moments of President Obama's speech, he stated that, "…every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents."
Do we really remain "faithful to the ideals of our forebears"? Mr. Obama later said, "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers." However, it is undeniable that our "heritage" is in fact Christian and not "patchwork." And, although imperfect, our "forebears" looked to the Bible as their source of spiritual guidance. Consider the very first act of the first Congress on September 7, 1774. A Protestant minister was called upon to open Congress with prayer. He read Psalm 35 from the Christian Bible ("Faith and the American Founding: Illustrating Religion's Influence," The Heritage Foundation, November 6, 2006).
If we are really to evaluate ourselves by the "ideals of our forebears", then let us look at President Obama's concluding statement within the context of real, biblical Christianity: "Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
Indeed, there is "testing" on the horizon and we should seek God's grace. But, we should also pray that President Obama and all of the world's leaders heed the warning of Daniel chapter 4. It is not by our power, or because we refuse to let something end, but it is God who "rules in the kingdom of men" and "gives it to whomever He will" (Daniel 4:17). America is not great because "we" are great. It is not our strength that kept us from faltering in the past. Instead, America has been great because God has fulfilled promises made thousands of years ago to the biblical patriarchs!
Let us pray that our leaders make wise decisions, that God blesses our nations, and that millions humbly return to the real God of the Bible. God will not endure our sins forever, and, unfortunately, the Bible foretells that our nations won't repent. Consequently, a time of global suffering and Great Tribulation is coming, which God's faithful and zealous Church will escape (Revelation 3:10).
Regardless of whether or not you believe President Obama personifies the "change" our nations need, your Bible instructs that a Christian is subject to "the governing authorities," and understands "there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God" (Romans 13:1–2). As Christians, we understand that our citizenship is in heaven (John 18:36), but we also understand that we must pray for those set in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1–2).
For more on why America and British-descended nations have been so blessed over the last two centuries, and also why a very severe future is prophesied for our peoples, please request The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. For more on what you, as a true Christian should be doing now, request Do You Believe the True Gospel?