Senator Barack Obama has won the election for President of the United States and, essentially, the leader of the free world.

God, help us.

In 1 Timothy, Paul stated,

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 ESV

Yes, Christians… God. Help. Us. As Christians, we have been admonished to not only submit to our earthly authorities, but to pray for them as well.

In Romans, Paul stated,

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

– Romans 13:1-5 ESV

God, help us.

Help us to pray for our leaders, despite the fact that we may not only disagree with them, but that they may be hostile to us and our beliefs. Help us to submit to our leaders, thereby demonstrating that we are not a subversive element, but are to be trusted as exemplary citizens.

While I believe Senator Barack Obama to be, among other things:

  • dangerously naive with regards to his vision of hope,
  • blatantly socialist with regards to his economic policies,
  • and, most distressingly, no friend of the unborn;

I know that my Christian duty is to extend prayers for him, his cabinet, as well as other federal, state, and local authorities.

Despite the general conservative contention that having a President Obama will bring a sorry state of affairs to our country, it would do us well to put our situation in perspective, with regards to the context of history at the time of the writing of many New Testament epistles.

In 1 Peter, Peter stated,

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

1 Peter 2:13-15 ESV

Through his teaching, my pastor, Dr. David Thomas, has greatly helped me in keeping such a perspective clearly in view. This has especially been revealed in some recent lectures he gave on 1 Peter (see mp3 files here). In the 26 March 2008 session, he pointed out that:

  • Peter and Paul have made an assertion that all human authority proceeds from God;
  • To respect and submit to human authority is to respect and submit to God;
  • Such a respect and submission has nothing to do with whether or not you agree with that authority;

And, with regards to the moral and ethical conditions of the leaders we pray for, he gave this comparison as context for the first century church,

  • Of the first 12 emperors (Julius Caesar through Domitian), only one was heterosexual, the rest were either bisexual or homosexual;
  • Nero, to whom Paul appealed (in the book of Acts), and the one who was Caesar when Paul wrote the book of Romans, married a 13 year-old boy;
  • Nero kicked his wife in the stomach until she miscarried;

In the same message, he stated,

Christians recognize authority as invested in mortal, fallen and, sometimes, unbelieving and cruel individuals… as being a reflection of the authority of God. …What they’re [Peter and Paul] saying is, have respect for the authority that’s invested in these mortal men, out of reverence for God.

Now, more than ever, we Christians must pray for our leaders, including President Obama.

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