Why praying for the president – no matter who he or she is – doesn’t make you a bad person

You know the United States has reached a new level of crazy when Christians start flipping out on other Christians for praying for another person.

It’s been happening for three years but I saw it again a couple of Sundays ago when a pastor in Virginia prayed for President Donald Trump. I mean – what a jerk this pastor is. What kind of pastor prays for another human being? His church should be taken away from him. It sounds absurd right? But see, we are in the most hyper-partisan time in history. It started under Barack Obama’s last four years and blew up when Trump was elected. Hatred gripped this country and while fingers pointed at Trump for the reason, half the country followed right along with the man, following the example they said he had set and shooting hate right back at him.


I’m not sure how some who hate Trump think they are better than him when they act just like they say he acts. Martin Luther King Jr said it best: “Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Does that mean you should show love to someone you think is filled with so much hate? I hate to tell you but if you are a Christian, it actually does and I don’t like that any more than you do. Still, it’s what Christ did for us and does for us every day. He looks at our darkness and our hate and he loves us anyhow – hoping to draw it out of our hearts.

Just because a person prays for the president of a country does not mean they endorse all that he says or does. Five or six years ago I was at a National Day of Prayer service and the leaders of our county, state and country were prayed for. A separate prayer was given for then President Obama and it was not a condescending “Oh Lord, fix this idiot,” prayer even though some in the crowd may have disagreed with his policies. The prayer was heartfelt and asked God to give him wisdom and to protect him. It didn’t stop at political lines, just as it hadn’t for other presidents that were prayed for over the years.

Are there many Christians who support a politician and never mention their bad attributes? Yep. Indeed there are, just as there are those who aren’t Christians who also look over some glaring bad points of their candidates. Are there some Christians who act like our presidents are actually Christians because they say something that sounds Christian in one breath and swear in the next? Yep. And I don’t agree with that.

What I do agree with is praying for, over and with our presidents. In the Bible it actually calls for us to do so:

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. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” 2 Timothy 1.

I mean, come on, supporter or not – look at the current guy – he needs the prayer. We all need prayer. We are called to pray over our leaders even as we struggle to respect them.

As Christians, I hope we will pray for our president – this one and the future ones to come. It’s what God wants us to do and there are times we must do what we don’t want to for something greater than political ideology.