How I’m Praying for Trump

October 2nd, 2020 / 9 Comments

President Trump announced on Twitter today that he and Melania tested positive for Covid-19. Most news outlets are assuming the announcement is true.

I’ve been wrestling with how to pray for the President. I believe we should pray for our leaders, even though I don’t think the President is leading well. “Praying for the President” does not mean “agreeing with the President!”

I’m also wrestling with how to pray for the sick, especially those who have contracted Covid-19. I think God wants to heal everyone, but I don’t think God can singlehandedly heal. (I explain this in several books.) If God could alone heal anyone at any time, he’s lazy, uncaring, or off on holiday. Or God’s ways are so mysterious that I can’t recommend anyone believe in this God.

These two concerns and a healthy Facebook discussion chain prompt me to offer the prayer below. I consider it a first draft, however. I’d like to hear from you, the reader, what I should add, change, or clarify. I plan to update it.

MY PRAYER

Our Loving God,

I pray for President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, their family, advisors, and associates.

As you know, the Trumps say they tested positive for Covid-19. You know the accuracy of this announcement and the full extent of their illness. I offer this prayer assuming they have the virus.

You love everyone and everything, because you want the good of all. You love those who live mostly virtuous lives. And you love those who are far from virtuous. You seek to promote the well-being of everyone and everything, including those who – like me – sometimes sin and do evil.

I am grateful for your love!

I believe you want to heal everyone, including the President. You’re not causing or allowing the pandemic. You don’t desire evil. Illness and death are not your punishment. But you face forces, factors, actors, and circumstances resisting your healing efforts. You can’t heal singlehandedly. So not all that occurs is your will.

You are not in control, because you’re not a controlling God.

You love President Trump, his family, and associates. That’s part of what it means to love everyone. But I don’t think you “like” all they do and how they act. You’re disappointed, angry, sad, and frustrated by attitudes, actions, and policies contrary to the ways of love. And we’ve witnessed those contrary ways in recent years.

You’re urging the President to be wise, humble, and loving. You call his family and associates to the same. They don’t always respond well. But you never give up.

My prayer, then, is not that you start loving or begin to try to heal. You always love and want to heal. I don’t think you’ve given him the virus to “teach the President a lesson.” You try to teach us in whatever circumstances, good or bad. You try to squeeze good from the bad you didn’t want in the first place.

Instead, I’m asking you to give me wisdom on how I might cooperate with what you’re already doing.

Provide me insights into how I might talk, resist, promote, encourage, criticize, show compassion, and more. Inspire my imagination to love in ways that forgive, create, and seek justice. I pledge my loving cooperation.

I’m not as wise as I would like to be. I don’t love as consistently as I want. I need your help! Help me to encourage the President and others in whatever ways I can. Help me to condemn the President when he speaks or acts contrary to the common good. And give me wisdom to discern the two.

You want healthy leaders, healthy countries, and a healthy world. You love this land and these people, just as you love all lands and all people. Help me do the same.

I love you, God, and I adore you. I praise you for your excellence. You are amazing! I also thank you for your love, wisdom, and guidance. I am grateful!

Your friend and partner,

Tom

What would you add, change, or clarify?

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Comments

Brian Felushko

I think your prayer here is completely consistent with your theology as I’ve heard you explain in books, on podcasts and in person. I offer no suggestions or alterations. I think prayer is a very personal act. Although I have chosen to believe that God is love and that God’s love is uncontrolling, I have not yet come to a place of accepting that intercessory prayer has any impact on what happens in the real world. Prayers of thanks, praise, confession make sense to me, but purpose
of intercessory prayer still baffles me, since I don’t understand how an uncontrolling God works and I have no idea what God’s will is in any given situation or in any person’s life. Jesus is reputed to have given us a model prayer and praying that way I can only hope that I am mostly living in a way that contributes to making Jesus’ request a reality: “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As well, “Not my will, but yours be done.”


Yme Woensdregt

Tom, this prayer fits in with the way I view God, alongside you. Thanks for all you’ve been teaching me. The only change I would make is the second paragraph. I’ve never understood why pray-ers feel they should tell God what God already knows. For me, that changes it from prayer into a news bulletin. I think you could simply take it out altogether … although if you need the last sentence of paragraph 2, simply add it to the first paragraph


Fereshteh

Can I pray for bad things to happen to people I don’t like?


Fereshteh

And if My servants ask you, O Prophet. concerning Me, tell them that I am quite near to them. I hear and answer the prayer of the suppliant, when he calls to Me. So let them respond to My call and believe in Me. Convey this to them, O Prophet; perhaps they may be guided aright.
-Holy Quran 2:186


Stephen

This year has been a rough year in my relationship with God, but this prayer speaks volumes about how I feel about the whole situation with COVID and now how our president and his administration have handled this whole ordeal. I’m glad I came across this because even though I don’t agree with the man and his way of doing things it is still important to pray for him that he will seek wisdom and counsel and trust the people around him to say what needs to be said, rather than go behind their backs and do his own thing.


thomasjayoord

Stephen – I’m so happy you find the prayer helpful!


thomasjayoord

I suppose you can pray for bad things to happen, Fereshteh, but I don’t believe God will cause them to happen. Instead, pray for good, health, and wholeness, even for your enemies.


thomasjayoord

Thanks for your great response, Yme. ANd you’re right that I’m saying things God would already know. In this instance, it’s more a reminder to myself and to those who listen/read my prayer than giving new info to God. Prayers often do this. It helps me then articulate my request in a way that makes better sense to me.

Tom


thomasjayoord

Thanks for your kind response, Brian. I’m thinking that intercessory prayer is an act that changes circumstances in the world, which means new opportunities emerge for future action. I don’t think intercessory prayer prompts God to act or to love. I think God always does those. But because the world is different after we pray, new possibilities can become available for God in the future.

Does that help?


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