Some Christians believe God is finally back in the White House. For them, Mike Pence, a right-leaning SCOTUS, and pro-life/pro-guns/America First values represent the presence of God and the restoration of righteousness. These folks rejoice over President Trump and pray that God’s hand will guide his leadership.
Other Christians believe the Devil is in the White House in the form of Steve Bannon. For them, Republicans allowed their ends to justify Trump’s egotistical, Twitterfied, fear-mongering means. These folks grieve over President Trump’s lack of both compassion and diplomacy. They pray that God’s love will prevail over bigotry and fascism.
Can both of these beliefs be true? Can it be that God and the Devil are in the White House? Here’s my take:
- In Genesis, God gave Adam and Eve a command, but Satan was nearby and he tempted them successfully to sin.
- In the Book of Job, God allowed Satan to wreak havoc on a man and his family. Job had no clue why he was suffering, but God knew and He absolutely controlled the situation.
- In the Gospels we read how Satan appealed to Christ’s ego and tempted Him to use His power in destructive ways. Jesus didn’t give in.
- In Ephesians, Paul describes the warfare and the weapons required for all of us to live a victorious, godly life, and one of those weapons is prayer.
These examples may seem corny to some and inspiring to others. They certainly inspire me as I grapple with discouragement over who’s in the White House and behavior and beliefs that don’t fully reflect Christ’s teachings.
But my eldest daughter recently challenged our whole family to pray for Donald Trump. I appreciated her admonition and it has improved my attitude. I know we will never have a president who is not tempted to do evil. And we will never have a president whose will is more powerful than God’s. Peace will be ours when we choose to believe that God is at work in the hearts of individuals and communities, making his presence known and ensuring his plan is fulfilled in the end.
Believing God is in control doesn’t mean we can’t play a role in government or that we can’t voice our opinions. I find social media to be an excellent forum for discussion, insights, and encouragement. But I have also recently found prayer to be an excellent way to put my fears and phobias into perspective. A good starting point has been to pray a modified version of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. Will you join me?
Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, in America as it is in heaven.
Give Mr. Trump his daily bread.
And forgive him his trespasses, as he forgives those who trespass against him.
And lead him not into temptation. But deliver him from evil.
For America is yours. And the kingdom and the power and the glory are all yours forever.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.
I Timothy 2.1-6