A Presidential Prayer (2016)
Dr. James Emery WhiteJames Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
- 2016 Nov 07
Editor’s Note: This letter was first offered in a blog before the 2008 election. The Church & Culture team thought it fitting for today. We made a small modification or two in light of the current election.
Dear Mister or Madame President:
I do not yet know your name, but in a few days you will be elected to our nation’s highest office and become the leader of the free world at the end of a long and engaging election season.
I want you to know that I will be praying for you. Not praying against you or about you, but for you. That is both my pledge and my obligation as a follower of Christ. In the Bible, the apostle Paul writes, “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.” (I Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)
And I will do so with a full and undivided heart.
I will be praying for you from my position as a father of four children and “Papa” to four grandchildren, that you will have the foresight to think through what your decisions will mean for them as future generations.
I will be praying for you as a citizen of the United States, that you will seek wisdom from God and humbly submit yourself to His leadership as you lead our nation through economic turbulence, domestic divides and cultural diversities.
I will be praying for you as a member of the global population, that you will work with other well-intentioned leaders from around the world as we face environmental challenges, wars and rumors of wars, and humanitarian crises.
And finally, I will be praying for you as a follower of Christ, that you will encourage faith in God to flourish and never allow deeply held spiritual convictions to become a matter of ridicule, but instead encourage everyone to grant them a respectful hearing, even if they go against the political policy of your party.
It is being widely spoken that the next President will inherit more that needs immediate attention than any other President in recent memory. As a result, it has been a hard-fought and hotly contested election. Yes, I will vote, and I do not know if you will be the one for whom I cast my ballot. But following November 8, all of that must be set aside no matter how deep the divides may be.
So while I do not know if you will be the candidate I voted for, I do know that no matter your name, I will support you in one way without question.
I will be praying for you.
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.