Presidents' Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February, in honor of all presidents who have served in the United States. It originated after George Washington's death in 1799 and was originally in honor of his birthday, February 22. By 1885, the entire country recognized the holiday; the celebration of Washington's birth joined the ranks of only four other federal holidays at the time: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. It was also the first national holiday that recognized and was named after an individual in American history; the second would be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1983).
In the 1960s congress sought to offer more three-day weekends to the public, hence the shift of Washington's birthday celebration from February 22 to the third Monday in February along with a shift to include the celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12), which was not previously a federal holiday. The new law also moved Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day to set Mondays.
"Did you know? President's Day never falls on the actual birthday of any American president. Four chief executives—George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan—were born in February, but their birthdays all come either too early or late to coincide with Presidents' Day, which is always celebrated on the third Monday of the month." -History.com Editors
Marketers started calling the day Presidents' Day due to how the date fell between Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday, and they ran ads declaring prime sales for "Presidents' Day." Congress attempted to change the name to "Presidents' Day" officially at one point, but it did not pass. Therefore, the third Monday in February is still listed as Washington's Birthday on official calendars, even though it is widely referred to by the public and by many states as Presidents Day. So on this Presidents' Day, as we think about presidents past and present, we remember our current president and offer him our prayers for spiritual growth, leadership, and protection.
A Prayer for President Donald Trump
We thank you that no matter who is in office you are sovereign over all. We thank you for the system of leadership and governing we have in the United States, and we pray for wisdom in the upcoming primaries and elections. But we pray specifically today for our current president; we pray that President Trump would draw near to you—that he would seek you above all other things. We pray that you would be an undeniable presence in his life, and we pray for godly leadership over our country.
Lord, please pour your grace over the people in this country. May the people President Trump governs learn to love each other more; may we listen to each other even when there are many differences. May we stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong according to what you have made clear in Scripture. Give us bold spirits and tongues that proclaim grace and truth, spoken in love. We pray this same attitude for our president that he might ignore the impulse and temptation for harsh responses and choose compassionate ones instead.
God our Father, you know how we are all tempted daily and that we sin against you every day; we thank you that Christ has died for our past, present, and future sins. Holy Spirit please protect President Trump against the many temptations that come his way; make null the temptations of power and pride and help him to focus on you when he is struggling with decisions and responses. We pray spiritual protection over the president's marriage that he and his wife might continue to grow together in your love and remember the covenant promise they made to each other.
Jesus, we pray for the safety of our president and his family. Prevent those who disagree with him from taking sinful and unlawful actions against him or his family. Please surround him with security teams that regardless of politics, will keep their pledge to protect the elected leader of the US. Keep close to the president those who offer godly counsel and wisdom according to your Word. Give him a listening ear and an open heart that is receptive.
We also pray for open communication between President Donald Trump and the legislative and judicial branches of government. Holy Spirit please work among the people in our government to allow them to work together for the glory of God; help them to put people first and to put away differences that delay the work that is needed. Please give our leaders the energy they need to do the work you have set before them.
Lord, we pray that President Trump would trust you and we pray that he would encourage others to do the same. May the president acknowledge that the race you have set before him, is far greater than any other race. On this Presidents' Day, we pray for godly counsel for our president, we pray for godly leadership over this country, and we pray for Christ-centered compassionate hearts for those who rule and those who are governed. Father, we thank you for your mercy, your love, and your sovereign rule over us all. May we look to you in all circumstances God, in your Son’s name, Jesus Christ, amen.
Bible Verses and Passages about Leadership
Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
James 1:12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Psalm 37:1-8, “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”
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