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Real Answers™
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Copyright: © 2008 Greg Asimakoupoulos
700 words

PRAYING FOR THE NEW PRESIDENT

By: Greg Asimakoupoulos

Last week I watched Pastor Rick Warren give the opening prayer at the inauguration from the comfort of my living room. As I contemplated what it would be like to be given such a unique opportunity, I realized I already knew. Well, sort of.


Several years ago our family lived in a Chicago suburb. A state senator friend invited me to give the invocation at the Illinois capitol in Springfield.. I was humbled and honored. Although the scenario paled in significance to what Rick Warren experienced, I felt honored. At the podium I called on the Creator to guide the senators and to give them a sensitivity to His will as they served their constituencies.

Three months later I walked with my senator-friend in an old fashioned 4th of July parade. At the conclusion of the parade, Peter said he wanted to introduce me to one of his fellow senators. "Here's someone with as unusual a name as yours," Peter said to the tall forty-something black man. "Barak Obama meet Greg Asimakoupoulos."

The handsome young politician extended his hand. As I shook it, he inquired about the ethnic origin of my last name. I asked about his. After exchanging pleasantries our brief meeting was over. A few years later when Obama won his race for the U.S. Senate, it dawned on me that he had likely been in the senate chamber when I gave my prayer.

Even though Rick Warren's assignment on Inauguration Day remains the envy of most clergymen in America, I can claim to have prayed over Barack Obama in a much less publicized setting. But that is not the last time I prayed for him. I pray for him on a regular basis both in church and at home. In fact, I composed my own prayer for Mr. Obama as the events of the inauguration played out last week. Sitting in front of both the television and my laptop I typed:

God, bless America as You bless the new president America inaugurates today. As he pledges allegiance to Old Glory, be glorified through his admission that we are indeed one nation under You. As he listens to Your servant Rick Warren pray over the proceedings of this day, help him hear Your heart beating with concern for righteousness, justice and compassion. As he lays his hand upon Your Word and takes an oath of faithfulness, lay Your hand upon his life and remind Him of Your promises to be faithful to all who dare to honor You.

As he stands to address those who look to him as Commander-in-Chief, stand beside him and remind him that he has been seated in this place of honor and responsibility by You alone. As You bless Barack Hussein Obama with a tangible sense of Your presence, God, bless America. Amen.

It’s likely that you too prayed for our lanky Lincoln-esque leader that day (or in the days that followed).  A website known as The Presidential Prayer Team (www.presidentialprayerteam.org ) documents that hundreds of thousands of Americans regularly approach the Almighty on behalf of those who guide our nation.

No, Rick Warren is not the only one who has the privilege of praying for our new president. We all have that privilege. Having a seminary education or wearing a liturgical robe is not a prerequisite. Regardless of your background, religious preference or occupation, you have the right and privilege to approach Almighty God on behalf of Mr. Obama. In fact, St. Paul insisted on such intercession with his young protege Timothy. He wrote, "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." (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV)

Assuming you want to exercise this right, here is a starter list of topics about which you can pray.

Protection from danger. Physical health and mental focus. Sensitivity to God’s expressed will. Maximizing minimal time with family. Identifying nuggets of truth camouflaged in criticism Continued tolerance to those who share a difference faith perspective. Wisdom in matters of national defense and the economy.

 

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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