ISSUES OF FAITH: Prayers and thanksgiving for the incoming president

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.

— 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NIV

THE BIBLE DOESN’T tell us to only pray and be thankful for the leaders we like or voted for. That would be too easy.

No, the biblical mandate is to pray and be thankful for all of our leaders.

The goal of these prayers is that “we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

In response to this biblical mandate, I offered my prayers and thankfulness for the incoming president of the United States in my PDN article four years ago, and I offer the same prayers and thankfulness again this year.

President-elect Donald Trump, I pray that you will know the truth of Jesus Christ and that you will be saved by his grace. This is God’s will and my prayer for you.

I pray that at the foundation of your desire to be president of the United States is the desire to be a servant. Jesus was the perfect example, and a humble one. Follow his example.

Yes, being the president of the United States is an important role, but I pray that your role as a husband and father will take precedence over the presidency. Some people will tell you otherwise, and sometimes you may convince yourself otherwise, but God won’t.

I pray that you will get a lot of counsel from the Bible. Some people will tell you not to do that, but they haven’t been around as long as the Bible.

King David declared to God, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105 ESV). I’m pretty sure you will encounter some dark paths, so keep his light handy.

I pray that you will carefully seek wise advisers and carefully listen to them. “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

During your campaign, you expressed a few of your plans. Some will succeed; some will fail.

I pray that you will prayerfully seek God’s will concerning your plans because God’s ways and our ways are often very different — and his ways are always best (see Isaiah 55:8-9).

You will make some mistakes while you’re the president, so I pray that you will be honest about them. People don’t really expect you to be perfect, and they will find it a bit refreshing when you admit your mistakes and make restitution or readjustments as needed.

Mistakes are not a sign of weakness; they are a sign of humanness.

I can’t imagine how much trouble it is for you and your family to go to church, but I pray that you will do it anyway. It’s important.

Finally, I pray that you and your family will remain safe and healthy, and I pray that even with all the difficulties you will face that you will experience joy during your term as president.

Thank you for your desire to lead our country, and please know that every time I hear you say, “God bless America,” I will say, “Amen!”


Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is

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