By Peggy Gustave
"I don’t have any scientific information. I don’t have a stack of emails to read to you. But I have an opinion: I believe it was God. God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land who had been praying for this country."
Those are the words of Franklin Graham to a crowd in Mobile, Alabama, gathered at the final rally for Donald Trump’s "thank you" tour. Graham clearly believes the president-elect won in November as a result of the Christians praying for America.
According to exit polls, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians cast their ballots for Donald Trump. That is a higher figure than voted for Mitt Romney (79 percent), John McCain (73 percent) and George W. Bush (79 percent). What’s more, voters turned out in more substantial numbers than in prior elections.
Still, many decry the divisive nature, not only of the election itself, but of the things said by Donald Trump. But listen to what Paula White, Trump’s spiritual adviser and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida said: "Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. …The election started the conversation that will … have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician."
However, there seem to be many within the Christian community who are dead-set against someone of Donald Trump’s "character" becoming America’s next president. They say the media portrayal of a misogynistic, racist, narcissistic man of questionable moral character is not someone that should ever be the leader of the free world, much less one who would be declared any kind of favored person by Jesus followers.
The issues that divide the Christian community need to be lovingly addressed. First, the reminder that it is God who divinely sets up kings (and presidents) and takes them down (Daniel chapter 2). In politics, there must be the willingness to acknowledge and seek to understand those who hold positions that differ from one’s own, but in matters of faith, the biblical command is to hold firm to what is true and good and noble (Philippians 4:8). Moreover, while acknowledging that, no matter whether it had been Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump who won in November, America’s choices were between candidates with flaws—and remember that there is no one on the face of the Earth who doesn’t fall short. As Jesus said in John 8:7, the person without a flaw is the one who may cast the first stone.
David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California is a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He says, "We commit to pray for the new Trump Administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
Ronnie Floyd, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is encouraging Americans to embrace reconciliation and peace. "This is a time to rebuild and reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future," he says.
Bruce Marchiano, who leads Marchiano Ministries, says, "It all boils down to trusting the Lord in spite of what we see with our eyes and what’s going on with our circumstances…just trusting him. So, I would encourage everyone, whether your candidate won or didn’t win, there’s only one posture to take in these times. I think of Hebrews 12:2-3 – ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.’"
If you believe that it is God who establishes national leaders (Daniel 2:21), then you must accept that Donald Trump is God’s divine appointment for this time and place, and be in obedience to what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:2 to pray "for kings and all who are in high positions."
So, as the inaugural of a new president is at hand, examine your own life, put down that "first stone," accept God’s divine will, and pray:
Peggy Bayless Gustave is the Insight Edition editor for the Presidential Prayer Team. Also a novelist, she lives in Phoenix. AZ.
Pray the Vote is a nationwide movement to “encourage informed prayer” for the 2016 Presidential elections.
It is based on the belief that, when God’s people cry out to Him in earnest and heartfelt prayer, He will bless our nation in ways we cannot foresee. Our prayers open a window for God to work across our land.
Your prayers will change the world.
20 Inauguration Day