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Praying for the president

The Rev. James Harnish asks God for compassion, perspective, courage and the fruit of the Spirit. 

Ministry Matters

In his instructions to Timothy, Paul commands Christians to pray “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)

But how?

How do I pray for a president whose personal behavior and political agenda are a consistent contradiction of just about every biblical value I hold? How do I pray for an administration which seems intent on destroying things for which I have labored throughout my adult life and undermining the basic institutions of our democracy?

I’ve seen the pious maxim “Prayer Changes Things” on all sorts of Christian kitsch. But whether or not prayer changes things, I’m sure that prayer changes me. So, I’ve been thinking about the difference praying for our president makes in me.


~ James A. Harnish is a retired United Methodist pastor who most recently served Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. He has authored numerous books, Bible studies and articles. He earned his BA at Asbury College, and MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary.

The Michigan Conference