Apostle Paul On Inauguration Day

There’s been mixed reviews of Rick Warren’s Inauguration Day prayer (a transcript) for President Barack Obama.  The reviews have been critical and grateful.  Like the mixed reviews I have mixed feelings.  I don’t want to talk about my reaction though.  I read what Mark Driscoll said and thought about one of Driscoll’s points.

If you want to criticize him, of course you can. But remember, if you lived your life under the scrutiny that he does, you would likely be even easier to criticize. (Source)

I have other issues concerning what Driscoll wrote, but to the above I thought, “scrutiny?”  All Christians face scrutiny, especially, those who are plain and straight forward about their beliefs.  As for Warren, the man’s had more worldly success and visible platforms than any pastor I know.  While that does open one up for more criticism, he’s said things on TV to which my teenage daughter replied in disbelief, “What is he saying?  That’s not right!”  I digress.  So, when thinking of scrutiny I thought of the Apostles.  I thought of the Apostle Paul and the scrutiny and physical harm he faced along with the prayers of his that we have recorded.  Then, I thought, “How might the Apostle Paul have prayed at a Presidential Inauguration?”  I decided to take an educated guess and answer my own question.

Apostle Paul’s Inauguration Day Prayer

Father in Heaven, I come before you today as an apostle and bond-servant of Your Son, Christ Jesus.  I thank you that I may right now proclaim, to those who say You are unknown, the resurrected God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank You for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that our faith in Him may be credited as righteousness unto salvation to live eternally with You.

I pray for the lives of the Obama family.  I ask for wisdom for our new President, Barack Obama, whom You have appointment for this Nation.  I ask that this administration rule wisely for all authority comes from You.

I pray for all those in authority, that they may lead well and come to the saving knowledge of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Help us understand that You don’t serve us, but we serve You.  Make us instruments for honorable use.

Just as there are no racial divisions for those who are in Christ, I thank You for opening the eyes of this Nation in this regard.  I pray for continued conviction and repentance of our personal prejudices.

Father, I ask for your patience concerning our Nation that we would repent of our sinful life styles and turn to You.  Please convict us that we would turn and not become more like Sodom and Gomorrah. I ask that You would make Your name known not as was done through Pharaoh, but in such a way as was Nineveh’s repentance.

Help all believers in Jesus Christ to live kind and patient lives that through us you may grant repentance and belief to those who are opposed to You.

I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to His name be the glory forever.  Amen.

For what it’s worth…remember this is only a guess…


tagged as , , , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture,Gospel,Prayer,theology

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nathan White January 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Good thoughts, and excellent prayer.

2 abclay January 23, 2009 at 12:39 am

Nice prayer Mark. I see a whole lot of scripture and truth in it.

I am torn…I like Driscoll but I don’t understand the long rope that is given to Warren.

If you had received an invitation to pray at the inauguration would you have prayed your prayer? You and Warren both have the same bible, why the disparity between the two prayers? I think you would pray your prayer. You have nothing to lose. I think of Paul in Philippians:

“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him…”

So I ask, would Warren have lost anything, prestige, standing, popularity with the world if he had prayed a prayer similar to yours?

May God give us all boldness to declare His righteousness.

3 johnMark January 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

Nathan, thanks brother!


Why the disparity? I can only guess at Warren’s approach. I suppose that it is that the less offensive one might be the better the potential for a larger audience.

I tried to think of Paul’s actions and words in the NT applied today. Paul was imprisoned and severely beaten. He even went to where he knew the people wanted to kill him. Despite all of this he continued preaching Christ crucified. I just have trouble believing that Paul would shy away and not speak boldly and clearly about Christ to millions of people listening at an inauguration.

Can you imagine if missionaries today were publicly as bold as Paul? Granted, they would probably be killed publicly too. I can imagine hundreds of those like Paul preaching in the streets of certain Asian and Middle-Eastern countries only to be beaten and killed over and over again. That would get huge media coverage I bet.


4 abclay January 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm

You bring up a good point. Paul knew that they would do this to them, yet he pressed on.

Warren wasn’t faced with beatings or death, merely the potential loss of political clout.

5 Thomas Twitchell January 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

“I suppose that it is that the less offensive one might be the better the potential for a larger audience.”

That may be true, but when will Warren ever have the attention of millions again?

I posted on the prayer at Treasures Old And New: http://treasuresoldandnew.blogspot.com/2009/01/another-blasphemous-heretical-southern.html

I am not so kind.


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