On this day of presidential inauguration, we gladly acknowledge that you alone are God.
You are King of kings and Lord of lords, for all time and forevermore. Amidst the rightful pomp and circumstance of today’s events, we gladly worship you alone. You alone are our shield and defender; you alone are pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
Yet we recognize today that you exercise your gracious dominion through fallen human rulers. This arrangement, we confess, is often mysterious from our finite perspective, and disturbing to our Christian consciences. For these reasons, we thank you for the clarity of your Word, and we ask for your help in yielding our minds, hearts, and wills to what you have revealed about human government.
Knowing this revelation, we are submitting to you today by submitting to our leaders taking office today. You have established their authority, and you allot the times, seasons, and boundaries of their governance.
We therefore ask for our elected president, Donald Trump, that you would help him rule well and wisely.
In your kindness, help him
- appoint public servants of character, integrity, and skill,
- partner wisely with all others whom you ordain,
- enact just and moral legislation,
- recognize the opportunities and limits of power,
- punish evildoers without partiality,
- foster reconciliation across all sinful divides,
- protect the cause of the poor and vulnerable,
- promote and expand all forms of righteous liberty,
- help, befriend, and oppose other rulers as appropriate,
- open doors for the gospel of Christ,
- and in your time, repent and believe in this same gospel.
For the undeserved good of our republic, we also ask that you might grant your divine wisdom to our executive leaders, our legislative leaders, and our judicial leaders. Guide the minds and hearts of all who take office in this new season, both elected and appointed, both national and local.
As we submit to the leaders you have appointed through us and for us, we also ask for your wisdom so that we might join them when appropriate and oppose them when appropriate, while at all times respecting them. Help us, we pray, to meet our duty as Christian citizens.
Mercifully give us
- the humility to confess our sins,
- the dignity to respect our leaders,
- the courage to speak your truth,
- the wisdom to recognize your judgment,
- and the passion to seek your righteousness, in all things.
Help us each day
- to weep before we censure,
- to pray more than we criticize,
- to labor as we lament,
- to love even as we discern,
- and to hope in every one of your promises.
As we look upon the past and future sins of our leaders, we openly confess our own sins —
- sins of speech and sins of silence,
- sins of compromise and sins of division,
- sins of action and sins of attitude,
- sins of recklessness and sins of cowardice,
- sins of commission and sins of omission.
For all these sins, and the many more of which we’re unaware, we ask for your forgiveness and cleansing.
Still — though we remain fallen sinners — we ask for your strength in the days ahead to stand unhypocritically for what is right. We ask for the sacred courage of John the Baptist who spoke truth to Herod at the cost of his life. We ask for the prophetic voice of Elijah who denounced the wickedness of King Ahab. And we ask for the fearless heart of your Son, our Lord, who even while on trial spoke with moral authority to Pontius Pilate.
Finally, we gladly confess that we are citizens of heaven before we are citizens of America. Yet because we are citizens of heaven, we ask for your grace, strength, and wisdom to be the very best citizens of America.
Have mercy on our land,
Give wisdom to our leaders,
Give strength to our hearts,
Until the new creation dawns in fullness, and your inbreaking kingdom shines like the sun in its strength.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,