Summary: We are commanded to pray for our President.
PRAYING FOR THE PRESIDENT
1. We must pray for President Clinton because we are commanded. "I exhort that first of all intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings, and for all who are in authority" (I Tim. 2:1,2).
2. If we do not pray for the president we are:
a. Disobeying God’s command.
b. Losing an opportunity to do good. "For he is the minister of God to thee for good" (Rom. 13:4).
c. Sinning against God. "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (I Sam. 12:23).
3. We have no right to criticize the things President Clinton does wrong if we don’t pray for him. The president may be sinning ignorantly, but we are sinning with our eyes wide open if we don’t pray. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God" (Rom. 13:1,2).
B. SEVEN REASONS TO PRAY FOR PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
1. So we may have a good life. "I exhort therefore that first of all supplications, prayers...be made for all men, for kings...that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all guidelines and honesty" (I Tim. 2:1-3).
2. Because we respect God. We pray for our president "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" (I Tim. 2:3).
3. So we can have peace to win souls. We pray for President Clinton because a good life will make it possible. "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4).
4. Because God directs President Clinton’s heart. "The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Prov. 21:1).
5. Because cursing the president is wrong. Wise Solomon tells us, "Curse not the king, no not in thy thoughts" (Eccl. 10:20). To resist the king is wrong. "Whosoever therefore resisteth the (kings) power; resisteth the ordinance of God" (Rom. 13:2).
6. Because the president keeps evil restrained in this world. "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers...For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth the sword...an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Rom. 13:1,3,4).
7. Because we are obedient Christians. "I exhort therefore that...prayers...be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority" (I Tim. 2:1,2).
C. WHAT TO PRAY
1. Confess our private sins. None of us are perfect. While we may disagree with the president’s policy and life style, we stand with him before God. "If we say that we have no sin (nature) we deceive ourselves" (I John 1:8). "If we say that we have not sinned (acts of personal sin), we make Him a liar" (I John 1:10).
So we must confess our sins to God. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
2. Confess our nation’s sins. When Daniel was moved to pray for the nation of Israel, his first act was, "I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplication with fasting" (Dan. 9:3). Daniel’s second act was personal confession. "I...made confession" (Dan. 9:4). Daniel’s third act was to confess the nation’s sins. "We have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing thy precepts and fear thy judgments" (Dan. 9:5).