Much of the world is rejoicing today. Even with the profound differences Christians have with Obama over abortion, surely we can still rejoice that in a nation where slavery and segregation are not too distant memories, a non-Caucasian will be in the White House.
We can and we should be glad that this change may well lead to a reduction in the racial tensions experienced in that great nation. Who can really claim that there is still an absolute and unchanging glass ceiling when Obama just smashed through it? How many black people will be lifted out of a victim mentality that hinders their success by considering Obama’s example? How many white people will find their prejudices swept away? Of course, there are risks that the opposite effects may occur, but we can surely hope for God to use this event in his purposes.
It is even possible that the iconic nature of a black leader of the free world will be a force for peace in the world. But even Obama himself must realize that the level of expectation among his supporters guarantees that they will be disappointed. He is not a messiah. He is just a man. A deeply flawed man at that, like all of us.
Josh Harris, Justin Taylor, and John Piper have all rightly reminded us—it is time for us to pray for this man who will become president of the USA. We should pray for wisdom for him. Pray for his advisors. Pray for God to restrain his plans where they are ungodly, and give him success where he plans for good. We should pray for peace. We should pray for Obama’s professed faith to become a true source of strength for him, and for him to seek God’s will. We should ask that God grant that he be truly born again if he is not already. We should pray that God will change him where he needs changing. We should pray for his protection. I fear that any successful murder of this man would have far-reaching consequences. We should acknowledge that it is, in fact, God who has raised this man up, however much we might disagree with some of his policies.
God is sovereign. He rules the world. He exalts and deposes. Let’s pray that Obama will be a force for peace and a tool in the hands of God.