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I’ll be honest with you about something. When I first began this prayer journey with you four months ago, I did it with the best intentions. We would be lifting up our president and our nation in prayer before a God Who already knows the outcome and Who is the only true definition of trustworthiness. What I didn’t bank on, however, was how my heart would slowly begin to change in a not-so-positive way toward the president himself.

Now, I didn’t vote for this president, but I had made the decision to keep an open mind about him, in hopes that some of my initial concerns about him would prove to be unfounded. We all know that this is not what happened. Even as I’ve written posts and prayed, my heart has become increasingly hardened toward this man and an immediate disgust fills my heart and mind the moment his likeness appears in my newspaper or on my television screen.

This morning during church, the pastor was in the middle of a relationship series and today’s message was about the importance of loving our enemies. Now, I wouldn’t typically describe myself as a person with a lot of enemies; I tend to get along well with most people and am generally easy-going. But, when the pastor simply uttered the phrase “love your enemies”, it was as if a huge likeness of Barack Obama instantly filled both of the screens in the worship center! I was, at once, both stunned and convicted. The Lord had my attention.

The pastor went on to speak around the following verse which is very familiar, but I’ve written it out here from the Message because I really like this interpretation:

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:43-50 MSG

I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that I’m not the only one that could be convicted about this; in fact, many of you have as much as stated that you hold the man in contempt or are struggling heartily not to. It’s so hard not to fall into this trap when it seems that every decision he makes is against what we believe! But the Word says that if we say we love God, but hate our brother, then we are LIARS (see scripture focus below). That is certainly not a word that I wish to have used to describe me. The Word also says that we are to LOVE our enemies (here, “love” is from the Greek agapaō – to love, be full of goodwill and exhibit the same). While we don’t have to LIKE what he stands for or the decisions he makes, and we can and SHOULD stand up for our beliefs, we are still to have a heart full of brotherly love toward Him because He is a child of God, loved as we are by the King.

So, as I always do, I continue to implore the use of your voice for the voiceless and your earnest stand for life. But, I’m asking you to join me in praying, not from a heart full of contempt, but from one full of agape love for a man who stands in the largest and most difficult shoes to fill in the world…a sinner for whom our Savior died, just like you and me.


If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20 MSG

Father God, we come to You today – many believers, one voice – to stand for life. Lord we ask Your forgiveness for any hatred or contempt that we might harbor against President Obama, as he leads our country in a way in which we disagree. Please help us keep perspective and realize that You made him and You love him and You died for him. You have also commanded us to “love one another” – even those that we count as enemies – because we can’t claim to love You if we can’t claim to love our fellow man. We don’t want to be liars, Father, but bearers of Your truth from whole and clean hearts. Help us to set harmful and defeating feelings aside to take a holy and righteous stand. Believing You will change one heart for many, we pray in the MIGHTY, LIFE-GIVING NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Amen.