How to pray for President Trump
Religion & Liberty Online

How to pray for President Trump

At noon today, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Whether you supported or opposed him, as Christians we have a specific duty to our new president: to pray for him.

The Apostle Paul urges us to make “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving” for “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1). When we fail to pray for earthly authorities, we fail in our duty as citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Although there are general ways that we can pray for all of our elected leaders, our president has seven specific roles that we should pray for in particular. Since the mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles, I recommend a weekly prayer plan rooted in this organization’s Core Principles.

Here is an example of how we can pray weekly based on the unique roles of the president:

Sunday – Chief of state

For better or worse, the President is the unofficial ceremonial head of the United States. How the president is perceived, both by foreign peoples and our own citizens, influences the views people have about our country.

Pray that President Trump will use his status to promote a vision of society that is both free and virtuous, and that leads to the flourishing of all people in all nations.

Monday – Chief executive

Per the U.S. Constitution, the president is the primary holder of governmental executive power in the United States.

Pray that President Trump will promote the common good by maintaining the rule of law and preserving the basic duties and rights of all Americans.

Tuesday – Chief administrator

In his role as chief executive, the president is the chief administrator for one of the largest bureaucracies in the world.

Pray that he uses his role to not to usurp free actions, but to minimize those conflicts that may arise when the free actions of persons and social institutions result in competing interests. Pray that he leads the government to exercise this responsibility according to the principle of subsidiarity.

Wednesday – Chief diplomat

No person in America has as much influence in shaping foreign policy as the president. The role also requires the president to be the primary spokesman and diplomat in engaging foreign powers.

Pray that President Trump prioritizes the security and prosperity of the United States over more narrow interest and that he will, whenever possible and appropriate, make promotion of religious freedom a foreign policy priority.

Thursday – Commander in chief

Although a civilian, the president is the commander in chief for the most powerful military in the history of mankind.

Pray that President Trump wisely stewards the resources of the U.S. military and is careful and thoughtful about risking the lives of American service members in foreign excursions. Pray that his actions as commander in chief promote security, both at home and globally, and lead to greater levels of peace throughout the world.

Friday – Chief legislator

While not a part of the legislative branch, the president is nevertheless the chief legislator. The person in that role may not only request or demand that Congress enact specific laws, but may also use the veto power to prevent laws from being enacted.

Pray that President Trump uses his legislative role to promote human flourishing, specifically by supporting policies that lead to poverty reduction through wealth creation, securing of private property rights and voluntary exchange, strengthening of the family, defense of human dignity, et al.

Saturday – Chief citizen

The president is not the chief citizen because he is better than his fellow citizens. He is chief citizen because his actions as a citizen have greater ramifications on the nation than most any other person.

Pray that God grants President Trump the wisdom, discernment, and self-control he will need to unite our national and lead his fellow citizens on a path to peace, prosperity, and flourishing.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).