One of President Trump’s top evangelical supporters is calling on Christians to pray for Joe Biden, saying the Democrat is the apparent president-elect.
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, says in a new column that Christians should pray for Biden as much as they prayed for Trump.
“It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, unless President Trump succeeds in legal challenges to the counting of votes in several states. For millions of Christians across our nation, this is a bitter pill to swallow,” wrote Jeffress, who often supported Trump’s policies in media interviews during the past four years and also appeared at the White House with the president.
Jeffress pointed Christians to Scripture and asserted that God appoints rulers – no matter the political party. He recounted a conversation he had with Trump in 2016 about the issue when Trump asked Jeffress, “Do you believe it was God’s will for Obama to be president?”
“Yes sir I do,” Jeffress said he responded. He said he also told Trump: “Daniel 2:21 says that ‘It is God who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.’”
Human governments and rulers, Jeffress wrote, “change at God’s direction and design.”
“Our faith and our salvation lie not in any human ruler, but in the ruler of rulers, the King of kings. We have to remember that even though the occupant of the White House is changing, the One who occupies the throne of Heaven hasn’t changed,” Jeffress wrote. “The fact that God has established authorities means that by obeying the government, we obey God.”
Jeffress quoted Romans 13:1 (“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God”) and 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions”).
The pastor acknowledged “it’s always easier to submit and to pray for someone when he was our preferred candidate.”
“But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported. Paul didn’t give us any wiggle room – his command applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine or the evil emperor Nero,” Jeffress wrote. “Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites. We serve a God who remains on His throne, sovereignly reigning over every square inch of this vast universe. We serve a God who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. And now we have the chance to show the consistency and constancy/ of our Christian witness to this world.”
Jeffress added, “When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president. If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Joe Biden, and may God bless the United States of America.”
Photo courtesy: Robert Jeffress Facebook
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.