Can You Honestly Pray for Leaders You Disagree With?

Published: Feb, 2020 /Marty Poehler



At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump said, “[I do not] like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so.”

He of course was referring to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Speaker of the House of Representatives which just impeached the President, and which was soon followed by the Senate acquitting him. Mrs. Pelosi has said she prays for the President every day.

Putting aside the question of whether Mrs. Pelosi is lying when she says she prays for the President (which we can’t know) – can we and should we pray for leaders and those that we don’t always agree with?

I’ve appreciated American politics since I was growing up in the 60’s. Dad was a businessman who was a conservative Republican. Mom had been a Republican, but she became a liberal Democrat. For me it was like living with the liberal James Carville and his conservative wife Mary Matalin. I listened, weighed up, and thought about the points they made in their favor around the dinner table. They talked honestly and with fiery conviction, and I think politics works best in just that way — when it’s fought hard so the fine points come out for us all to see and lead us to have the opinions we wind up having.

A fundamental question about politics is – do we fight each other tooth and nail, even to the death if necessary, thinking it’s a matter solely of a fight between flesh and blood? Or do we think God has a hand in it?

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