Sometimes stating the obvious is worthwhile. Throughout most of her history the Church has encouraged us to pray for our leaders, not because she stands to gain from those in power (although often she has) but because those who hold power can profoundly affect the lives of others for good or ill. The inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the U.S.A. is being hailed as a great triumph by some and as a great tragedy by others, but I wonder how many of those busy planning parties or protests have bothered to get down on their knees and pray. Simplistic? Quaint? Possibly; but to pray is to invite God into a situation that is too big and complex for any of us to handle as individuals. What the U.S.A. is, how it behaves on the world stage, the values it espouses and expresses, matters to all of us, not just U.S. citizens. We may argue that the growing power of China and Asia generally may soon eclipse that of the West, including the U.S.A., but for now that is not the case; and ‘now’ is what we are concerned with.
Today, while we continue to pray earnestly for Christian unity, let us pray also for Donald Trump and all those taking up office under him. Let us pray without an agenda — not telling God what to do, or mindlessly rejoicing or lamenting, but rather with faith and trust that God understands what we do not, that we can rely on Him — and let us pray perseveringly. The future is hidden from us, but we all want it to be as peaceful and secure as possible, don’t we, for everyone on earth?