19 January 2009

Inauguration Day Prayer #3: Pastor Chris Brauns

posted by Dan Phillips

[See the series introduction/explanation]

Pyro readers know Pastor Chris Brauns from the review of his fine book Unpacking Forgiveness. Pastor Brauns has a blog, and is pastor of The Red Brick Church in Stillman, Illinois. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree with a Preaching Emphasis from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Here was Pastor Brauns' "hurried draft" in response to my invitation:
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your Name.

We stand today to ask you to bless our country and this president. Father, would you guide President Obama and the United States of America through the night with a light from above?

Our petition for light LORD God recognizes that you and your Word are the sum and source of wisdom. We confess that we have oft asked you to bless us with the sunlight of prosperity, but we have been so audacious as to ask on our own terms. So, Lord, we plead today that you would bless us not by endorsing our choices, but rather, that you, God only wise, would guide and direct our paths.

Lord, our request that you would bless with a light from above recognizes that apart from your word and truth, we can only grope in a dark world. While, we see much that is true, noble, lovely, and pure, we are also reminded that the dark night of evil twists, perverts, and destroys whenever given the chance. Lord, God, deliver us from evil, even as we wait for your Kingdom to come.

Lord, we pray that you would protect President Obama from temptation, that you would keep him from situations where he might make mistakes and do that which is displeasing to you. We ask rather that you would give him wisdom with each choice he makes. Lead him to make the right appointment. Give him eyes to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly.

Thank you, Father, for the bounty you have poured out on our country. Give President Obama the wisdom of your word as he leads us through uncertain economic times. We pray that all in our country would have daily bread.

Our Father in Heaven, we know that you are a gracious God, so we ask that you would shed your grace on President Obama and our country; forgive us our trespasses, which are many. But, even in making this request, we remind ourselves that our request for your forgiveness is a pledge to be a country that shows grace domestically and abroad.

Thank you, Father, for answered prayer. We praise you that in electing our first African American president, we have in this instance, ratified a foundational tenet of our country: that all are created equal, whatever their age or race, and that you have endowed all with inalienable rights.

We pray for Mrs. Obama. Would you grant her wisdom and courage as she partners with her husband? We pray that you would strengthen President and Mrs. Obama’s marriage.

We pray for Natasha and Malia Ann. Thank you Father for these lovely little girls. They are already a source of delight to our country, not only for who they are but for all they represent. We pray that you would keep them safe and encourage their hearts, even as we pray collectively for all children of the world who we know are infinitely precious in your sight.

God, on our knees, we ask again, that you would bless our president. Guide Him through the night, with your light from above.

In the name of the only King, your only begotten Son, the Risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen.
My thanks to Pastor Brauns for taking the time to share this with us. I have one more "on tap," and am waiting hopefully — because who hopes for what he sees? — for a fifth.

Remember the Special Rule for all these posts: diss me as you see fit, but nobody disses my guests.

Dan Phillips's signature

19 comments:

Frank Turk said...

MARK DRISCOLL. pleas etell me you requested a prayer from Mark Driscoll.

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Very powerful and detailed prayer (one of my books to read next is Unpacking Forgiveness, by the way).

I do have a thought about this paragraph, though:

Lord, we pray that you would protect President Obama from temptation, that you would keep him from situations where he might make mistakes and do that which is displeasing to you. We ask rather that you would give him wisdom with each choice he makes. Lead him to make the right appointment. Give him eyes to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly.

Can Obama do this apart from being saved? Can he have real wisdom apart from the Spirit who guides into all truth? What would be wrong with praying for Obama's salvation as well in the prayer? Or would that be too politically incorrect?

One final question. Brauns said this in his sample prayer:

Lord, we pray that you would protect President Obama from temptation, that you would keep him from situations where he might make mistakes and do that which is displeasing to you.

Is it not true that, apart from a regenerated heart, EVERY act is sin and displeasing in God's sight, no matter how good it may appear to man?

Just some questions to chew on. All in all, though, a great prayer! I like that it is very detailed rather than generic.

I still like Thabiti's answer the most of praying through the gospel.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Let's stay on-topic.

lawrence said...

that was really really good.

donsands said...

A wonderful prayer indeed. I loved it. May our Lord truly answer it. So be it.

I thought Pastor Brauns was Rush Limbaugh when I first glanced at the photo.

Solameanie said...

Dan,

Who in the world would ever want to diss you? Aside from that, these are reminders that we ought to pray for our leaders and not just criticize. Interestingly, Joseph Farah over at WorldNetDaily believes we need to pray for Obama to fail, in that he expects Obama's plans to be in opposition to what God would want.

Another aside. When you use the term "diss," that makes me think of Sister Souljah, who used the term in defending herself against criticism by Bill Clinton. How about using a term like "give me grief," thereby helping me not think of such noxious allusions?

Chris Brauns said...

Thanks for being careful that people don't unnecessarily "diss" your guests. Hopefully, it is okay if I diss myself.

Having written this draft, I am still working out if I would pray. Al Mohler made some good points about this topic.

This is for sure. Christ is the only King. I have ZERO interest in participating in anything where I would be asked to exclude his name.

I appreciated what John Frame and Thabiti said. Had I known that Frame was one of the ones who was going to weigh in, I would have probably have been too intimidated to participate.

Scattered thoughts about my prayer . . .

I tried to write a prayer appropriate to the occasion. Hence, I didn't write all that concerns me about President Elect Obama or our country. I wanted to pray something that might realistically be prayed.

Still, I did say some things implicitly about "choice" and the value of children, and about God's Word.

I think Brian's question (what about praying for his salvation) is one that needs to be asked . . . Perhaps, the prayer needs to be more explicit in reference to the atonement and the Gospel (thought I did consciously choose the Word Savior at the end).

I look forward to hearing more constructive input. It is helpful to me.

Chris Brauns said...

Don, the Rush Limbaugh comment is interesting. My wife's maiden name is Limbaugh and they have had various theories about whether or not they are related.

However, there is no genetic link on my side.

Still - - I've often thought Rush to be a handsome fellow.

Actually, I've never had that thought. . . .

Citizen Grim said...

One small, but crucial, typo:

"We pray for Natasha and Malia Ann. Thank you fathers for these lovely little girls."

Polytheism! Take that, Michael Newdow!

Mike Riccardi said...

Polytheism!

LOL!

It's OK. We'll (biblically) forgive Pastor Chris for that typo.

;o)

Chris Brauns said...

AHHHHHHHHH.....

Yes, that is a typo. It should read, "Thank you Father". . .

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Chris,

Thanks for your additional input and thoughts on this issue of praying at the inauguration. I, as well as many others I'm sure, will be interested to hear, after you consider it some more, of whether or not you would even agree to pray if you were asked.

Let us know what you finally conclude about that.

ps. I have your book (Unpacking Forgiveness) on my desk, and am looking forward to reading it!

God bless, you, brother.

Carol Jean said...

And then there's Bishop Robinson's Blasphemy:

"Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

donsands said...

Actually Chris, I hadn't seen Rush much lately, and I don't really see him, nor listen to him, that much to begin with.

You don't really resemble him, well, maybe a little:

C:\Documents and Settings\Donald\My Documents\rush-limbaugh1.jpg

CR said...

Chris Brauns: I look forward to hearing more constructive input. It is helpful to me.

Chris, since you're asking for constructive input:

In addition to the reasons that Mohler mentioned, would the ecumenical listing of folks like Warren with Robinson doing prayers for the inauguration bother you?

Would you be bothered giving a prayer where the Christian orthodox faith is given equal value to heresy? (the new def'n of tolerance is all religious views are given equal value). That would be a game stopper for me in addition to all the other reasons Mohler mentioned.

Chris Brauns said...

CR - -
CR,

Thanks for the constructive input. It is helpful.

Yes, I would be bothered by the ecumenical nature of the inauguration. For sure, I wouldn't do a joint "church" service with those groups.

You have given me more pause. And, I would have to really study this one and get wisdom from men like you. But, I am still not convinced that I would say, "no."

I would so much like to hear a few others such as John MacArthur, John Piper share their thoughts.

I need to look at Mohler's article again.

Laura said...

Chris,

I love the prayer........other than the typo, of course. But I am also blessed to be a brick in the Valley.

DJP said...

The oops is fixed.