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Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Presidential Inauguration Prayer

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With all of the attention that President-Elect Obama and Rick Warren are receiving over the presidential inauguration prayer, I felt that it would be a good idea to provide some sources from news to commentary.

For General Coverage:

Warren’s Inauguration Prayer Could Draw More Ire – Associated Press, Tuesday, December 30.

This article addresses the issues surrounding praying in “Jesus Name.”  From Evangelicals insistence upon their leaders praying in the name of Jesus, to the failure of Michael Newdow’s lawsuit against Presidential inauguration prayers and endorsement of religion, this article provides a good introduction into the topic. 

I’m a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray…Prayers are not to be sermons, speeches, position statements nor political posturing.  They are humble, personal appeals to God.

It is a good thing that he will be praying the only kind of prayer that he knows how to pray, but I wonder what he means by prayers being humble and personal appeals to God?  Of course prayers are not categorically sermons or speeches; however, prayers do derive from our foundational beliefs which include our religious and political positions. 

Will Rick Warren Invoke Jesus in Obama Inauguration Prayer – U.S. News and World Report, December 31.

This is for those of you interested in further coverage on Warren and him potentially praying in “Jesus.”

The High Cost of Being and Staying Cool – Rick Warren in a Whirlwind – Albert Mohler, December 19.

Dr. Mohler provides great commentary on from a conservative Christian perspective. 

Choice of Pastor Aims to Bridge Divide – Wall Street Journal, December 19.

This article not only provides coverage and commentary, but includes perspectives on why some Christians may disagree with Rick Warren being considered a leader of Christendom and why others would refuse to pray the inauguration prayer. 

Here is a statement from Rick Warren himself regarding his invitation to pray the inaugural prayer. 

From this release, I would like to bring your attention to his following statement,

The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God’s blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America’s leaders during this critical time in our nation’s history.

Yes, I agree with Pastor Warren that we are to pray for our leaders because we are commanded to do so.  What I’m concerned about and would like to have further clarification on is what he means by praying for God’s blessings on the Presidential office and that the Lord would provide wisdom. 

Is he asking that God would bless some of the proposed actions by President-Elect Obama, such as the signing of the Freedom of Choice Act and placing the full weight of his administration behind eradicating the Defense of Marriage Act and expanding hate crime and employment nondiscrimination to include a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity?  Or does he desire for God to bless President-Elect Obama’s desire to provide financial support to embryonic stem cell research? 

Also, when we pray for the wisdom of God, we are in a sense praying that God would lead us to walk in His ways, not our own.  Therefore, if our ways are in defiance to God’s way’s as specifically revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, then it is imperative that we repent from the evil of our ways and turn to Him for forgiveness through Christ.  Is this the type of wisdom that Pastor Warren is praying for?  You be the judge. 

For further analysis of why some evangelical Christians would not offer the Presidential Inauguration Prayer, read Dr. Albert Mohler’s thoughts here.

Further Food for Thought:

What to Expect from President-Elect Obama on Same-Sex Marriage and Homsexuality in 2009

President-Elect Obama and the Freedom of Choice Act 

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Written by Jesse Wisnewski

December 31, 2008 at 9:07 pm

One Response

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  1. I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work. I’ve just started a new blog that will be highlighting the dangers of the secular progressive movement (pro-gay “rights”, pro-abortion, anti-religious freedoms, etc). Unfortunately, most Christians still don’t know what’s going on out there and the mainstream media certainly isn’t covering it.

    We’re looking to build a solid group of social conservatives who’ll frequent our site regularly and contribute to some good discussions. I hope you’ll check us out!

    If you’ll add us to your blogroll we’ll gladly add you to ours. Just drop us a comment over at our blog so that we’ll know to add you. Our blog is at



    January 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm

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