Ministry to State (MTS) seeks to minister to those in government nationally and internationally through fives key objectives: introducing government workers to the life-changing truth of the gospel, supporting a biblical world and life view, developing a biblical conscience, creating healthy, appropriate relationships between the church and those in government, and promoting healthy prayer for those in government.

That last value prompted MTS Director Chuck Garriott in 2011 to write a series of prayers for then-President Barack Obama. The prayers turned into a book, “Obama Prayer,” which included 12 prayers for the 44th president.

The book offered Scripture and a short reflection on each prayer. But what made Obama Prayer unique is how Garriott specifically named the president in his prayers. Obama Prayer was not a generic book of prayers; it contained specific prayers for Obama, his family, and his administration.

Obama Prayer opened doors for Garriott to interact with government workers across the political spectrum. A trio of Republican and Democrat congressmen even sent the book to every member of Congress.

So when the country prepared to inaugurate a new president in 2017, pastors asked Garriott to write a new book of prayers for the 45th president. Garriott wrote some new chapters and modified prayers from Obama Prayer to create Prayers for Trump. Garriott sees Prayers for Trump as a second edition rather than a totally new book. 

“People felt like using the name of president and his family made it very political,” he said. “But I am very, very non-political; that is not my orientation.”

Even so, Garriott was surprised when a major PCA church declined to sell Prayers for Trump in its church book store. With the president’s name in the title, church leaders told Garriott, the book was not suitable for its bookstore shelves.

“People felt like using the name of president and his family made it very political,” he said. “But I am very, very non-political; that is not my orientation.”

Instead Garriott wants to help Christians move past general prayers for state and national leaders and pray for them as real people whose lives are in God’s hands. Nothing about a leader’s beliefs or actions negates the Christian’s responsibility to pray for him.

“The original idea with Obama Prayer was to take away the concept that it was ok to pray generically for the president,” he said. “I specifically added names of the president, his staff, his family because I wanted the church to be very concerned in praying specifically.”

MTS has also developed “12 for the 45th,” a monthly prayer guide for praying for President Trump. Garriott hopes church leaders will use one prayer in church each month to help congregations pray for different aspects of presidential leadership.

For more information, visit ministrytostate.org.

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