A Change of Heart

Most of you know that for the past 2 1/2 years, I have worked in the Bush Administration in the Faith-Based and Community Initiative.  On Friday, as I packed up my office, sent my last e-mails, and wrapped up 2 1/2 years of work, I stepped out of my office to a city (and country) that is rejoicing in the inauguration of our new president.  This Administration change has felt personal because not only am I unemployed, but it’s hard to hand over the reigns to a whole new group of people after working tirelessly on projects close to your heart.  I’m also extremely competitive and I hate to lose.

I say all this not to politicize the blog, but to confess that since Election Day, I’ve been plagued with bitterness over this Administration change.  In the midst of what feels like the entire country rejoicing, I’m in a corner sulking because I lost.  

This morning, on the Inauguration of President Obama, I work up and the first thing that came to my heart was Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”  Immediately I felt drawn to pray for our president in a way that I have never done before.  For the first time, I didn’t see things as Republican/Democrat, but the Lord impressed upon me the importance of praying of the strength and prosperity of our leaders.  To pray that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, surrounded by godly counsel, and that they will be men and women who are drawn to the heart of God.  

This change of heart helped remind me that ultimately, God is sovereign and He is in control.  It’s so easy to lose sight of God’s ultimate supremacy.  It also helped free me from some of the bitterness I’ve been harboring.  While it’s only been four hours, I’m already finding joy in the ability to pray on behalf of our leaders and our nation.  We are in a place where we so desperately need to wrestle in prayer each day before the Lord on behalf of our country, our world, and our leaders.

This morning, I wrote this prayer in my prayer journal:
God, I pray that today you will bless and equip President Obama with the tools he needs to succeed.  Lord, surround him with godly counsel.  Fill him with your Holy Spirit, speak to his heart, and draw him into your presence.  Lord, give him strength, wisdom, and discernment as he leads our nation.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.”
Ephesians 1:17-18 (NIV)

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”
Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)