I didn’t watch today’s inauguration of President Obama, but I was praying for him and our nation during it. And I started going a direction I wasn’t expecting, so I thought I’d share my impression.

I felt God said: “Have faith in what I’m doing.” Okay. Well, that’s generic enough. Of course we should have faith in what God is doing. Though, it can be a little challenging to completely trust President Obama to make headway on things like abortion and the protection of the institution of marriage. But anyway, as I started praying some more, I found myself praying not so much that President Obama would walk out the tenants of the Lord, receive God’s wisdom, etc. I was praying that individual men and women across the country would rise up with new zeal and commitment to the purposes for which God created them. That we as individuals would occupy those personal “oval office” spheres of influence for which we were created to rule over and reign within. I feel like this new term is much more about the people of the United States of American than it is about the President of the United States of America.

During the campaigns, when things had clearly started shifting the direction of Obama, I remember thinking: I can see how God might want it to turn out this way (with Obama winning). Without going into whether it was God’s perfect will vs. God’s permissible will, or whether it wasn’t His will at all but is something He’ll leverage to bring about His will, I’ll share a bit of what I mean by “God might want it to turn out this way.”

In a lot of ways, if not most ways, the American church is asleep. Many individuals and local congregations are unaware of how dire the times truly are and are not accepting their God-mandated roles as agents of change and influence. (I include myself in this statement; I know I need to have my eyes opened up much more.) As much of a blessing it has been having a president in GW who stood for traditional family values and made progress in protecting the unborn, I feel like having a “Christian” president also gave many permission to become lax in their prayers for America, trusting that our Christian president would take care of protecting our values and ensuring the moral integrity of our country. I have no quantitative research, or even qualitative for that matter, to support this theory of mine. It’s just a sense I felt back when I was praying about the election.

All that being said, now that we are officially under the leadership of the candidate many Christians did not want to see take office, we no longer can continue in our slumber. It is time to wake up. Actually, it is way past wake-up time. We’re already late for workand we haven’t even showered yet. And that is why I said “God might want it to turn out this way” — because He’d rather see a prophetic, praying church of millions rise up and assume their identity in Christ rather than pinning their hopes on a single man or woman, even if he or she is the most powerful person on the planet.

Obviously, leadership is hugely important. I understand this and will be praying for President Obama and the rest of our leaders with huge respect for the weighty mantle of responsibility they have willfully pursued and accepted. But, individuals are hugely important as well. Probably more important, actually. The Power of One Christ-like Life, as Francis Frangipane refers to it, cannot be denied.

And so, in addition to prayers for President Obama, Vice President Biden, the cabinet and our elected officials, I’m going to be petitioning heaven to invade the hearts of men and women, adults and children, with a lovesickness for Jesus and a grace to rise up in new glory for such a time as this. Let us be the very change this country is looking for.

By Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a marketer, blogger and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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