I got to attend a special Inauguration Prayer Event Thursday at a church with many of the powerhouses of the Christian faith: Dr. James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Pastor Robert Morris, Pastor Jentzen Franklin, Dr. Alveda King, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, Todd Starnes, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and on and on...It was a humbling experience and extremely encouraging.
And I got to thinking.
It's never easy for me to pray for people I oppose -- people who repeatedly lie, support extreme abortion, flip-flop on support for marriage, attack my faith, put my country in danger to further their own agenda, etc. I think you get the point...
As President Obama ended his second term in the White House, it has become painfully obvious to me that I didn't pray for him like I could've.
He's been my president for my entire adult life, and although I've disagreed with him and feel he took our country backwards in so many ways, I have to thank him and his family for their service to our country.
I know some of my friends and family prayed for him more than anyone else on the planet -- and I respect that (and sincerely thank them), but -- if you're anything like me -- I wish I'd prayed more for him.
I'm ashamed of that, and I wanted to share my regrets, not only with fellow conservatives, but also with those who oppose President Donald Trump.
I don't want you to have the same regrets I do at the end of Trump's time in the Oval Office.
And to his supporters, now is not the time to sit on the sidelines because he got elected. Now is the time to press in and pray.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes everything.
In James 4:2 it says, "You have not because you ask not."
And Proverbs 21:1 says, "the kings' heart is like streams of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will."
I've been sincerely praying for Trump for months, and it's made me realize how little I've prayed for President Obama.
I hate to say it, but I might've prayed more for Trump and his family in the last several months than I did for the Obamas in the last eight years.
I don't care who you are -- that's just pathetic.
So I owe an apology to my liberal friends, and I ask for their forgiveness. The only way our country can unite, is if we set aside a few differences and unite around the things that really matter -- like faith, family, friendship and freedom.
When we let petty political differences divide us, especially as Christians, we are not taking the authority and responsibility God has given us.
As it says in Isaiah, the government rests on Jesus' shoulder -- not the other way around.
And "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." My fellow believers we don't have any excuses -- we are the salt and light.
As my mom says, "the people at peace need to prayer for the people at war because the battle is the Lord's."
We "perish for lack of knowledge," and we need to lead and share truth in love.
We need more kingdom-living.
But getting back to the Trumps and Obamas. For us to truly pray for them, first we need to love and respect them. We need to ask God to see them as He sees them, and God has plans "to prosper and not harm them."
I see a lot of opportunity for unity in the church that will pour out into our nation -- it has to come from the church, as much of our progress throughout human history has come, from followers of Jesus and the Word of God.
The church thrives on a united community, and it doesn't matter who occupies the Oval Office, because Jesus is forever seated on the throne!
So, please join me, if you aren't already, in praying safety, prosperity, peace, and abundant blessings over the Obamas as they transition back into civilian life. May they leave the White House with clean hands and pure hearts.
God bless Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia -- and their staff and friends and extended family.
And we pray for the Trump family -- Lord, that you would bless them and keep them safe. Guide and direct them as they lead our nation during their time in the White House. May our nation flourish as one that seeks your face, Father.
God bless Donald, Melania, Don Jr. and Vanessa, Ivanka and Jared, Eric and Lara, Tiffany, and Barron -- and their staff and friends and extended family.
We ask that You, Lord, would use the Obamas and the Trumps to bring us as a nation closer to You, Father, and may we be a shining city on a hill and a beacon of freedom to the world.
Let's commit to praying for our leaders from the highest office in the land to all the local ones.
If you want to be let down, put your trust in people.
Only Jesus can achieve true "hope and change," and we can only "make America great again" as one nation under God.
As it is in heaven, let it be.
Caleb Parke is a millenial and a graduate of Grove City College. He freelances as a production assistant for FoxNation.com. Click here to visit his website CalebParke.com.