In just a few days, one of the modern miracles of the world will transpire. The United States of America, the greatest and most powerful nation on the face of the Earth, will peacefully and efficiently transfer power from one leader to the next. It is hard for Americans to understand just how incredible this feat truly is. I am convinced that such an awesome event as this comes as a blessing from the hand of Almighty God. I am just as persuaded that it is a grace gift from Him, because we certainly do not deserve such favor.

On Jan. 20, President Bush will sit on a platform and watch Barack Obama become our 44th President. Although very diverse in their political beliefs and practices, the two men will not only transfer power, but also will do so willingly. If the past is a predictor of the future, these two men who have such divergent views will develop a unique camaraderie. They will have a bond that has been shaped by sitting where the buck stops-not just for our nation but, in many ways, our world.

President Obama will take his place in the oval office confronted by unprecedented challenges. While our nation has faced financial crises before, there has never been a time when the decisions our leaders make have had such far reaching impact on the world. Wars and political unrest stretch around the globe. The moral soul of our nation stands at great risk. Considering the overwhelming challenges, it is hard to believe anyone would spend two years trying to be elected to the office of President of the United States!

Oklahomans also face a great challenge. No state in the union rejected the new President as overwhelmingly as did Oklahoma. I could philosophize on the reason Oklahomans voted as they did, but nothing would be gained. Come Jan. 20, it makes no difference whether one voted for or against Barack Obama. On that day, he becomes President of the United States, including Oklahoma. He becomes our President.

Because God has been so good to us and has by His providence placed us in this great nation, we have some significant responsibility. As Christian people, we are called to a higher cause. To whom much is given, much is required. Surely American Christians have been given much. Our freedoms exceed those of any place in the world. While our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world face constant persecution and martyrdom for their faith, we live in freedom and relative ease.

So what should we do? We should pray faithfully for our new President and our leaders in Congress. I realize these words fall easily from our lips. Life is filled with “ought to’s.” In this case it is imperative. The Scripture is plain. Our peaceable way of life depends on our prayers for our leaders. I challenge us to make our churches houses of prayer for our leaders and our nation. We should consistently offer prayers corporately for those who lead us in the White House, Congress, governor’s mansion and state legislature.

While no state voted more decisively for our new President’s opponent, no state should be more fervent in prayer for our new leader and his success. Oklahoma Baptists should lead the way. Let our church houses and times of gathering for spiritual events be marked by prayer for this nation and her leaders.