President Obama will take the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed on two Bibles. One will be the Lincoln Bible he used four years ago. The other will be a Bible used by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mr. Obama will not be the first president to use two Bibles—Harry Truman did so in 1949, Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 and Richard Nixon in 1969. The Lincoln Bible was purchased by the Supreme Court clerk for Lincoln’s swearing-in, and resides in the Library of Congress. The King Bible was used early in the minister’s career as his “traveling Bible,” and has never been part of a presidential inauguration.
If you’re planning to attend the ceremony, you might consider the Madison Hotel’s “Inaugural Town and Country” package. For a mere $47,000, you’ll get a four-night stay for two in one of their Presidential Suites, a private Lincoln Town Car and driver, a private tour of the Capitol (along with 22 friends), a $5,000 shopping “experience” at Brooks Brothers, and a “Dedicated Social Media Butler” who will “chronicle your inaugural experience so your friends and family can follow your adventures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.”
I’d like to suggest another way to prepare for the inaugural. Christians in Central Europe’s Slovak Republic have vowed to pray for the politician of their choice, at least five minutes a day for the next six months. Their commitment comes in response to media reports of widespread corruption in their government. A spokeswoman said, “Some people choose their favorite politician, while others might pray for their least favorite lawmaker in order to change their behavior.” More than 400 Slovaks have joined the initiative.
That same percentage of America’s population would be more than 22,000 Christians who are dedicated to intercession for their leaders. Today’s Cultural Commentary will be sent to more than three times that number. This morning, I am asking you to commit to pray for our nation’s leaders, 5 minutes each day for the next 6 months. To join the “5 by 6 Prayer Initiative,” ‘like’ the “5 by 6” post on our Facebook page. Our team will post specific requests occasionally; I look forward to joining you in this initiative.
Our Lord asks that “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Believers in Slovakia have answered his call, stating, “As Christians, we believe that if we unite in prayer, we can make a difference.” Do you agree?