The church sign of a Pentecostal congregation facing a busy Los Angeles–area street bore a single message for months: let us pray for our new president. The church’s pastor, a Republican, said that right after the November elections he and congregational leaders decided to follow New Testament admonitions to pray for those in governing authority.
“I favored this because our church had mixed feelings—about half and half Democrats and Republicans,” said Kevin Belsby, senior pastor of Pathway Christian Fellowship, a Foursquare Gospel–affiliated congregation in Northridge. “But we believe in praying for all presidents, and we do it enthusiastically.”
Across the country in Episcopal liturgies, parishioners have switched from George W. Bush to Barack Obama in such prayers (though during Lent the prayer is for the office rather than for its occupant).