My mother used to say that it was hard to hate the people for whom you pray.  After eight years of praying for George W. Bush as our president, I’m finding it hard to change.  Yes, I’m now praying each day for our new President. 

Actually, I started praying for all the candidates when they declared their candidacy which means I’ve been praying for President Obama for about two years.  However, I’m finding it hard to switch gears.  In our country, transfer of power is immediate and automatic.  But in my prayer life, it’s hard to let go.

Perhaps what my mother said to me years ago is really true.  I find that I have a real tender spot for President Bush.  I was grieved when the audience at the inaugural booed him.  Of course, he didn’t do everything right but he also didn’t do everything wrong.  No man living or dead has done more for Africa than President Bush.  However, we are short sighted when it comes to those efforts and accomplishments. 

I don’t believe in white-washing but I also don’t believe in overlooking the good because there are some things we don’t like.  In the state of Florida, no Governor did more for the mentally challenged community than Jeb Bush but it was never enough.  Again and again, it was heard, “If only we had a Democrat, then we would get more services.”  It appeared that pouring money didn’t help our services or our opinions.

Now the money has dried up and we are left with withering services.  Our new governor who isn’t a Democrat and the legislature are working feverously to balance the budget.  As more cuts come, perhaps, it would be wisdom to pray more and critique less. 

As an advocate, I believe it’s important to point out flaws, misdeeds and missteps.  However, as a pray-er, I’ve seen that it’s hard to hate the people for whom we pray.  Perhaps a renewal of prayer is still needed.