Inauguration Day 2009 generated celebrations from the Washington Mall to televisions around the globe. Some analysts say it was the most watched TV event in history. Expectations ran exuberantly high, and hope filled the hearts of millions. It was a day of fascination at a time of dreary economics, double wars and dangerous threats.

A friend wondered if all the partying was excessive when so many people have lost their jobs and companies are going bankrupt. I told him that I thought it was good for America to celebrate the amazing way our democracy transitions power and the historic election of our first African American President.

In our democracy we somehow find a way to disagree and debate just about everything. Even prayer. Newspapers, broadcast media and bloggers weighed in about the inaugural prayers and those who prayed them. America talked more about prayer than at any other recent time.

In an Op-Ed piece for The Wall Street Journal Steven Waldman argued that “As the country grows more diverse the inaugural prayer has become less inclusive.” He traced the history of such prayers and pointed out that past Presidents had Catholic priests, Jewish rabbis, Orthodox archbishops and Protestant pastors standing at the inaugural podium. This year and recent years it has narrowed to Protestants only and most of them evangelicals.

As evangelicals we don’t need a cold Monday in January or the steps of the Capitol to pray for our President. We are people of the Bible, and the Bible instructs us 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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (2 Timothy 1:1-3).

Let us pray for President Obama and his administration, the Congress, courts, military and others in authority. Especially for our new President. Let us pray privately. Let us pray publicly in our homes, churches, college chapels, staff meetings and beyond. Let us pray to God and let the world hear our prayers.

This article originally appeared in the NAE Insight.