Please Pray for Purdue’s New President

1 Timothy 2:1-3 – First of all, I urge that entreaties and prayer, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.

The Board of Trustees announced today that outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will become the twelfth president of Purdue University.  Few decisions will have a greater impact on the university, our community, or our state.  This is a very important day indeed.

The people of God would do well to pray for Governor Daniels during this time.  Leading an institution the size and magnitude of Purdue is an enormous task.  Critics and detractors are already lining up to discredit him even ahead of the public announcement by the trustees.  Not surprisingly, the lead letter to the editor in the local paper this morning is a scathing attack on the governor.  Welcome to West Lafayette.

Here are six specific ways we can pray for Governor Daniels during these days.

Thank the Lord for the provision of principled leadership. 

Regardless of what you think of Daniel’s politics, he is without question an excellent leader.  This is exactly what a university needs.  As Paul instructed Timothy, our prayers should include expressions of thanksgiving for someone like Mitch Daniels and the leadership skills God has given him.

Ask God to give the Governor and his family strength during this time of transition.

One of the reasons Mitch Daniels chose not to run for president of the United States was the possible negative impact it would have on his family.  I admire a man who chooses to consider the needs of his family as he makes vocational decisions.  Let’s ask the Lord to bless the Daniels family as they make the move to West Lafayette and transition into their new roles.

Pray for financial wisdom.

Like most if not all major universities, Purdue is facing its share of financial challenges.  Tuition is rising at unsustainable rates along with attendant student debt.  State funding is decreasing in ways that place extreme pressure on various aspects of the university’s budget.  Governor Daniels has led the State of Indiana to be one of the strongest states in the Union.  His financial acumen has helped our state avoid the monetary crises many others states currently face.  We would do well to ask the Lord to guide Purdue’s new leader as he makes tough financial decisions in the days ahead.

Ask the Lord to encourage Mitch Daniels.

Universities can be hotbeds of criticism.  It seems that everyone knows how to run a university, even if they can’t pass a test, write a paper, or balance their own checkbook.  Often those who talk the loudest are simultaneously least qualified to say anything at all.  Ask God to encourage Governor Daniel’s heart even in the midst of relentless criticism.

Pray for spiritual wisdom and strength. 

Governor Daniels is a man of faith.  Let’s pray that his walk with the Lord would be a source of comfort and guidance during these upcoming days.

Pray that our church members will please God by following their leaders well.

Many members of Faith Church either attend or work at Purdue.  They will all have an opportunity to live out the biblical principles of submission to and respect for our God-given authorities.  It is easy to get caught up in the office gossip or the tendency to find fault with those the Lord has placed over us.  Regardless of who the board chose as the new president, it would have been our responsibility and privilege to joyfully submit to that individual.  With someone the caliber of Mitch Daniels, that task is well within our grasp if we allow the Lord to guide our thoughts, words, and actions.  Hail Purdue.

Steve Viars
Dr. Viars has served as a pastor and counselor at Faith since 1987. He is an author, national speaker, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Biblical Counseling Coalition.