Donald Trump took a famous preacher’s call for a ‘national day of prayer’ seriously enough to briefly visit a Virginia evangelical church on Sunday after a round of golf.
The president, not known for engaging in regular Sunday worship, spent 11 minutes at McLean Bible Church near Washington, D.C.
The White House said he was there to ‘pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach,’ where a gunman killed 11 people on Sunday.
Evangelical leader Franklin Graham and more than 250 other Christian luminaries had asked America’s Bible-believers pray for President Trump on Sunday in the hope that God would take his side in political battles that have roiled Washington.
Trump took off his white ‘USA’ baseball cap as he joined pastor David Platt on the stage that serves as the focus of services at the 58-year-old church.
‘We pray that he would look to you,’ Platt said, addressing the Almighty, ‘that he would trust in you, that he would lean on you, that he would govern and make decisions in the ways that are good for justice and good for righteousness, and good for equity.’
Platt didn’t mention the deadly Virginia violence, but prayed aloud with his Bible held aloft for Trump, judges, members of Congress and government officials at the national and state level.
‘Lord we pray, we pray that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern,’ he said of Trump.
A PRAYER FOR TRUMP: Evangelical pastor David Platt’s words as president stood with him in church
‘Many of you may have seen that there were calls to, particularly on this Sunday, pray for our president. We don’t want to do that just on this Sunday. We want to do that continually, day in and day out, so I want to ask us to bow our heads together now and pray for our president.
‘Oh God, we praise You as the one universal king over all. You are our Leader and our Lord and we worship You. There is one God and one Savior, and it’s You. Your name is Jesus, and we exalt You, Jesus. And we know we need Your mercy, we need your grace, we need your help, we need Your wisdom in our country.
‘And so we stand right now on behalf of our president, and we pray for your grace and your mercy and your wisdom upon him. God, we pray that he would know how much you love him, so much that you sent Jesus to die for his sins, our sins. So we pray that he would look to you, that he would trust in you, that he would lean on you, that he would govern and make decisions in the ways that are good for justice and good for righteousness, and good for equity. Every good path.
‘Lord we pray, we pray that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern, and ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy Chapter 2, that “lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.”
‘God, we pray for your blessing in that way upon his family. We pray that you’d give them strength, we pray that you’d give them clarity, wisdom. Wisdom. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Please, oh God, give him wisdom. And help him to lead our country, alongside other leaders. We pray today for leaders in Congress, we pray for leaders in courts, we pray for leaders at national and state levels.
‘Please, oh God, help us to look to you, help us to trust in your word, help us to seek your wisdom and live in ways that reflect your love and your grace, your righteousness and your justice. We pray for your blessings on our president toward that end. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.’
Platt also prayed for the president’s family, asking God to ‘give them strength. We pray that you’d give them clarity, wisdom.’
The president didn’t speak to the applauding worshipers or a string orchestra seated near him onstage, but told Platt: ‘Thank you, reverend. I appreciate it very much.’
Platt is formerly president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.
Mclean Bible Church boasts a weekly attendance of 5,700 at its flagship Vienna, Virginia house of worship, plus another 4,600 at four satellite campuses and online.
Franklin Graham wrote last Sunday on Facebook that pastors should lead their congregations in the ‘Special Day of Prayer’ to ask the Almighty to ‘protect, strengthen, encourage, and guide’ the president.
‘President Trump’s enemies continue to try everything to destroy him, his family, and the presidency. In the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has. I believe the only hope for him, and this nation, is God,’ Graham wrote.
“This is a critical time for America. We’re on the edge of a precipice. Time is short. We need to pray for God to intervene. We need to ask God to protect, strengthen, encourage, and guide the President,” he continued.
‘He’s our president,’ Graham added in a Twitter video clip, ‘and if he succeeds we all benefit. But if his enemies are allowed to destroy him and pull down the presidency it will hurt our entire nation.’
Graham said ‘many thousands of churches’ would take part in the targeted prayer sessions.
The Texas preacher’s father was the late evangelist Billy Graham. He now leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Samaritan’s Purse charity.
He’s also a reliable Trump booster, along with other co-signers of the call to prayer who cautiously backed the president and quietly chuckled when the sometimes-Presbyterian clumsily cited ‘Two Corinthians’ instead of ‘Second Corinthians.’
But they have found in him a president eager to defend religious liberties, influence millions of evangelicals to vote, and autograph Bibles along the way.
Graham risks drawing culture-war pressure to Trump with his unapologetic positions against gay rights. He said last week that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg should ‘repent’ his homosexual ‘sin.’
‘Buttigieg is right – God doesn’t have a political party,’ he tweeted. ‘But God does have commandments, laws & standards He gives us to live by.’
‘As a Christian I believe the Bible,’ he added, ‘which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized.’
‘The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman – not two men, not two women,’ he wrote.
Graham has become a controversial figure both inside and outside Christian cultural circles because of his support for President Trump.
When asked about allegations that Trump had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels and then paid her hush money to keep quiet about it, he said last year: ‘President Trump I don’t think has admitted to having an affair with this person. And so this is just a news story, and I don’t even know if it’s accurate.’
Graham told NBC News at the time: ‘We certainly don’t hold him up as the pastor of this nation and he is not.’
Other Christian leaders joining Graham in his call to prayer included former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, preacher Kenneth Copeland, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., civil rights activist Alveda King, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Faith and Freedom coalition leader Ralph Reed, Christian recording artist Michael W. Smith and preacher Paula White-Cain.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, David Martosko