The President of the United States walks into your church and asks for prayer ... now what?
The President of the United States walks into your church and asks for prayer … now what?
This is the situation David Platt found himself in on Sunday at the McLean Bible Church, a non-denominational megachurch he leads in Virginia. Writing to his congregation after the service, Platt said, “Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God. Today, I found myself in one of those situations.”
“At the end of my sermon at the 1:00 worship gathering, I stepped to the side for what I thought would be a couple of moments in quiet reflection as we prepared to take the Lord’s Supper. But I was immediately called backstage and told that the President of the United States was on his way to the church, would be there in a matter of minutes, and would like for us to pray for him.”
President Trump made the unannounced stop at the church in Virginia to pay tribute to the victims of a mass shooting at Virginia Beach, where a city employee is accused of killing 12 people and injuring four others when he opened fire on colleagues on Friday morning.
Video of the prayer shows David Platt putting his hand of President Trump’s back and prayed this prayer:
“Oh God, we praise you as the one universal King overall. You are our leader and our Lord and we worship you. There is one God and one Saviour. It’s you. Your name is Jesus and we exalt you, Jesus. We know that we need your mercy, we need your grace, we need your help, we need your wisdom in our community .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 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 in ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy 2 that leads 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 would give them strength. We pray that you would give them clarity, wisdom.
“Wisdom, the 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, your grace, your righteousness and your justice. We pray for your blessings on our president toward that end. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”
After the prayer, the President waved to the congregation, and walked off the stage without comment. Platt said the church service then went on as usual.
But Platt felt the need to write to his congregation to explain his decision to pray for President Trump:
Citing a passage from 1 Timothy 2:1-6, Platt said, “My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays.
He wrote, “I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God. So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.”
Platt exhorted his church to pray with him that the “gospel seed that was sown today” will “bear fruit in the president’s heart”.
What would you have prayed for President Trump?