President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to McLean Bible Church, a non-denominational evangelical church, that has six locations in the suburban Washington, DC area. Trump visited a Sunday service at the church’s Vienna, Va. site to support the victims of Friday’s shooting in Virginia Beach.
Trump stood on stage behind Dr. David Platt, the primary teaching pastor for the church, while he prayed for those impacted by Friday’s shooting.
He then prayed for Trump noting that Franklin Graham called for a special day of prayer for President Trump but said that the church should pray for him day in and day out as 1 Timothy 2 exhorts Christians to pray for their leaders.
That passage reads, “First of all, then, I urge supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kinds and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, ESV).
Trump was not given time to speak before or after Platt prayed.
“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,” Platt prayed.
“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 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 we just saw in 1 Timothy, chapter 2, that will 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 would give them strength, we pray that you 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 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,” he concluded.
Platt remarked as Trump walked off stage that wasn’t how they anticipated closing the service.
This is what a pastoral prayer for the president should look like regardless of their party. Well done. We should pray for President Trump and pray for God’s grace, mercy, and wisdom to be upon them, just as we should for the president who succeeds him and those who preceded him.
I also appreciate that Trump did not speak during the service. Pastors should carefully guard the pulpit. It’s for the proclamation of God’s word, not politics.
Update: Platt explained to the members of his church in an open letter why he made to decision to pray for President Trump. You can read that here.