When US President Donald Trump showed up unannounced at McLean Bible Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia this past weekend, David Platt, who pastors the mega church took the opportunity lay hands on the President and pray for him.
Trump was visiting the community because of the recent shootings that resulted in the death of 12 people and came to the church on Sunday morning.
Before he prayed, Pratt cited the passage in 1 Timothy where Paul exhorts believers to pray for those in authority including Kings.
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (2 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV)
Platt prayed for Trump for over two minutes and in his article, Todd Starnes provides a written record of what Platt prayed, saying in part:
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….
Unfortunately, some members of the congregation reacted negatively to Platt’s prayer, forcing him to issue a statement that his prayer was in no way an endorsement of President Trump, but rather he was simply obeying God’s word to pray for those in authority.
Platt DID NOT apologize for praying for Trump as some in the mainline media reported.
When the Apostle Paul encouraged believers to pray for those in authority, he wrote this letter during a missionary journey between his first and second imprisonment in Rome, sometime between 61 AD and 66 AD, probably earlier than later.
His first incarceration involved house arrest during which he wrote several letters including Ephesians and Colossians. His second letter to Timothy was written during his second arrest that led to his martyrdom and Paul even hints that he knew death was near (2 Timothy 4:6-9).
So when Paul encouraged believers to pray, who was the emperor of Rome?
It was none other than Nero, one of the most wicked emperors Rome would see. He ruled between 54 AD and 68 AD and initiated a horrific persecution of Christians by blaming them for a fire in Rome (64 AD), when rumors circulated that Nero had purposefully set the fire to clear space for a new palace.
If the apostle wanted us to pray for Nero, surely he expects us to pray for Trump whether you agree with his political leanings or not.
Towards the end of his prayer, Platt prayed for wisdom for President Trump:
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.
After God raised up Daniel to pray for the restoration of the Jews who were in captivity, an angel showed up with a message from God for the prophet. But just as the angel was leaving, he made an interesting statement that is literally cut in half by a chapter break, making it one of the worst chapter breaks in the Bible.
The angel said:
11 “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. (Daniel 11:1 ESV)
Because of Daniel’s prayer, this godly angel had now taken a position beside the Persian king to “confirm” and “strengthen” him. In the Hebrew, the second word implies the angel was standing alongside the King to protect him. The angel was not only protecting Darius from physical enemies, but I believe demonic as well who would try to influence the King in making bad decisions.
So praying for leaders is not an option and Platt said the president’s visit provided his congregation a unique ability to do just that.