In the midst of a difficult impeachment fight, President Donald Trump asked 50 Christian leaders to come into the Oval Office and pray for him last week.
According to The Christian Post, the group included worship leaders and Christian music artists — most notably Brian Houston, founder of Hillsong Church.
“Here I am at the White House. Never say never,” Houston said in an Instagram video from outside the White House.
“It is a great honor to go into the Cabinet Room and even into the Oval Office to pray for the president of the United States of America.”
In a separate Twitter video posted to the White House’s Twitter account, Houston said the visit was not only praying for a strong America but one that would “help freedom of religion.”
“As an Australian, I really believe that we need a strong America in the world,” Houston said.
“With America strong, the world is a better place. What a great opportunity it’s been to see some of the initiatives that are happening to help freedom of religion and to just see, generally, the great spirit in the White House with people who are optimistic about the future.”
“When America is strong, the world is a better place. What a great opportunity it’s been to see some of the initiatives that are happening to help freedom of religion.” @BrianCHouston pic.twitter.com/NAzBDsFF9t
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 9, 2019
“All 50 of us crammed into the Oval Office. He sat at his desk and he said, ‘pray for me,'” Sean Feucht, a worship leader with the influential worship group Bethel Music, told Fox News.
When was the last time you heard of a president wanting prayer that much?
Last week, candidate for California’s 3rd Congressional District and worship leader @seanfeucht as well as other Christian faith leaders met at the White House to pray over the President via @FoxNews @calebparke https://t.co/bk2UKb5rec
— Julia Nista (@julia_nista) December 11, 2019
Feucht is running for Congress in California’s 3rd Congressional District. He’s also known for traveling to some of the countries that have seen the worst persecution of Christians.
“We just laid our hands on him and prayed for him. It was like a real intense, hardcore prayer. It was so wild,” Feucht said, according to Fox.
“I could not believe he invited us in. That he carved out time to meet with us.”
The group also prayed for an hour in the Eisenhower Building, with Bethel Music among the many musicians providing worship leadership.
For those who were in the Oval Office last week, this wasn’t about supporting cultural conservatism in American politics — at least publicly.
“To me, it is not about politics. It is about the position,” Houston said.
“[A]nd a significant man like the president of the United States could use all the prayer we could possibly give him.”
Nashville-based worship leaders Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes were equally effusive about meeting the president.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 9, 2019
“The thing that moved me the most was just how everyone is so for making sure we’re changing people’s lives and not leaving those that are marginalized and those that have been trafficked … They’re working to end these things and change these things,” Jobe said.
Vice President Mike Pence, who addressed the gathering, also shared his take on the meeting.
“Wonderful stopping by a worship leaders briefing today at the @WhiteHouse!” he wrote in a Twitter post. “America is a proud Nation of believers and our Administration will always defend the freedom of religion of every American, of every faith!”
Wonderful stopping by a worship leaders briefing today at the @WhiteHouse! America is a proud Nation of believers and our Administration will always defend the freedom of religion of every American, of every faith! pic.twitter.com/1IaeQ1gOZJ
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) December 6, 2019
Of course, there’s going to be plenty of noise about the president surrounding himself with members of the faith community as impeachment is coming to a head. One remembers how Bill Clinton become suddenly close to the Rev. Jesse Jackson as impeachment became an inevitability.
However, Trump isn’t a president who’s particularly fearful of the outcome of the impeachment trial. If anything, he seems to be looking forward to it. This is a guy who seems genuinely invested in having these faith leaders pray for him.
That’s a huge change in the White House. It’s also a favorable one — no matter what the liberal media will want to tell you. Worship of God in the White House is never a bad thing.
Oh, and just in case you needed more reason to love this, the Freedom From Religion Foundation says it’s “investigating” the event.
“Welcoming a group of Christian Nationalists to carry out a governmental ‘takeover’ is deeply disturbing, since it shows a contempt for the foundational American principle of state-church separation,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor, said in a statement. “It should alarm every citizen.”
Actually, strip away the fear-inducing “Christian Nationalist” and “takeover” rhetoric, and basically it means the group thinks Americans should be alarmed that the president is asking religious believers to pray for him.
It should alarm us more if he didn’t.
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