On Sunday, President Donald Trump decided to take time to pray for the victims and community of the Virginia Beach shooting. With his hair in disarray from a day of golf and wearing a golf hat, Trump walked into McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia.
The pastor, David Platt, invited Trump onto the stage, where the president removed his hat.
Platt held his Bible in his right hand and placed his left hand on the back of the most powerful man in the world.
And then Platt prayed to the all-powerful Creator of the world.
Platt’s prayer was, as The Gospel Coalition writer Joe Carter stated, a lesson “how we can and should pray for our presidents.”
President Trump makes an unannounced stop at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA. pic.twitter.com/qBZzDi96vl
— The Hill (@thehill) June 2, 2019
“O God, we praise You as the one universal king over all. You are our leader and our Lord and we worship you,” prayed Platt.
Although he knew he was praying in the presence of America’s commander in chief, Platt did not shy away from acknowledging the sovereignty and lordship of Jesus Christ.
“There is one God and one Savior — and it’s You, and Your name is Jesus. And we exalt You, Jesus. We know we need your mercy. We need your grace. We need your help. We need your wisdom in our country,” Platt said.
Then Platt prayed directly for President Trump, that he would trust in the Lord’s leadership and guidance.
“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.”
Platt rightly requested grace for Trump to make good decisions, “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 lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.”
Platt didn’t just pray for the president though, he also prayed for his family.
“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, O God, give him wisdom and help him to lead our country alongside other leaders. “
Platt then moved his requests to God to wisdom for other public leaders, “We pray today for leaders in Congress. We pray for leaders in courts. We pray for leaders in national and state levels.”
Lastly, Platt asked God to help the people to remember to trust God and live in His love.
“Please, O 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’s name we pray. Amen.”
It is moments like these that remind us what is best rather than what is good. It is transcendent moments like these that reveal what is intended by God rather than what is merely pragmatic.
We should thank God for a president who took the time to pray, for a pastor who showed us how, and for a God that, if we ask anything according to His will, will hear us.
God is the Creator and sovereign Lord over His handiwork. Regardless of who resides in the Oval Office, God’s words to us in the Holy Scripture are the foundation that is our best hope for peace, our best guidance for wise living, and our only source for eternal salvation.
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