A new study by research group Barna has revealed that, though an increasing percentage of Americans do not trust President Trump, most Christians continue to pray for the commander in chief.
The Trump presidency has been shrouded in controversy over a range of issues, including sexual assault allegations as well as volatile Twitter rants about “fake news.” It has been an absolute rollercoaster, and the relentless debate appears to have taken its toll on the electorate’s ability to trust Trump.
Despite winning over the white evangelical community in the 2016 election, Trump has faced fierce criticism from many different areas of the church for his brash remarks and behavior.
Overall, a minority of Americans (37 percent) say they pray for Trump, and among those in non-Christian religions, just 18 percent do. Interestingly, Trump’s most recent approval rating sits at just 37 percent — an all-time low since he took office.
Barna further explained an interesting dynamic along racial lines: “Despite their high levels of disapproval and low levels of trust in Trump, black Americans are almost as likely as white Americans to pray for him (41 percent and 44 percent, respectively).”
Trump is known for his links to certain famed pastors like Dr. Robert Jeffress, Paula White and Mark Burns. Indeed, in July, various pastors and evangelists snapped photos of themselves laying hands on the president and generally saying he was doing a “good job.”
— Johnnie Moore ن (@JohnnieM) July 12, 2017
There is split opinion on this public show of prayer, with some criticizing it as nothing more than a “photo op.” Others believe it is a wonderful show of the president’s faith and his willingness to ask for God’s help. That being said, Barna posed a different question in its recent study: “How many citizens are privately praying for the president?”
Among “practicing” Christian groups, private intercessory prayer for POTUS is far more popular at 69 percent. Somewhat unsurprisingly, 88 percent of evangelicals say that they pray for the president, as do 76 percent of non-mainline practicing Christians, 65 percent of practicing Catholics and 59 percent of mainline practicing Christians.
When it comes to the party political split, prayer fluctuates dramatically. Overall, Republicans are twice as likely to pray for Trump than Democrats (60 per cent against 27 percent) — and 82 percent of Republican Christians pray for Trump, compared with 53 percent of Democrats.
What about the whole issue of “fake news?” Well, 30% of those surveyed believe that fake news is not necessarily about the reporting of a false narrative, but is more to do with reader error. But that doesn’t sit well with many evangelical Christians. “Evangelicals (51%) align with Republicans (46%) in their assumption that liberal journalism is the trouble,” noted Barna.
Another area in which Christians are overwhelmingly in support of the president is the cutting of federal funding for abortion procedures, as Barna detailed: Republicans “are firmly opposed to federal funding for organizations that offer abortion counseling or services (58% “definitely not”) along with evangelicals (78% “definitely not”).”
Do you pray for our president? If so, what do you ask for?