Following backlash from within his own congregation, Virginia pastor David Platt has explained his reasons for opting to pray for President Donald Trump. The President made a surprise appearance at McLean Bible Church to join in prayer for those affected by the mass shooting that rocked Virginia beach on Friday.
According to Platt, he was given just “a matter of minutes” notice of the President’s imminent arrival, and was forced to decide on his course of action very quickly. Fully understanding the nature of President Trump as a divisive figure, and the diverse nature of his congregation, Platt said that he “immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church.”
Then, he thought carefully about the request to personally pray for the president on the stage of his beloved church. “It’s clear in our church that the only reason we’re together is because we have the same King we adore, worship, fear, and follow with supreme love and absolute loyalty, and His name is Jesus,” he said. “That’s why, as soon as I heard this request backstage, the passage from God’s Word that came to my mind was 1 Timothy 2:1-6:
“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. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
After pondering on this text, Platt realised that it was indeed “good, and pleasing in the sight of God, to pray for the president.”
“In that moment, I decided to take this unique opportunity for us as a church to pray over him together,” Platt explained. “My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays.”
Platt shared the gospel with the president
As he waited for the massive armored motorcade to arrive, Platt said he
“prayed specifically for an opportunity to speak the gospel” to the President. While he did not disclose the specifics of their backstage conversation, the preacher revealed that “one of our other pastors and I spoke the gospel in a way that I pray was clear, forthright, and compassionate.”
“Then I walked back out on stage, read 1 Timothy 2:1-6, and sought to pray the Word of God over the president, other leaders, and our country,” he added.
Platt said he wished to share his heart behind the choice to pray for the President because some in his church were “hurt that I made this decision.”
“I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God,” he wrote. “So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.”
Concluding his letter, Pratt asked that his congregation would pray “for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the president’s heart.”