Mike Emanuel grew up surrounded by media. His mom, who worked on Wall Street, and his dad, a civil engineer, were “news junkies” who consumed content in every way possible — through print, radio, and television.
A chief congressional correspondent for Fox News, Emanuel told Faithwire he picked up his passion for politics “through osmosis.” Now, he is living his “dream,” though the job comes with its own unique set of challenges.
Emanuel grew up going to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, New Jersey, where he attended Sunday school and regularly participated in services. Because of that, faith became “a central part” of Emanuel’s life.
The Fox News reporter has continued that tradition with his wife, Evangeline, and their two children, a 13-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter.
Having covered a tumultuous round of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees and currently reporting on the impeachment proceedings, which will soon pick up again in the U.S. Senate, Emanuel has worked hard to keep himself both grounded and motivated.
“It’s very tense times in our American politics and so I just try to take a breath and say a little prayer throughout the course of my day,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be anything too formal, but it really makes me feel calm and tranquil and peaceful; it’s a reminder of where I come from and what’s important in my life.”
Emanuel told Faithwire he often turns to the Greek Orthodox recitation commonly known as the “Jesus Prayer,” a one-sentence invocation that calls attention to our sinfulness and God’s goodness and grace.
The prayer is, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the brevity of the prayer is rooted in Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 6:7-8, when he told his disciples, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your father knows exactly what you need before you ask him.” The prayer also rightly acknowledges our own brokenness in obedience with 1 John 1:8, which reads, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.”
Emanuel described the brief prayer as “good for my soul.”
“It helps me clear my head and stay grounded and focus on the mission at hand, which is doing the news as fairly and accurately as possible and kind of tuning out some of the other noise,” he continued. “It helps give me some peace in the middle of chaotic times and I’m grateful for it. It’s such a blessing in my life.”
Looking back at his humble beginnings in Westfield, New Jersey, Emanuel said he is “so grateful” for the career he has had. “It’s a great reminder that if you have a dream and you’re willing to work really, really hard for it, great things are possible in this country,” he said.
“I’m certainly a living example of that,” added Emanuel, “and feel so blessed and so grateful.”
Now, just like his parents inspired him, Emanuel has made it his life’s goal to pass those guiding principles of faith and hard work on to his own children.