On Monday, a Virginia megachurch pastor issued a statement explaining his decision to pray for President Donald Trump during a surprise visit.
After leaving the National Golf Club in Sterling Virginia, Trump went to McClean Bible Church, where Pastor David Platt prayed for the president on stage.
In a statement released on the church’s website, Platt said he had minutes to decide what to do after learning the president was on his way to the church.
“But I was immediately called backstage and told that the president of the United States was on his way to the church, would be there in a matter of minutes, and would like for us to pray for him,” Platt wrote. “I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church.”
He said 1 Timothy 2:1-6 came to his mind and he decided to pray for the president.
Platt also said that his prayer is in no way endorsing the president.
“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 added that he felt it necessary to explain himself because he knew “some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision.”
“This weighs heavy on my heart,” Platt said. “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. 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.”
The unannounced visit to the church came on a day that more than 250 evangelical leaders said they would dedicate to praying for Trump, as The Daily Wire previously reported:
Last week, more than 250 Christian leaders announced that Sunday would be a “SPECIAL Day of Prayer for the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, that God would protect, strengthen, embolden, and direct him.”
“President Trump’s enemies continue to try everything to destroy him, his family, and the presidency,” the statement posted on Franklin Graham’s Facebook page reads. “In the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has. I believe the only hope for him, and this nation, is God.”
“On June 2, we ask that pastors would lead their congregations in praying for the President, that Sunday schools and other groups would join together and pray, and that individuals and families across the country would have a special focus on praying for the President that day,” the statement added.
In a statement, White House Deputy Spokesman Judd Deere said Trump was at the church to pray for the victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach last Friday.
“President Donald J. Trump is visiting McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA, to visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach,” Deere said.