Faith

Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Other Faith Leaders Pray for President Donald Trump on Sunday

'We believe our nation is at a crossroads'

Image Credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Prayer fills scores of American churches on Sundays and many other days, but an organized group of faith leaders has pledged to take part in a specially designated day of prayer for President Donald Trump on Sunday, June 2.

“We the undersigned are calling for June 2 to 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,” the faith leaders shared across the internet with their followers and others.

“We believe our nation is at a crossroads, at a dangerous precipice,” they also said. “The only one who can fix our country’s problems is God Himself, and we pray that God will bless our president and our nation for His glory.”

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, came up with the idea several weeks ago while on a preaching tour in Vermont.

See his message about it below:

His belief is that God helped Donald Trump reach the White House — and that now, as the summer of 2019 approaches, the commander-in-chief again needs divine help and inspiration.

Trump has been under almost constant attack for nearly anything and everything he does, emphasized Graham, son of the well-known evangelist leader Billy Graham, who passed away in February 2018. The attacks on Trump have come from Democrats, from some fellow Republicans, from the media, from academia and elsewhere. The country is at a moral crossroads today, Graham said.

After reaching out to other evangelical leaders, he ultimately announced that this Sunday, June 2, would be known as a “special day of prayer” to protect Trump from his “enemies.”

“Along with 300+ Christian leaders, I am asking followers of Christ across our nation to set aside Sunday, June 2, as a special day of prayer for the president, Donald J. Trump,” says Graham on his website. “Will you join us?”

“We’re on the edge of a precipice,” Graham said in an earlier statement. “Time is short. We need to pray for God to intervene. We need to ask God to protect, strengthen, encourage, and guide the president.”

Related: Franklin Graham: We Need to Support Our President and Pray for Him

He cited the call to pray for leaders from the Bible: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2: 1-4).”

Many evangelical leaders who advise the president on faith issues and other matters will be taking part in Sunday’s day of prayer, including James Dobson, founder and president of Family Talk; Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Virginia’s Liberty University; Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas; and Paula White-Cain, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida.

Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and leader of the National Day of Prayer task force, shared these thoughts with Christianity Today about the June 2 special day of prayer:  “As a pastor of Southern Baptist churches for more than 40 years, I do not recall a time when there wasn’t prayer for our nation, our president, and our elected leaders during our Sunday services, regardless of which party was in power. Why? We are instructed in 1 Timothy 2 to pray for those in authority — our elected officials at every level of government — to govern wisely that we may lead tranquil and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence.”

“Our nation desperately needs a revival of loving one another as Christ loves to impact our own homes and then extend to the church house, to city halls, to state houses, to the halls of Congress, to the White House, and to permeate the halls of justice at every level.”

“Our nation desperately needs a revival of loving one another as Christ loves to impact our own homes and then extend to the church house, to city halls, to state houses, to the halls of Congress, to the White House, and to permeate the halls of justice at every level,” he added.

Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, said, in part: “Scripture affirms it is good and appropriate that we pray for our elected leaders, independent of political party. I pray that political leaders allow for God’s guidance. Our prayers should include the requests that elected leaders govern with justice, mercy, truth, integrity, and humility. Our prayers should include President Trump, Vice President Pence, the Cabinet, the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate, and all the members of the Supreme Court.”

Among the many other faith leaders and other figures who have signed on to Sunday’s event are Christian music artist JJ Weeks; Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary; Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association; Kevin Jessip, member of the Save the Persecuted Christians board of directors and president of Global Strategic Alliance; Gregg Matte, senior pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church; Stephen E. Strang, author of “God and Donald Trump” and founder and CEO of Charisma Media; and Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia.

Already there has been criticism of the upcoming event, as some claim that faith leaders are using prayer to advance a political agenda. For example, Brian McLaren, a progressive Christian author and speaker, told HuffPost he believes Franklin Graham and others are “following the script of religious leaders through the centuries who have sided with those with wealth and power and seem shockingly (or willfully) blind to their bankrupt character and anti-democratic agendas.”

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LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site and previously served as managing editor. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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