VIENNA, Va. — David Platt, the Virginia pastor who prayed over President Trump during Sunday’s church service as he personally visited in light of Friday’s workplace massacre in Virginia Beach, has issued a statement to explain his decision to pray for Trump on stage after some church members were reportedly “hurt” over the matter.
“[S]ome within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision,” he wrote. “This weighs heavy on my heart. 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.”
Platt outlined that at the end of his sermon, he was called backstage and informed that the president was on his way and would like prayer.
“I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church,” he recalled. But he also thought of the exhortation in 1 Timothy 2:
“I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men — for kings, and for all that are in authority — that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
“Based on this text, I know that it is good, and pleasing in the sight of God, to pray for the president. So 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.”
He said that he privately prayed before the president arrived that he would have an opportunity to share the gospel. He and another pastor at McLean Bible Church did share the good news with Trump backstage, he noted.
“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,” Platt outlined.
“We pray that he would know how much You love him — so much that you would send Jesus to die for his sins, our sins,” he prayed in part. “So we pray that he would look to You, that he would trust in You, he would lean on You, that he would govern and make decisions in ways that are good for justice, and good for righteousness and good for equity — every good path.”
Platt said in his statement that his church is diverse — consisting of “all kinds of people with varied personal histories and political opinions from varied socioeconomic situations” — and while he is thankful for the opportunity to pray for the president, he doesn’t “want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.”
He asked for his church to simply pray that the seeds that were planted during the brief meeting with Trump would take root.
“In the end, would you pray with me for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the president’s heart?” Platt wrote. “Would you also pray with me that God will help us to guard the gospel in every way as we spread the gospel everywhere?”
“I’m guessing that all of us will face other decisions this week where we don’t have time to deliberate on what to do,” he noted. “I’m praying now for grace and wisdom for all of us to do exactly what we talked about in the Word [during the service]: aim for God’s glory, align with God’s purpose, and yield to God’s sovereignty.”
Platt, known for the books “Radical” and “Counter Culture,” which discuss abandoning materialism and the quest for the American Dream, as well as taking a stand for biblical truth in world where right and wrong are often measured by popular opinion, told his congregation on Sunday that Christians should not only pray for their president one day out of the year, but “continually” every day.