Teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church in Virginia David Platt said he privately shared the Gospel with President Donald Trump in a “forthright and compassionate” manner prior to a public prayer during a brief unannounced visit at his church by the president on Sunday.
Platt, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, who has been drawing praise for his response to the president’s impromptu stop, also explained that he prayed for the president because 1 Timothy 2:1-6, urges in part that Christians pray “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
“While I won’t go into the details of our conversation backstage, one of our other pastors and I spoke the gospel in a way that I pray was clear, forthright, and compassionate,” Platt said in a statement released on his church’s website Sunday. “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.”
The decision to pray for the president was something that he wrestled with briefly because he had only been given “minutes” notice of the visit shortly after the end of the church’s 1 p.m. worship gathering.
“I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church. As I said in the sermon today, Christ alone unites us. I love that we have over 100 nations represented in our church family, including all kinds of people with varied personal histories and political opinions from varied socioeconomic situations. 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 wrote.
Platt said he decided to explain his decision to pray for the president because he is aware that some in his diverse congregation may have been hurt by his decision to pray for president Trump.
“I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. 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. 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,” he said.
“In the end, would you pray with me for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the president’s heart? Would you also pray with me that God will help us to guard the gospel in every way as we spread the gospel everywhere? And finally, 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. I’m praying now for grace and wisdom for all of us to do exactly what we talked about in the Word today: aim for God’s glory, align with God’s purpose, and yield to God’s sovereignty,” he noted.
In his prayer for the president on Sunday, Platt prayed that the president would lead with righteousness, wisdom and in ways that are “good for justice.”
“God, we pray that he would know how much you love him — so much that you sent Jesus to die for his sins, our sins — so we pray that he would look to you. That he would trust in you, that 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 prayed.
“Lord we pray, we pray, that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern in ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy 2 that lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way. God we pray for your blessing in that way upon his family. We pray that you would give them strength. We pray that you would give them clarity. Wisdom, wisdom, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction,” he added.
Platt’s response to President Trump’s request for prayer has been praised by many as a model Christian response especially because he disagrees with the president in a number of ways.
“Thank you so much, Pastor David Platt for praying over @realDonaldTrump. We also prayed for him this morning at @bellevuememphis. Let’s all pray for him daily in the spirit of 1 Timothy 2:1f,” former SBC President Steve Gaines wrote on Twitter.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair