David Platt

June 4, 2019

Impromptu Trump Visit to Suburban Washington Megachurch Prompts Explanation

President Trump made a surprise visit on Sunday to McLean Bible Church (MBC), an evangelical megachurch in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Trump arrived near the end of the afternoon service at MBC’s flagship campus to ask for prayer after a few hours of golf at his privately owned course in nearby Sterling, Virginia.

Pastor David Platt, who has served as teaching pastor for two years, brought Trump on stage and gave an impromptu prayer only minutes after learning that Trump was on his way.

Platt began by citing 1 Timothy Chapter 2, where the Apostle Paul calls on Christians to specifically pray for “kings and all who are in high positions,” and emphasized that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that unites the church, not politics or parties.

“We count it an honor to pray for any leader in any position, any leader from any party, including our current president. So I want to invite us to do what 1 Timothy chapter 2 calls us to do,” Platt said as he and Trump walked onstage.

“And we pray for your grace, and your mercy, and your wisdom upon him. 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 also prayed for strength, clarity, and wisdom for Trump’s family, adding that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” He also prayed for leaders in Congress, in courts, and in national and state levels of government.

The prayer concluded by asking God for help for everyone to “live in ways that reflect your love, and your grace, your righteousness, and your justice. We pray for your blessings on our president toward that end. Amen.”

McLean Bible Church was non-denominational from its founding in 1961 until 2016, when it began financially partnering with the Southern Baptist Convention. MBC became a cooperating church of the SBC of Virginia that year to “more effectively engage in church planting across Metro DC.”

The Vienna, Virginia-based church, which has multiple sites across Washington’s southern and western suburbs, is among the largest and highest profile congregations in the region, drawing in about 12,000 people each Sunday.

Before taking the role of “pastor-teacher” full-time last year, succeeding longtime teaching pastor Lon Solomon, Platt was president of the International Mission Board, a missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Platt, associated with the SBC’s Calvinist faction, is politically reserved and avoids public embrace of candidates, in contrast to enthusiastic pro-Trump figures such as Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. Platt’s words of introduction before Trump came onstage and subsequent prayer were neutral and non-partisan, followed by a public letter to the church, knowing that many within it would be, in his words, “hurt” by his decision to accept Trump’s request for prayer.

In the letter he again pointed to 1 Timothy 2, and wrote that in the diverse church, “Christ alone unites us.” He wrote that he knows it is pleasing to God to pray for the president, and is thankful for the unique opportunity to do it in person. The letter also mentioned that he and one other pastor directly shared the gospel with Trump backstage before the two of them went on stage. Platt concluded the letter with calls for prayer for the spread of the Gospel, including to Trump: “In the end, would you pray with me for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the President’s heart?”


13 Responses to Impromptu Trump Visit to Suburban Washington Megachurch Prompts Explanation

  1. Lee D. Cary says:

    So how long before the SJW’s and Soros-funded groups start picketing the McLean Bible Church?

  2. Dr. Todd says:

    How sad. I couldn’t imagine anything that would have brought me more joy than having Mssrs Clinton or Obama come into the building and ask me to pray for them. Not wanting that for anyone, let alone someone you are commanded to pray for, simply suggests that you are a lot further from God than you think you are.

  3. Kendall Parker says:

    Haven’t we all been there? Maybe at home, sleeping in, or even relaxing and walking on a golf course, enjoying being in the outdoors. We all feel we need solitude at times, and the Lord knows how to best use that solitude. Is the Pres really ever alone? To come into the church for prayer was just wonderful. So vulnerable. Brings tears of HAPPINESS that our President chose to join his mind and heart with grace-filled people and ask for God’s blessings. Amen! I pray for him – a lot. He and his wife and son are in my thoughts as I praise God for His faithfulness, for our hope and trust are in God, Not man. I have had a gut feeling that Pres Trump has figured this out for himself. He, and we all, are dependent on God’s mercies anew every morning.

  4. Mark Fondersmith says:

    It is touching to see that our president humbly sought the fellowship of a Christian congregation and to bow his head sincerely in prayer and ask for God’s grace on the eve of his summit to the UK. We forget sometimes that our leaders need our support and prayers. I always liked the guy but my respect for him has grown after viewing this tape.

  5. Andrew Hughes says:

    I think he really does want God’s help. We all need it.

  6. Scott says:

    When people complain about anyone asking for prayer or a church has to explain it’s actions the faith has been totally corrupted by a corrupt world. When will Christians stand up for Christ. Btw South Carolina just voted an entire slate of liberal clergy for next year’s gc. All laity are traditionalists. Progressives are very organized. Be warned.

  7. David Miller says:

    It was good that Rev. Platt welcomed the President and prayed for him. However, I am disappointed that Rev. Platt felt the need to explain why he prayed for the President. Would he have felt an explanation was necessary if President Obama had stopped by? I suspect not. We are directed by scripture to pray for our leaders.

  8. Jeffrey Crawford says:

    I believe that Rev. Platt was wise in giving an explanation to his congregation. He staved off much controversy by turning the situation into an instructional moment. There is no need to allow rifts and division to be created because of a lack of transparency. I likewise applaud the non-partisan and biblical approach that was taken in the prayer itself.
    While I do not support the politics or approach of our current president, I would by no means reject a request for public prayer. I do not need to agree with someone’s actions or stances in order to pray for them. Our calling as servants of Christ far exceeds any earthly affiliations that we have.

  9. David says:

    As the election season approaches, we should expect more events to “be seen of men.”

  10. Joe M says:

    The man is underdressed.

  11. Marco Bell says:

    To assume Mr. Trump was capable of supplication is laughable.
    When will Christians stand against Trump’s philandering, and his daily disdain for all things holy?

    Ever since he entered the political scene, he has proven himself to be unworthy of praise or even support. So, sure, he needs to be prayed for. If only to assuage his conscience of any guilt.
    But, he has NEVER apologized to those whom he has disparaged.

    Shameful!

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