The pastor of a Northern Virginia church where President Donald Trump made an unscheduled visit over the weekend has explained why he publicly prayed for the president, acknowledging to his congregation that “some within our church … are hurt that I made this decision.”
“Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God,” Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church said Sunday evening in a statement to church members titled “Prayer for the President.” “Today, I found myself in one of those situations.”
Hours earlier, Trump’s motorcade made an unannounced detour to the church while returning to the White House from Trump National Golf Club in nearby Sterling, Va.
“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,” Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House, said in a statement on Sunday, referring to the mass shooting at a municipal complex that left 13 people dead, including the gunman.
Platt explained in the statement to his congregation that he had been caught off guard.
“At the end of my sermon at the 1:00 worship gathering, I stepped to the side for what I thought would be a couple of moments in quiet reflection as we prepared to take the Lord’s Supper,” he said. “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, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, 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.”