In a conference call with a conservative evangelical group last week, Ralph Drollinger, the pastor who leads weekly fundamentalist Bible studies for members of the House, Senate and President Trump’s Cabinet, asked participants to pray that God would inspire Cabinet members to use their platforms to fulfill the Great Commission—the biblical command given by Jesus to his followers to “make disciples of all nations”—and praised Vice President Mike Pence for helping pick Cabinet members who “really [love] the Lord.”
Drollinger was the guest at this month’s First Fridays prayer call held by Intercessors for America. IFA mobilizes people not only to pray for the country’s leaders but to engage in “intercessory activism”—getting involved in local political campaigns.
The conference call, also streamed on Facebook, was emceed by IFA President Dave Kubal, who said he had been to an impromptu meeting on Tuesday at Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s office when he found out that Drollinger’s Wednesday morning Cabinet Bible studies are held in Perdue’s conference room. Perdue recently spoke at a major Capitol Ministries fundraising event. Later in the call, prayers were offered that the Holy Spirit would “invade that space” so that staffers who walk into that room would be struck by the changed spiritual atmosphere.
In describing how the Cabinet Bible studies came about, Drollinger said that he could see that the Trump administration was plucking for the Cabinet people who had been members of his Bible studies in the House and Senate. He credited Vice President Mike Pence with knowing who “really loves the Lord” and should be in the Cabinet. Then several of those new Cabinet members, including Sessions and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked him to start a Cabinet Bible study because “they were used to a high-protein diet of the word of God.”
Drollinger called Attorney General Jeff Sessions a “wonderful believer” and had special praise for Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who he called “one of my best friends after just knowing him for 16 months.” Drollinger said other Cabinet members call Perry the “teacher’s pet” because he is so “hungry for the word of God.” Perry, he said, keeps copies of Capitol Ministries’ written Bible studies in his conference room and waiting room to share with visitors.
Drollinger said Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta “said to me last week, ‘You’ve got to get all these Bible studies into one book so I can give it out to all my chief guys that report to me at the Department of Labor.’” Turns out, Drollinger says, that “Oaks in Office,” a book compiling 52 of his weekly written Bible studies that are most pertinent to Christian public officials, is being printed right now.
Drollinger’s weekly written Bible studies, which are available online, instruct public officials that the government’s job is to “quell evil” and punish sin; that “as a lawmaker it is incumbent on you to stand for the death penalty”; that entitlement programs lack “any basis of biblical authority”; that “radical environmentalism” is a “false religion”.
On Friday’s call, several leaders led prayers, followed by periods in which conference lines were unmuted and everyone could hear the unintelligible cacophony of 1,000 people (Kubal’s figure) praying at once. Kubal asked Drollinger what intercessors should pray for regarding the Cabinet.
First, said Drollinger, pray that he’d be able to move his Cabinet study into the White House compound, specifically into the vice president’s conference room in the Eisenhower Building—also known as the Old Executive Office Building. Right now, he said, security logistics make it hard for Pence and Trump to attend the Bible studies. But if they were held in that conference room, which he said is about 100 yards from the Oval Office through a tunnel, Pence and Trump could just drop in when they’re around.
Drollinger also asked participants to pray that Cabinet members would be willing to use their government positions as a platform to talk about their faith, fulfill the Great Commission…and open doors for Capitol Ministries.
“When Secretary [of State] Mike Pompeo calls ahead and says, ‘Ralph’s going to be in Baghdad to start Capitol Ministries in Baghdad of all places,’ he can get the prime minister and the president to meet with me. And so pray that not only in the Cabinet Bible study but in the Senate and House Bible study that they would use their platform for the sake of the Great Commission worldwide.”
Several speakers took turns offering prayers for each Cabinet member by name. Drollinger prayed that Cabinet members’ lives would be “radically changed by the teaching of the word of God,” including some who “don’t know You yet.” He prayed, “have Your way with them, have Your way with our president, may he fall in love with You in even greater ways, and in ways that are more obedient to the whole counsel of God.” He asked God to give them a passion and a vision of “biblical obedience to the Great Commission.”
One prayer leader thanked God “for the miracle of Vice President Mike Pence” and said “Lord, we believe you sovereignly brought Mike Pompeo to the world stage” for this moment in history. Another speaker prayed from Psalm 35, asking God to “Oh, Lord, oppose those who oppose them, fight those who fight against them…lift up your spear and javelin against those who pursue them. Let them hear You say, ‘I will give you the victory.’”