As Right Wing Watch noted earlier this week, more than 250 Religious Right leaders and activists have rallied around Franklin Graham’s call to make this Sunday, June 2, a national day of prayer to ask that God “protect, strengthen, embolden, and direct President Trump.” Graham declared that no other president in U.S. history has been attacked like Trump, and a “statement of faith” for the June 2 prayer day said “we pray that God will bless our president and our nation for His glory.”
Other groups and leaders have amplified Graham’s call as the weekend approaches. On Thursday, the American Family Association republished instructions for praying for Trump that it first published last year. The AFA said that Trump’s opposition to abortion and support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “are the kinds of accomplishments that make him very unpopular with the Devil and the kingdom of darkness. So the onslaught of opposition continues.” And, according to AFA, that means Christians “need to see the work of praying and interceding for the president of our nation” as “[e]xtremely intense and relentless spiritual warfare.”
“Prophetic” author and speaker Lance Wallnau, who has declared that Trump has God’s anointing to govern, used his Facebook page to call for “EMERGENCY PRAYER FOR PRESIDENT ON JUNE 2nd!” Wallnau made implicit reference to the Seven Mountains dominionism he promotes:
The Left has so much power concentrated in the Gates of Media, Entertainment, Wall Street and Government that it thinks it can derail Attorney General Barr, tarnish the President with impeachment and stop exposure of crimes in the Intelligence community. We are witnessing a spread of derangement from the Gates to the grass roots and the ONE POWER that stands in its path is the prevailing prayer of the people entrusted with power over the gates of Hell—the Church.
“This is what we will do,” wrote Wallnau. “Veto the gates of Hell.”
CNN Religion Editor Daniel Burke commented:
Sunday’s event is a near-perfect embodiment of political evangelicalism in the Age of Trump: It blends Christian nationalism, the idea that the United States has a special place in God’s plans and Trump is God’s agent; social media, where it’s hard to separate the wheat of grassroots support from the chaff of Russian bots; and it has seriously irked Christians who say Graham and others have sold their souls for a mess of political pottage.
When Burke asked Graham about the event and its Christian critics, Graham said he “wouldn’t even answer” a person who thinks Trump and his evangelical allies are actually a threat to the church. One of those critics, academic Warren Throckmorton, noted, “Nothing in the call to prayer calls Trump to repentance for his many lies, for his support for ruthless dictators around the world, for his obstructions of reasonable congressional oversight, or for the authorization of cruel treatment of asylum seekers at the border.”
Another critic, historian John Fea, called language used by Graham a “code” that “sends a clear message to his followers that there is something at work here beyond politics. He’s saying that America is under spiritual attack and equating the attacks on Trump with that.”
Trump’s Religious Right boosters already pray fervently for him–and against his opponents. Among those seeking God’s protection and blessing for Trump are the “prophets” and “apostles” of the POTUS Shield network and the prayer warriors of Intercessors for America, which have made it an explicit goal to make Trump’s administration the most prayed-for ever.
Earlier this week, Charisma published a suggested prayer by IFA “field correspondent” Wanda Alger that refers to Trump as “this one that You have set into office” and praises Trump for having “declared this nation to be under God’s rule and authority.” More from Alger’s prayer, with scriptural citations removed:
We ask that President Trump would show no fear toward the evil that assails him, but rather overcome it with a zeal and passion for Your laws which bring life and liberty to all … We declare that he will rule in this midst of his enemies, not backing down or wavering due to threats or intimidation. May his ears become deaf to the assaults from his enemies and may those who seek his life answer to You for their wicked ways. May he know that it is Your hand and Your sovereign purpose that is keeping him and sustaining him in his divine commission.
Keep President Trump and those who serve him, safe from the enemy’s snares and free from the accuser’s traps. By Your great hand, Lord, deal with those who oppose righteousness and justice so that all men will know it is You alone who is sovereign and true. May the fire of Your presence burn up all Your enemies and consume all those who stand against You concerning our destiny and inheritance as one nation under God.
In fact, Intercessors for America is doing Graham one better. On Friday morning it launched a new seven-day “prayer devotional” for Trump. Friday’s devotional asks people to “pray in agreement” with a prayer that asks for God to grant Trump wisdom and peace of mind. And it adds this:
I ask now that You place a hedge of protection around him and his family as others seek to attack him and make accusations to weaken his presidency. Bind up the evil that surrounds not only him but those who seek to do what is right in our government. Thank You, Lord, for those who understand that we must not bow to the evil ways of man but must lift up the sanctity of marriage, life, and You our Creator.