White House aide Paula White’s One Voice Prayer Movement merged its monthly prayer call with a gathering of Intercessors for America’s pro-Trump ”prayer warriors“ Tuesday. IFA’s Dave Kubal was joined by Todd Lamphere, introduced as “chief of staff for senior adviser to President Trump pastor Paula White.” Also helping lead the call was Jonathan Hamill, whose Lamplighters Ministry was booted from a planned 2018 event at Museum of the Bible after publicity about the group stirred controversy among museum’s board members.
Despite Lamphere’s unconvincing assertion at the beginning of the call that OVPM is a nonpartisan project, it functions as an unofficial political arm of the White House and vehicle for promoting the voices of dominionist leaders who see Donald Trump as anointed by God. Intercessors for America is ardently pro-Trump and mobilized “spiritual warfare“ on behalf of conservative candidates in the 2018 midterms.
Hamill praised Trump’s “courage” in nominating Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. “We thank you, Lord, that you have shifted us, that the window that we have been prophesying and proclaiming and praying for has literally opened to shift America into an expression of life from a covenant with death and hell itself,” he prayed.
Hamill said it was “no coincidence” that “this onslaught of COVID hit the administration” just after that announcement, suggesting it was a sign of evil spiritual powers at work. He expressed gratitude, perhaps prematurely, for Trump’s “victory over COVID,” while asking for healing for Trump, the first lady, and other members of the administration who have contracted the virus.
Lamphere expressed disgust over reporters who asked Trump, as he left the Walter Reed Medical Center, about how many of his staff had been infected. Lamphere said that people, including some Christians, have expressed hope that Trump would die, which he said showed “how rotten the soul of America has become.”
“We should never pray for the hurt and harm of anybody,” Lamphere said, adding that it “hurts the heart of God.” Right Wing Watch cannot recall Lamphere making a similar plea during the many times that pro-Trump prayer warriors have prayed that God would “remove” pro-choice Supreme Court justices.
Lamphere also pushed Trump administration talking points about the urgency of filling the Supreme Court vacancy in case the court needs to decide the outcome of the presidential election, an urgency that was never expressed by conservative Christians during the year-long vacancy created by Republicans’ refusal to even consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016.
“To have an open vacancy is an ominous position for America to be in,” Lamphere claimed. He continued:
The reality is, no matter what side of the debate you’re on, we still have a vacancy that needs to be filled. And that has some very, very strong implications, particularly if the situation with voting extends into the Supreme Court. We would at that point need to have a full court in order to be able to do that, and to make sure that that takes place, we want to pray for Amy Coney Barrett.
Lamphere prayed for “a hedging of protection” over Barrett and for senators to remain healthy so that they can confirm her.
A continual theme heard at religious-right gatherings is that the country’s cultural decline can be blamed on pastors not preaching more aggressively about moral and political issues. Lamphere ended the call with what he called a “stern warning” for preachers in the weeks ahead:
I’ve got a very stern warning for the people in the pulpits of God, those who are afraid to speak out about righteousness. This isn’t about being a Republican. It’s not about being a Democrat. This is about God’s principles. It’s about God’s rules and principles laid out in his Word. God said himself, ‘I have set before you this day, life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life.’ That’s not a political statement, Dave. That is a biblical mandate.
Lamphere told listeners to “beg” that God give pastors “supernatural boldness to be able to preach and teach and to do what shepherds do—they guide, they protect, they provide information. But what they don’t do is they don’t stand idly by.”
He said that if pastors “powerfully proclaim the words of God,” they won’t have to explicitly tell people who to vote for because “God will show it to you.”