I WAS INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE for yesterday’s Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. I did what I think you would have done if you were invited. I accepted and attended — and was blown away.*
Prepared for the occasion, I drafted two letters – one for President Trump and another for Vice President Pence. I was able to personally hand them to the Vice President. Mission, of sorts, accomplished.
What did my letters say? That’s a deeply private matter, but I will say that they were letters of encouragement for the two men who probably have the toughest jobs in our nation at this time. A bit of encouragement can go a long way in these days where discouragement abounds.
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FIRST TIME IN 8 YEARS
The gathering marked the first time in eight years that prayers were actually offered on White House grounds during the National Day of Prayer. Eight years is a long time to hold Jesus at bay.
“Last time I checked, we’re the only clay in God’s pottery barn. Prayer is for sinners, and our nation is full of them, myself included . . .”
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that my attendance was not an endorsement of President Trump. I would have attended any similar ceremony hosted by a previous president, and I would accept a similar invitation from any future president. My participation was an endorsement of the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings — every single one of them from Genesis through Revelation. The fact that a sitting president decided to host a prayer gathering at the White House — where the Bible was read and Jesus Christ was openly called upon — is significant in itself. I will always endorse public Bible reading and prayers in the Name of Christ, and you should, too.
Yes, the president is not perfect. Some love to call him a hypocrite. But when I look in the mirror, the man I see staring back who is a recovering hypocrite, a purveyor in past perversity. I’m not perfect, but I know Someone Who is, and that’s great news for someone like me.
Last time I checked, we’re the only clay in God’s pottery barn. Prayer is for sinners, and our nation is full of them, myself included. A national day of prayer, if really embraced, is good for America’s soul.
MY MOST MOVING EXPERIENCES
The most moving part of the meeting was not the executive order signed by the President. It was not the impressive guest list, which included several members of the President’s cabinet, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Eric Metaxas, Greg Laurie, Pastor Jack Graham, Alveda Scott King and more. (There’s more on our Facebook page) .
“No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.” — President Donald Trump
The most moving moment was when Stephen Curtis Chapman picked up his guitar and prayed through the Lord’s prayer (you can watch it here). For someone to be invited to the White House to unapologetically pray to Jesus Christ is what it’s all about, people.
Another moving moment, for me, was when Vice President Pence recited 2 Chronicles 7:14, and reminded all of us of the cardinal trait God Himself seeks at a time when His people are experiencing a spiritual drought: repentance. Powerful stuff, folks.
#RESISTANCE AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
If you’re part of the Trump resistance, you’ll no doubt be tempted to go off the rails at this point — but I want to remind you that every single one of us needs repentance. There is no good news, no “Gospel,” without it. Repentance is what our nation needs most at this dark time in our history. It’s not something other people need to do. It’s something we all need to do, throughout each and every day.
“I’m all for following the King of kings and LORD of lords, Jesus Christ. If anyone calls for the same, on that point I will stand with them shoulder to shoulder, because Jesus is my only hope.”
The President also signed an Executive Order protecting religious liberty. He also said, “No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.” The executive order is astounding in itself, because religious liberty has been under siege in our nation for years – and our last president did nothing to protect it. Say what you will, but that is a bonafide fact. President Obama set that trend when he ordered that religious symbols be covered at his speech at Georgetown in 2009. But in 2016, Mr. Obama allowed “Allah” to flagrantly displayed during his speech at an Islamic center.
NOT JUST A “GOD”
Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” It does not say “blessed is the nation that has a god.” In order for America to be a nation that has even a prayer of reaching her greatest potential, we must not only acknowledge, but also seek “the LORD.” This is a specific reference not to just any God, but to the God of the Bible. Having a deity means nothing. It’s all about having the right deity, and that deity is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Old and New Testaments.
Say what you want about President Trump. Say what you want about President Obama. As for me, I’m all for following the King of kings and LORD of lords, Jesus Christ. If anyone calls for the same, on that point I will stand with them shoulder to shoulder, because Jesus is my only hope. Only He can truly transform my life. Last time I checked, He’s a friend of tax collectors and sinners. And that’s great news for me. It’s great news for us all.
Jesus’ humility can’t be disputed — and His presence and power is precisely what we need in America. I will always support a president who protects my God-given right to worship my God openly, without apology, and I think you should, too.
Remember, America: Ignore your freedoms and they will go away.
NOW, IT’S TIME TO HEAR FROM YOU. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
*Special thanks to my good friend, Michael, who made this White House trek possible.
You’re a good man, and I thank God for you!
ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.
My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release on March13, 2018. For more about me, click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.