The chair of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, Pastor Paula White, lifted up the name of Jesus in her opening prayer at the president’s reelection rally in Orlando on Tuesday. After asking the crowd, estimated to be 20,000 supporters, to hold hands, she prayed:
So right now, let every demonic network that has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus….
I declare that President Trump will overcome every strategy from hell and every strategy from the enemy….
I secure his calling, I secure his purpose, I secure his family, and we secure victory in the name which is above every name — the name of Jesus Christ….
I declare that no weapon formed against him, his family, his calling, his purpose, this counsel, will be able to be formed.
Those “demonic networks” were all but silent. And the only one that responded claimed ignorance. Meghan Flynn, writing for the Washington Post, said that “White didn’t say what demonic networks and enemies Trump was up against.”
Instead Flynn took advantage of the opportunity to slander White by bringing up long-dead issues concerning the president’s chief spiritual advisor: her divorces, her alleged bankruptcies, the congressional investigation into the finances of her church and the concerns mainstream pastors have over her “prosperity gospel” preaching.
But if “every tree is known by its own fruit” (Luke 6:44), then White is the real deal. The mayor of Opopka, Florida, Joe Kilsheimer, where White’s New Destiny Christian Center is located, said: “Her church’s mentoring of school students, donating food to the needy, assisting families victimized by violence and ministering to help young women trapped in the adult entertainment industry has been inspiring. What I see her doing in the community … is of tremendous value to Apopka.”
White is now engaged as a church planter, and leads Trump’s prayer team on almost a daily basis. According to Christianity Today, those team members include, or have included, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University; Richard Land, seminary president and Southern Baptist leader; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, charismatic Texas ministers; Mark Burns, pastor of Harvest Praise and Worship Center in South Carolina; James Robison, founder of LIFE Outreach International; Ronnie Floyd, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas; and David Jeremiah, senior pastor at Shadow Mountain Community Church in California. Michelle Bachmann, Minnesota’s first female Congresswoman, and Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, round out the top of the list of his spiritual advisors.
White has been Trump’s personal minister and advisor ever since he saw her on her TV show Paula White Today more than 15 years ago. By the summer of 2016, Trump had accepted Christ and has openly expressed his increasingly strong faith, as noted by The New American in articles dating back to December 2017. As White herself explained:
He was watching Christian television and [after calling me on the phone] he repeated back to me, literally verbatim, three of my sermons on the value of vision, and we started talking about God and the things of God.
I’ve had the wonderful privilege of not only being a friend but being a spiritual adviser and praying over him, his family [and] his staff. It’s been amazing to just watch him walk out his faith.
When the “demonic network” attacked Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, White defended her. In February, Sanders offended that network by publicly declaring, “I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that He wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that’s why he’s here. I think he has done a tremendous job supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about.”
House members Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), along with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, attacked Sanders, and White jumped in to defend her: “No matter how much they try to deride religion in the news and popular culture,” she wrote, “the vast majority of Americans are believers. Furthermore, when you consider everything that Donald Trump has done for people of faith … it’s easy to see why so many of them agree with Sanders that Donald Trump is doing God’s work.”
She added, “President Trump has been a beacon of hope for America’s religious communities after eight years of darkness. Liberals may mock people of faith who believe he was chosen to protect their values, but I believe Donald Trump is fulfilling his pledges and I pray he will continue to lead with divine guidance.”
Her opening prayer at the start of the president’s reelection rally in Florida on Tuesday expressed that belief, in spades.
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