Prayer for Our Leaders and Our Enemies

Prayer for Our Leaders and Our Enemies

Participants of a convoy protesting U.S. border policies pray together in San Ysidro, Calif., on Feb. 3, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Matthew David Jones
Matthew David Jones

5/23/2024

Updated: 5/23/2024

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Commentary
When was the last time you prayed for a government official? Better yet, when was the last time you prayed for a government official you didn’t like?
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Republican National Committee’s spring retreat in West Palm Beach, Florida, where many congressional members (perhaps some potential vice presidential picks) and nominees for state and federal offices showed their support for the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump’s candidacy for the upcoming 2024 election.
The gorgeous Florida setting invited various attendees of the Republican Party, many of which came from all around the country. Prayer was an active part of the retreat.
On the very first day of the event, RNC co-chair Lara Trump moderated a panel with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, and Florida Congressman Mike Waltz, where topics of foreign affairs, elections, and faith were discussed. Mr. Waltz made remarks about unleashing American energy—how dropping U.S. oil to $50 a barrel through domestic drilling will result in a major reduction of worldwide dependence on countries like Iran and Russia.
Mr. Waltz was staunch in saying that manufacturing, supply chain growth, ending the appeasement of our enemies, and being respected as a country through correct paths is what makes our economy and our nation strong and great. Ms. Stefanik also suggested it was absurd of special counsel Jack Smith to disregard a DOJ policy known as the “60-day rule,” discouraging prosecutorial action 60 days prior to an election.
When Mr. Johnson spoke, he conveyed the importance of faith in America and how it is something that should be protected. Faith and religion is the most important aspect of our nation’s character. It’s what allows us to show our benevolence to other nations and especially to our own citizens through constitutionally protecting our God-given rights to worship and pursue something greater than ourselves, a pursuit of the transcendent. We can look back to founding leaders such as George Washington, who said in his 1796 farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” I remember studying this quote in high school, with awe and acknowledgement of its continued impact on America’s faith-embedded culture, and especially in my own life. Prayer itself is something I adopted into my schedule since high school, which tremendously helps and allows me to connect with God, who made our nation great.
Mr. Johnson said our nation is in great turmoil, with some student protesters at universities on American grounds actively pushing a rhetoric of pro-terrorism, even as Hamas still holds Israeli and nationals of other countries in a brutal hostage situation. I believe that a proper end goal of peace for both Palestinians and Israelis is needed, but to be advocating for a terrorist group? When a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values is hosting students on campus (many from other nations using student visas) who are harassing Jewish students on campus simply because they are Jewish, a solution must be found. During the panel, Mr. Johnson said he believes that “[pro-Hamas] students who are preying on other students shouldn’t be in this country,” and so do I. Then again, we need to be praying for these students as well as the financiers regardless so that they may come to realize what they are actually doing.
The education system has become corrupt, and this isn’t a condemnation, it’s simply an observation. While I was at Fullerton College, subjects that were being taught by a professor in the English Department included “transgender horror,” “torture porn and its relationship with the attacks on 9/11,” and “torture horror.” These are only a fragment of the inappropriate content that he published online for us to read. I immediately dropped the class as soon as I saw this content. I didn’t dare allow my Christian morals to be compromised by being a part of any of this radical and illicit ideology.
As soon as I dropped out, I reported the professor of so-called “English,” and made sure the school administration was up to date on his content, but regardless they’re all coalesced together on the same brick wall called the California educational system. It isn’t easy having conservative values on high school and college campuses. When I was running a Turning Point USA Chapter at Esperanza High School, my TPUSA posters were vandalized with rude remarks and LGBTQ stickers. Not only that, but I also had to battle for a mask exemption at the beginning of the school year, which led to me being segregated from all the other students and sitting at a desk with plexi-glass surrounding it. Schools need to do better in these types of situations—they need to respect the values we as faith-based conservatives hold. We need to pray that this education system changes, that salvation comes not only to those who profess evil, but also to those who protest for evil things, such as the pro-Hamas protesters on campuses.
On the last day of the RNC retreat in West Palm Beach, President Donald Trump provided attendees with an opportunity to speak on stage with himself and many members of Congress.
One of those attendees was a woman by the name of Elaine Beck (host of “It’s Not About Us” on the Conservative Political Action Conference platform), who spoke on stage about loving our enemies. She said, “We should all be praying for our enemies if we want to see actual healing and change in our country. Go to WeAreNotEnemies.com and become a part of God’s plan for America.” She also called for prayer for former President Trump and voiced what so many Christians are feeling. “Many of us feel that President Trump himself is chosen by God to do what he is doing.”
“Therefore we should be praying continually for President Trump, especially since he is sitting in a courtroom all day,” she said.
Despite the current situation, we can pray and ask for a light to shine in the eyes of those people who lack it.
We can do that by not only speaking, but by our actions such as standing up against a culture of obscenity, inappropriateness, and violence who are in fact against righteousness. We can pray for all those in governmental positions, like Speaker Johnson who is said to have one of the toughest positions right now with many different problems on hand. We can pray for all of our leaders.
Evelyn Jones told the Speaker at Mar-a-Lago, “Please know we have been praying for you this past three weeks. This is on a prayer call that has been in existence for the last eight years,” organized by Pastor Lorraine Coconato and other Christian leaders such as Sheila Coleman to pray for former President Trump.
Chinese-American lawyer Betty Chu also had two experiences with Mr. Johnson at the RNC retreat. Ms. Chu had previously bought some cross pins with the American flag on it and gave the one she was wearing in the moment to the Speaker after letting him know, “I am praying for you.”
Again, Ms. Chu met with Mr. Johnson at Mar-a-Lago and two friends, and the three of them prayed with Mr. Johnson. Ms. Chu said, “I know that you’re doing the right thing.”
I will be praying to God for a moment to be struck in the hearts of man so that our nation may be healed.
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Matthew David Jones is a 20-year-old Orange County-based writer photographer, videographer, and political activist. He has had involvement with Turning Point USA as a Chapter Leader, founded the Esperanza High School Chapter in Anaheim, and has experience in the political arena as a campaign congressional intern leader.

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