Christian leaders pray over US President Donald Trump. SIPA USA/PA Images

'Father, release his power' - Evangelical leaders pray for Donald Trump in Miami megachurch

Trump spoke to more than 5,000 Christians at the event last night.

HIGHLIGHTING HIS RECORD on religious liberty, President Donald Trump worked to energise a group of evangelical supporters who make up an influential piece of his political base that could prove vital in battleground states.

Trump spoke to more than 5,000 Christians last night, including a large group of Latinos, at a Miami megachurch, just days after he was the subject of a scathing editorial in Christianity Today magazine that called for his removal from office.

Thousands of the faithful lifted their hands and prayed over Trump as he began speaking and portrayed himself as a defender of faith.

“We’re defending religion itself. A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith can not endure,” said Trump, who also tried to paint his Democratic rivals for the 2020 election as threats to religious liberty.

We can’t let one of our radical left friends come in here because everything we’ve done will be gone in short order.

“The day I was sworn in, the federal government war’s on religion came to an abrupt end,” Trump declared. He later added: “We can smile because we’re winning by so much.”

Several pastors spoke and prayed for Trump on stage during the ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ event. 

Guillermo Maldonado, the head pastor of the King Jesus International Ministry, asked God to give Trump courage. 

“Father I pray for my president and our president. I pray for you to give him boldness, I pray for him to defy and challenge giants in the world and defy and challenge enemies in this nation. Father I pray for him and raise him up in prayer,” Maldonado said.

We ask you father that he can be the Cyrus to bring reformation, to bring change into this nation and all the nations in this earth will say ‘America is the greatest nation of the earth’. Father I thank you, use him this time, release his power, I release the Holy Spirit on this life for the Holy Spirit to strengthen him.  

Miami Herald / YouTube

Trump spoke for over an hour and although some of his address resembled his standard campaign speech, Trump cited his support for Israel, installation of federal judges, prison reform and a push to put prayer in public school.

Those are issues his Republican reelection campaign believes could further jolt evangelical turnout that could help them secure wins in states like Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.

The El Rey Jesús church kickoff of “Evangelicals for Trump” will be followed in the weeks ahead by the launches of “Catholics for Trump” and “Jewish Voices for Trump.”

It also comes days after Trump and his wife went to an evangelical Christmas Eve service in West Palm Beach rather than the liberal Episcopalian church in which they were married and often attend holiday services.

Advisers believe that emphasising religious issues may also provide inroads with Latino voters, who have largely steered clear of supporting the president over issues like immigration.

Deep into his speech, Trump touched on the issue by praising his border wall. His aides believe even a slight uptick with faith-focused Latinos could help Trump carry Florida again and provide some needed breathing room in states like Texas.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Associated Foreign Press
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