WASHINGTON, DC – During his appearance at the 68th National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump took a few thinly-veiled swipes at his top political rivals, and that’s what the major news outlets focused on. But what got overlooked by many was that the president also apologized for not always loving his enemies.
“(People of faith) like people, and I’ll be honest, they sometimes hate people. I’m sorry. I’m trying. When they impeach you, it’s not easy. I’m trying my best,” Trump said.
That “I’m sorry” came after the normally politics-free morning of prayer had already taken a partisan turn with the president still reeling from years of impeachment attacks and threats by his political opponents.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said in a possible reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “I don’t like when people say, ‘I pray for you’ when that’s not so…”
Elsewhere in his speech, Trump connected faith to God’s freedom for everyone. “All of us here today reaffirm these timeless truths: Faith keeps us free. Prayer makes us strong. And God alone is the author of life and the giver of grace.”
Later Thursday morning, Speaker Pelosi fired back at Trump’s more combative comments.
“I don’t know what the president understands but we do pray and I pray hard for him so he can say whatever he wants,” she said.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) says with everything going on in Washington, the nation needs to come together and pray.
“It’s been a struggle the last several months, and we need to understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat or Republican but we’re all Americans,” Smith told CBN News.
And on the Capitol Hill, both parties love their enemies more than people realize.
“A lot of people think Republicans and Democrats don’t get along. But every Thursday morning at 8 o clock, we get together Republicans and Democrats for prayer and fellowship,” Smith explained.
This year, Rep. Smith invited Pastor Andy Lambel from his district to attend the annual prayer breakfast. Lambel is the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Cassville, Mo.
“It was very refreshing because all you see on the news is the division, right? But it was very refreshing to see both parties on either side come together for prayer and for edification, raising people up,” he noted. “It was very, very refreshing to see that.”
Lambel tells CBN News he was reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson when he was prompted to pray for God to amaze and perplex him.
“I actually wrote those two prayers down in my prayer journal,” he said.
The next day, Rep. Smith’s office called and invited him to the breakfast.
“I think God did something uncontrollable and unpredictable in my life,” Lambel said. “It was pretty amazing. It was an honor that I can’t imagine.
Lambel says no matter if you agree with the president or not, all Christians need to unite in following the biblical mandate to pray for our leaders.