WASHINGTON (BP) — Just a day after his release from incarceration in Turkey, freed American pastor Andrew Brunson prayed for President Donald Trump in an Oct. 13 meeting in the White House Oval Office.
“Lord God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump, that You give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him,” Brunson prayed, according to a video CBS news tweeted. Brunson’s family, Congressional members and media attended the 2:30 p.m. meeting.
Brunson arrived in the U.S. hours before the meeting, stopping briefly in Germany for medical treatment after his release Oct. 12 from two years’ incarceration in Turkey. Held on charges of espionage and undermining the constitutional order of the state, he was declared guilty of “terror” at an Oct. 12 hearing in Aliaga, Turkey, sentenced to more than three years’ imprisonment and released on time served.
“I ask that you give him wisdom in how to lead this country into righteousness. I ask that you give him perseverance and endurance and courage to stand for truth,” Brunson petitioned God on bended knee, his left hand on Trump’s shoulder.
President Trump welcomed and congratulated Brunson, saying the pastor had “galvanized” the U.S., according to a meeting transcript at whitehouse.gov.
“I mean, you just take a look this, there’s so much interest,” Trump told Brunson, a native North Carolinian Presbyterian pastor who led a church in Izmir, Turkey 23 years. “And it’s your faith, it’s your strength, what you’ve gone through.”
Tony Perkins, a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, accompanied Brunson and his wife Norine Brunson on the flight to Andrews Air Force Base.
“This has been a difficult ordeal that has gone on for far too long for Pastor Brunson and his family,” Perkins said after Brunson’s release, “but today it ends and they can begin a new chapter in their lives.”
Brunson thanked Trump and Congressional members for working to free him and other Americans still imprisoned in Turkey, according to the whitehouse.gov transcript.
“I know from dealing with the consulate [in Turkey],” Brunson said, “that they weren’t only engaging for me, that they’re engaging for everyone there.”
Brunson declined to discuss his imprisonment in the meeting, which was attended by Norine, their daughter Jacqueline and sons Blaise and Jordan, Jacqueline’s husband Kevin and Norine’s brother Neil.
“Right now, we just want to especially … thank the administration and people in government who supported us. And that’s especially what we want to emphasize, is our gratefulness, to say we love this country,” Brunson said. “We want to spend time with our children especially and then take some time to pray and see what God wants for the next part of our lives.”
In his brief prayer for Trump, Brunson also asked God to protect Trump from enemies and make the president a blessing to the nation.
“Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance,” Brunson asked. “And we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus’ name we bless you.”
See related Baptist Press story.