In a technology-driven culture, photos can go "viral" in a matter of seconds. Such was the case with a photo this summer of a group of about 20 evangelical leaders praying over President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Some praised the photo and the opportunity Trump took to take time for prayer. But, as with almost every move President Trump and evangelicals make, others found reason to take issue with it and even attacked those who prayed with the president.
Regardless of the response and even in light of daily attacks on the president, evangelical leaders press on in prayer and have undoubtedly played a role on the road to a Donald Trump White House and his presidency thus far.
This evangelical role is detailed in God and Donald Trump, a new book by author, award-winning journalist and Charisma Media founder Stephen E. Strang, who explores the religious and spiritual dynamics of the historic 2016 election and the impact Christians had on Donald Trump rising to the leader of the free world. Recent events have been hijacked and used by many, including former president Barack Obama, for political posturing and to cause further polarization in our nation.
"I can't begin to imagine what life would have been like with four years of Hillary Clinton in the White House," Strang writes. "Pundits on both the left and the right have suggested it would simply be have been Obama's third term, and that would have been inconceivable. During the campaign, I got to know some of the people readers will meet in God and Donald Trump—people whose credibility I readily vouch for—and they provided insights on what was happening behind the scenes that few people could have known. I soon realized that those spiritual stories needed to be included in this book."
In God and Donald Trump, Strang provides answers to a question many are asking: Why Trump, who is not known as being religious, is letting religious leaders pray over him regularly and allowing Bible studies for Cabinet members in the White House. The book also asks if there is a spiritual aspect to this election and cites four "modern-day charismatic prophets" who predicted Trump would win against all odds.
Strang adds that in God and Donald Trump—set for release on Nov. 7, almost a year to the day from the presidential election—he takes an incisive look at the factors that shaped the election and drove the largest number of conservative and evangelical voters ever recorded to the polls. Strang's personal, one-on-one interviews with Trump, along with firsthand reports from many of America's best known and most insightful Christian leaders, reveals the strategies, behind-the-scenes activity and prophetic voices that helped shape these dramatic events.
"In 2003, I had the privilege of publishing 'The Faith of George W. Bush,' which was Charisma House's first New York Times best-seller," Strang says. "Time magazine wrote about the impact of the book on the evangelical community. Yet, as appealing as the story of President Bush's spiritual journey may have been, I believe the story of Donald Trump's journey to the White House is infinitely more interesting. Donald Trump is certainly no theologian, and he has been described by some observers as a 'baby Christian' at best. But Christian leaders I respect have told me he is a chosen vessel being used by God despite his flaws. Like Gen. Patton, they said, he is a man with a heaven-sent mission, and the rough edges, crusty language and arrogance are essential aspects of his character and force of will."
Early praise for God and Donald Trump includes these words by Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas.
"God and Donald Trump is not a book about President Trump's religious or political views," Jeffress said. "It's a well-written, much-needed look at the undeniable hand of God working in our nation's most recent presidential election. It will restore your hope that America can be a great and godly nation once again, by placing our hope in the God who hears the prayers of His people and responds."
Stephen E. Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel before founding a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
God and Donald Trump is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 13 New York Times best-sellers.