Rick Perry’s prayer at The Response: “Father, our heart breaks for America” (video)

David J. Phillip AP Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in … Continued

David J. Phillip

AP

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, expected to make a decision about a potential 2012 presidential run within the next two weeks, gave a speech and prayer at his revival rally in Houston Saturday.

“Indeed the only thing you love more [than America] is the living Christ,” Perry said to the cheers and applause of the gathered thousands.

After mentioning the economic downturn and other signs of national “darkness,” Perry said, “Because we know a loving God, we know that the greatest darkness comes just before the morning.”

With the cadence of a charismatic preacher, Perry read from the Old and New Testaments before delivering a final prayer.

“[God’s] agenda is not a political agenda. His agenda is a salvation agenda,” Perry said.“He’s calling all Americans of all walks of life to seek him, to return to him, to experience his love and his grace and his acceptance.”

Perry then read a passage from the Book of Joel:

Perry then read from Isaiah:

Finally, Perry read from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

Then the Texas governor delivered a final prayer:

“Lord you are the source of every good thing. You are our only hope. And we stand before you today in awe of your power and in gratitude for your blessings, in humility for our sins. Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government. As a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us. And for that we cry out for your forgiveness. We pray for our nation’s leaders Lord. For parents, for pastors, for the generals, for governors; that you would inspire them in these difficult times. Father we pray for our president that you would impart your wisdom upon him; that you would guard his family. We pray for our military and the families who love them. Oh father, especially for those special operators who lost their lives yesterday in defending our freedoms. You call us to repent, Lord, and this day is our response. We give it all to you for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen and Amen. Amen.”

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • tbarksdl

    Whenever I see one of these Christian rallies sponsored by some politician, I’m reminded of Jesus’ take on precisely this type of affair:

    Matthew 6:5 – 6: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

    Yes, my friends, Jesus explicitly ridiculed this type of praying in public and labeled those who participate as hypocrites. But God forbid that any of our modern day “Christians” should actually follow the teachings of Jesus, as opposed to the redacted, bowdlerized version practiced by the likes of Rick Perry.

  • babsismad

    This is a country of Americans, not a country of Christians. I find this display frightening. It is time for patriotic Americans of moral standing but little or no Christian affiliation to stand up and be heard before it becomes unacceptable, perhaps even illegal, to be anything other than a practicing Christian.

  • tkoho

    Spare us your religious fanaticism Rick.

  • thomasmc1957

    Rick Perry, the Taliban candidate.

  • mzmina

    I believe in the seperation of Church & State. Gov. Rick Perry is walking a thin line here. IMO the prayer rally is very deceptive. People need to look closer into this man’s so-called unannounced run for president of the USA.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Yes, that must be what Jesus meant because we all know that Jesus NEVER prayed in public… oh wait, yes He did.

    So let’s see – what’s the difference between the way Jesus prayed in public and the hypocrites that He described? They were doing it just for show – for the praise it could get them.

    Now I am inclined to suspect very strongly that Perry’s move was politically calculated, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge that – unlike God – I am incapable of seeing what is in Perry’s heart. So without evidence beyond my personal cynicism, I will leave the judgment of Rick Perry’s motives to God.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    That kind of tripe is absurd – you must know nothing of history. This country has a population of which more than 90% believe in God and the majority of that majority is Christian. This has not always been the case – the numbers used to be much HIGHER.

    If you take an honest look at the world, you will find that it is Christianity that has taught tolerance & respect & the rights of the individual to practice (or not) religion according to their free will. Yes, before Dawkins’ Disciples get their knickers in a bunch, there have been painful exceptions in history, but the key is that they were exceptions and not the general rule.

    Atheism is one of those groups that as a general rule clearly believes in intolerance – one has only to look at so many of the comments here & elsewhere that typify their bigotry – and their track record in govt has been mass buchery. So which group should we really be more frightened of?

  • QuoVadisAnima

    I’ll be at the front of the line with those who suspect that this is a politically calculated move by Perry. However, unlike a lot of those others, I also recognize that “God writes straight with crooked lines”.

    Our nation is in serious trouble & heading down fast. Calling people to prayer & fasting is a good thing even if it might have been initiated for the wrong reasons. If people prayed as much as they criticized, we would not be in the mess we are now.

    I hope that everyone who believes in a higher power will call on that power to help us out of the mess we have made for ourselves by what we have done – and not done.

  • Bippy

    What I would like to know is why Perry’s prayer didn’t work. Perry prayed for our armed forces and then immediately our armed forced suffered their worst day of casualties in the entire Afghan war. Perry prayed for our economy and government, and immediately, our credit rating was downgraded. What’s up with that? Jesus’ “awesome” powers seem to me a bit underwhelming, at the moment.

  • tbarksdl

    “Christianity that has taught tolerance & respect & the rights of the individual to practice (or not) religion according to their free will.”

    With only a few exceptions here and there? What galaxy have you just arrived from? Please, give us some example of what you talking about.

    Christianity did not get around to tolerating democracy, much less promoting it, until 1776 years after it appeared. In fact, Christianity for those first 1776 years actively supported the divine right of kings. Even in 1776, it took a handful of Americans imbued with the secular spirit of the Enlightenment to make religious tolerance a reality.

  • tbarksdl

    My Southern ancestors prayed to God for the success of their rebellion. ’nuff said.

  • translator001

    What happened to separation of church and state? This is most inappropriate and most irreligious, actually! These are Pharisees not men and women of God! God ordered us to pray in private! Why have Americans lost to courage to say “NO!” to this sort of thing?

  • hjeanne47

    Actions speak louder than words!

  • translator001

    It’s all a question of how we estimate that 90% believe in God! Not even the Pew Center is willing to elaborate too closely on that! It is simply a matter of asking people! In Italy, it used to be that when people said they were Christians what they really meant was that they were human beings! Italy is a country that has imposed 2000 years plus of Christianity on people and still killed and maimed in the holy name of God! Christianity has conducted holy wars, crusades, has killed supposed witches, has burned at the stake thousands of people to keep them from committing heresies! Christianity has been one of the most controlling and unkind and less than thoughtful organization the world has ever known!

    If you believe in God and then promote someone like Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann, or some of the other so-called Christian candidates I am not sure you know what a Christian is or does!

    This business of atheists being defined as intolerant is something that I find hard to believe! I only wish that people would start to make some sense about their being Christian! It seems to me that tolerance and kindness toward others is a good start!

    I would also say that it is God who knows who truly follows the commandements and if truly a Christian! I would tell people to beware of home-made theology and inaccurate and unintelligent interpretations of the sacred scriptures!

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Yes, and my little boy prayed to God for a new toy – have you really nothing more than a child’s understanding of God? For starters, He’s not a vending machine. He is like a parent – we ask & He gives whatever is for our greatest good.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Wow, you can judge the souls of these people? Amazing! Perhaps we should be praying to you!

    Americans have been saying “NO!” to prayer & fasting quite effectively – that’s how we got in this mess we’re in…

  • QuoVadisAnima

    You seem to have lost a day somehow. Perry prayed SATURDAY for our armed forces whose lives were lost THE DAY BEFORE in the worst day of casualties, and for our economy that was downgraded FRIDAY, etc – catch up! Your knowledge of world affairs seems to me a bit underwhelming – almost as flawed as your knowledge of Jesus.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Regardless of how you spin it – you cannot compare even your exagerated view of Christian history with the butchery of Stalin or Mao – or any of the other leaders of explicitly atheistic govt’s. Atheistic govt’s have been the most brutal & intolerant in history.

    And democracy (unless you’re a liberal & worship the religion of socialist democracy) is a political ideology not a religion.

  • Bippy

    That’s a pretty uncreative lie for Jesus; the worst day of casualties in The Afghan War was August 6th 2011, SATURDAY, owing to a helicopter that was shot down by Taliban forces at about 3am local time. Not until about 1:20am (eastern) on SATURDAY, did anyone start reporting the story. Perry heaped unto the stage at his Jesus-fest at about 11am (central). AFTER PERRY’S Prayer, and not until about 1:50pm (eastern) did casualty reports start trickling through, but the initial reports were unofficial. At about 2:20pm (eastern) the first official casualty report was reported, later it was even amended to add more deaths. How did we do on the Sunday following Perry’s failed prayer? 4 more NATO deaths, including 2 Americans. Nice try.

    Perry’s prayer was an embarrassment. It was shabbily composed gibberish, reminiscent because of its similar poorness to the inarticulate speech we suffered under other Texas governors, such as those of the Bush family. You obviously didn’t read the text of his prayer. Again, after his “prayer” that asked for blessings upon our governmental leaders, papers such as the LA Times began reporting (SATURDAY) that the downgrade did not produce a good effect on congress, no more compromise or bipartisanship – this was as officials first started addressing the issue. Prior to their addressing the issue, the downgrade was expected to have a good effect on Congress, and that’s all the information Perry could’ve had at the time. Since his prayer for our economy, nothing has improved, and things have actually gotten worse, economic growth and confidence has slowed.

    Jesus failed.

  • YEAL9

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

  • ThomasBaum

    Does he think that only Americans should be prayed for?

    Does he think that only America should be blest?

    Maybe he should have picked out something else from Paul such as:

    First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time.

    “Praying for all in authority”, God Is God of ALL, not just Americans.

    “Who wills everyone to be saved”, maybe we should be praying for God’s Will, of course then we might have to think about something else that Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world”.

    Something to think about: Should we be praying for our “welfare” at the expense of others or should we be praying for the welfare of all?

    “Who gave Himself as ransom for ALL”:

    How many “Christians” believe this?

    How many “Christians” even want it to be?

  • ThomasBaum

    Do you have a time machine or something that you can know so much about who did and did not exist in the past?

    Does your time machine or equivalent also go into the spiritual world?

    Seems to me that these “declarations” are no more than your opinion or one could also phrase it as your “belief” in the non-existence of some but stated as “fact”.

  • SDGeoff

    Boy, oh boy; when this Humpty Dumpty falls, crashes and burns, it will be a real mess.

  • AAMSMILE

    In a way I like this comment and agree with the thought and in other ways I dont. I disagree with your interpretation of the scripture you quote, I believe the accepted interpretation is, Jesus was referring to the intent of the heart, not the act of praying out loud!
    While I think that maiinstream Christianity is becoming hypocritical in the form of their prayer, and this example certainly applies, I believe prayer can and should be public as well, under certain circumstances.

  • AAMSMILE

    God does not balance His checkbook every day. Faith in Him includes Faith in His timetable. To assume that He failed is to assume that the prayer was the mind and will of God, which is very presumptious. There are other options which aren’t as convenient as “Jesus failed” – but much more probable.

  • AAMSMILE

    To conclusively denounce each of the people/items you did, you must have some method of being able to empirically prove it??? You are quite powerful, (irony intended) or just opinionated.

  • tony55398

    Perhaps our God doesn’t want us to remain as the world’s only super power that started two wars without reason and seems to want to rule the world, and He wills that less money should be spent on defense and more on the poor. Maybe He sees us favoring the rich over the poor,and that’s against His will? Actually it was more than two wars when Vietnam is taken into account, plus all the other minor conflicts.

  • YEAL9

    And T. “Moses” “Mohammed” Baum thumps along.

  • YEAL9

    It is called the Infamous Angelic Con:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinkerbell” got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Some added references to “tinkerbells”.

    “Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Apparently hallucinations did not stop with Joe Smith.
    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    “The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., “Praep. Evang.”, xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an Assyrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: “He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed.”
    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallucinating:

    “TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel.”

  • ThomasBaum

    You wrote, “Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.”

    Got any new news, people have been questioning this since the bodily resurrection happened?

  • ThomasBaum

    My name is Thomas Paul Moses Baum, Mohammed is not one of my names.

  • YEAL9

    Mr. Baum,

    Mohammed is part of your name because you talk to your god as did Mohammed. You apparently have evolved since you do not need an intermediary like Mohammed’s “Gay Gabriel”.

  • YEAL9

    But Catholic/Christian professors of theology never questioned the resurrection until now.

    Might want to ask god about all this in your next seance.

  • usapdx

    Perry should look to the life as a religious than trying to be the president account of preaching his religious views which is not part of our government. We need a president, not a religious leader.

  • ThomasBaum

    YEAL9

    You wrote, “Mohammed is part of your name because you talk to your god as did Mohammed. You apparently have evolved since you do not need an intermediary”

    Actually, when God the Father came into my heart, He did not say a thing, no words were necessary for me to come to the realization that God Is a Being of Pure Love.

    Since Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”, I believe that it was Jesus Who revealed the Father to me.

    I do not know this for a fact but it was thru some of the things that have happened to me that I have come to “see” the “quite literal validity” of some of the things written in the bible.

    See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.

    As you may or may not have heard, God’s Victory is TOTAL, a tie is absolutely and utterly unacceptable.

  • SteveSchofield

    It appears that many of you are desirous of developing a religious litmus test for our leaders. Would any orthodox, trinitarian Christians be acceptable in your Amerika?

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