Freed pas­tor prays for Trump to gain ‘su­per­nat­u­ral wis­dom’

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Supreme Court, Brun­son’s re­turn is likely to leave evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians feel­ing good about the pres­i­dent and mo­ti­vated get to the polls in the Novem­ber 6 midterm elec­tions.

Brun­son ap­peared to be in good health and good spir­its. When he asked Trump if he could pray for him, the pres­i­dent replied, ‘‘Well, I need it prob­a­bly more than any­one ese in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you.’’

Brun­son left his chair be­side Trump, kneeled and placed a hand on the pres­i­dent’s shoul­der. As Trump bowed his head, Brun­son asked God to ‘‘give him su­per­nat­u­ral wis­dom to ac­com­plish all the plans you have for this coun­try and for him. I ask that you give him wis­dom in how to lead this coun­try into right­eous­ness.’’

He con­tin­ued: ‘‘I ask that you give him per­se­ver­ance, and en­durance and courage to stand for truth. I ask that you to pro­tect him from slan­der from en­e­mies, from those who would un­der­mine. I ask that you make him a great bless­ing to this coun­try. Fill him with your wis­dom and strength and per­se­ver­ance. And we bless him. May he be a great bless­ing to our coun­try. In Je­sus’ name, we bless you. Amen.’’

Brun­son, orig­i­nally from Black Moun­tain, North Carolina, had lived in Tur­key with his fam­ily for more than two decades and led a small con­gre­ga­tion in the Izmir Res­ur­rec­tion Church. He was ac­cused of com­mit­ting crimes on be­half of Kur­dish mil­i­tants and to aid a Penn­syl­va­nia-based Mus­lim cleric, Fethul­lah Gulen, ac­cused by Tur­key of en­gi­neer­ing the failed coup. He faced up to 35 years in jail if con­victed of all the charges against him.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials cast Brun­son’s re­lease as vin­di­ca­tion of Trump’s hard-nosed ne­go­ti­at­ing stance, say­ing Tur­key tried to set terms for Brun­son’s re­lease but that Trump was in­sis­tent on Brun­son’s re­lease with­out con­di­tions. Trump main­tained there was no deal for Brun­son’s free­dom, but the pres­i­dent dan­gled the prospect of bet­ter re­la­tions be­tween the US and its Nato ally.

‘‘We do not pay ran­som in this coun­try,’’ Trump said.

Where pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions kept ne­go­ti­a­tions over US pris­on­ers held abroad close to the vest, Trump has el­e­vated them to causes cele­bres, strik­ing a tough line with al­lies and foes alike.

–AP

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