The major news channels focus mostly on politics, but on Monday MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin pivoted to religion by asking pastor T.D. Jakes to pray for the nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve never actually done this on air,” Melvin said. “Can you lead us in prayer?”
Melvin had been conducting a remote interview with Jakes, the senior pastor of The Potter's House Church in Dallas.
The two then bowed in prayer – on live television.
"Our Father and our God, we bow our heads to you in humility, understanding that we are not competent in and of ourselves to handle this kind of global calamity,” Jakes prayed. “We look to you, Lord, to be the source, the strength, the help, the light that we need. Strengthen our first responders, strengthen even our broadcast people, strengthen all of us whose lives have been devastated and disrupted – and give us the peace that passes all understanding.
“In Christ's name, we pray, Amen.”
Melvin, too, said “amen” and thanked Jakes for appearing on the network.
“In times like these, we need prayer,” Melvin wrote on Twitter.
His tweet received more than 3,000 likes and plenty of positive feedback.
“Craig, Thank you for praying on TV,” one person wrote. “It may be a bold move in today’s world, but it shows to me the silver lining behind this pandemic. Powerful!”
“It was the best thing I saw on TV today. Thank you, Bishop,” another person wrote.
Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, also tweeted his appreciation.
“I never thought I’d see a secular broadcaster ask a Bible-believing, evangelical, Spirit-filled, preacher to give a prayer at the close of the interview & the prayer is offered exclusively in ‘Christ’s Name,’” McKissic tweeted. “Truly historic, unprecedented times. Thanks, Bishop Jakes/Craig Melvin.”
I never thought I’d see a secular broadcaster ask a Bible believing, evangelical, Spirit filled, preacher to give a prayer at the close of the interview & the prayer is offered exclusively in “Christ’s Name.” Truly historic, unprecedented times. Thanks, Bishop Jakes/Craig Melvin.— Dwight McKissic (@pastordmack) March 30, 2020
Photo courtesy: ©MSNBC screenshot
Video courtesy: ©MSNBC
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.