Paula White, Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida and spiritual advisor to President Trump, is in some hot water. A clip of White praying went viral over the weekend. In the clip, White prays against all kinds of attacks against the church, the United States, and the president specifically. The language and references she uses during the prayer will only be recognizable to those familiar with a certain circle in the global Pentecostal church, what some scholars refer to as falling under Charismatic Dominionism theology.
The clip in question has been circulating around Twitter and other social media platforms. It drew a lot of attention when Right Wing Watch posted about it on Friday.
Presidential spiritual adviser Paula White takes authority over the marine kingdom, the animal kingdom, and all “satanic pregnancies” that seek to harm Trump or the church. pic.twitter.com/pmrJEIxCHk
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 24, 2020
In the clip, White is speaking very quickly and yelling at points. As best we could make out, this is what White says in the clip:
We interrupt that which has been deployed to hurt the church in this season, that which has been deployed to hurt this nation in the name of Jesus. Forgive us for our sins. (Come on, I need you guys to pray.) We cancel every surprise from the witchcraft and the marine kingdom. Any hex, any spell, any witchcraft, any spirit of control, any Jezebel. Anything the enemy desires through spells, through witchcraft, through any way that is manipulation, demonic manipulation, we curse that. We break it according to the word of God, in the name of Jesus. We come against the marine kingdom. We come against the animal kingdom. The woman that rides upon the waters. We break the power in the name of Jesus, and we declare that any strange winds, any strange winds that have been sent to hurt the church, sent to against this nation, sent against our president, sent against myself, sent against others, we break it by the superior blood of Jesus right now, in the name of Jesus. We arrest every infirmity, affliction, fatigue, weariness, weakness, fear, sickness, any self-righteousness, any self-serving action, God. Let pride fall! Let pride fall! Let pride fall! Let pride fall, in the name of Jesus. We command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now. We declare that anything that has been conceived in satanic wombs, that it will miscarry. It will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm.
Paula White Prayer Garners Criticism
People were very concerned about the last few lines of White’s prayer, where she mentions “satanic pregnancies.” While some interpreted her words literally, thinking the pastor was praying for actual pregnancies to fail, White insists this is not what she meant. Trying to clarify her meaning on social media, she wrote, “I don’t normally respond but clearly this has been taken out of context. I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life…”
Still, several people have accused White of not being pro-life. Father James Martin, an editor of the Jesuit publication America Magazine, wrote:
No pregnancies are satanic. Every child is a gift from God. No one should ever pray for any woman to miscarry. No one should ever pray for evil or harm to befall another person. Jesus asked us to pray for our persecutors, not to curse them. To love our neighbors as ourselves.
A Professor Tries to Explain
A professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, Prof. André Gagné, gave some context for White’s prayer in a series of tweets. Gagné studies the Christian Right, Charismatic Dominionism, and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which he implies White falls into.
1/ People are wondering what Paula White-Cain means when she’s taking authority over the “marine kingdom,” the “animal kingdom,” and commands that “all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now.” These are all “Spiritual Warfare” tropes.
Here is what all of this means… https://t.co/fo3UKaYZWW
— André Gagné, PhD (@profagagne) January 25, 2020
Gagné addresses the three most concerning things White prays against in the clip: the opposition to the marine kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the satanic pregnancies. The marine kingdom refers to a belief that there are demonic forces at work in the ocean. Gagné included a link to a website called EndTimeWatcher, which has an article about the “Demonic Marine Kingdom.” The article explains:
There are rulers and principalities from the sea! And the witches and wizards, who are Satan’s agents, understand these powers and submit to them. Spirits from the sea rule countries and cities above the waters, and below. They are governed and occupied these spirits and influenced by the magical wizards and witches beneath the seas. But, let’s make this perfectly clear…some of these are supernatural in their existence. This means not everyone can see these places. They are invisible to the physical eye. These cities are considered ‘phantasmal’. Phantasm: an apparition or specter. These creatures can live in more than one dimension. They are very real…as real as you and me. We are wonderfully and beautifully made by GOD but we exist on two levels, as well. We are natural but our spirit is supernatural. Some of these creatures have the ability to live in dual realities too.
When White prays against the animal kingdom, Gagné argues this comes from the belief that animals sometimes exhibit demonic or evil behavior. Gagné points to a book by John Eckhardt entitled Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual, which extrapolates portions of Scripture in Proverbs, Lamentations, and Job when referring to these particularly evil behaviors. Eckhardt references Job 39:13-17, which concerns itself with ostriches: