Texas Republicans had plenty to pray for Saturday: sinners, the President and for divine healing of their ruptured state party, preferably by Nov. 5.
There were prayers not only on abortion, morality and decency, but also on greed and corruption.
"It just shows we have a broken immigration system," Dallas-area Pastor Mark Gonzales said sadly after the Faith & Fellowship prayer gathering at the state party convention.
On stage, he roused the crowd of about 1,500 by calling for Christians to "begin the thunder of truth from the pulpits" that America was "founded on the Judeo-Christian ethos."
He didn't take the risk of mentioning the children awaiting immigration hearings, or that back during the 2016 campaign he temporarily gave up on President Donald Trump and quit a Hispanic advisory committee.
Off stage, though, Gonzales said Christians should take a leading role in supporting and comforting the children.
"We want to make sure we show the love of Christ," he said
"We never want to see families separated. But we understand this law has been on the books a long time. … We always want to support families and keep them together. We can figure out a way to do that as a state and nation."
Four years ago, when 60,000 mostly Central American children flooded the border, Gonzales helped organize a humanitarian mission including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Irving-based video entertainer Glenn Beck.
They visited the children in what was later belittled by immigration hardliners as giving "soccer balls and teddy bears" to children here illegally.
That will happen again, Gonzales said.
"The churches are just gearing up," he said.
"Everything is moving very fast" — he grinned — "and President Trump is moving very fast as well."
In a Friday interview, San Antonio radio station KTSA described Cruz as "horrified" by the photos of children at the border and quoted him calling for more immigration judges and courts to speed the process.
In the past, Central American children have often been held for hearings while families from Mexico were given future court dates and released, or children were released to other American relatives.
Trump said Friday the move was in part a bargaining chip to urge funding for a border wall and to further restrict legal immigration.
The border crackdown has drawn criticism from the Southern Baptist Convention and from North Carolina-based evangelist Franklin Graham, but delegates at the state Republican convention spoke nary a word against Trump.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick led delegates in a "happy birthday" cheer for Trump and said, "Is he awesome or what?"
Burleson activist Maggie Wright, a staunch Cruz backer, now also supports Trump.
"We're behind the president because, what's the alternative?" she asked
"He's talked more about God than any of our presidents. He's put prayer back in the White House."
We definitely have reasons to pray.