Moncada seizes moment to pray for national leaders
Vice President Cheney among those present
By Allen Palmeri
November 1, 2005
ST. LOUIS—Ed Moncada, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Director of International Student Ministries, has prayed a lot of prayers, but none quite like the one he prayed Oct. 21 in the presence of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Moncada prayed for U.S. Sen. Jim Talent and Cheney as both attended a fundraiser for Talent’s 2006 campaign held at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Hotel. He went through several rounds of preparation and three drafts for the 45-second, handwritten prayer he flawlessly delivered.
“They were calling me up to the last minute, just trying to prepare," Moncada said. “It was just extensive detail to just see that all bases are covered. We had rehearsals the night before, and I’m thinking, ‘This is for a 45-second prayer?’
“The intensity was way more than I ever expected. I’ve been in a lot of places with crowds in the thousands, and in all different situations, but I never felt the intensity like I did then. I’m back there with the Secret Service and everybody, and literally it was like a bullpen. We were stretching to get up on stage. I mean, I’m stretching for prayer, getting warmed up for the prayer."
Moncada sent an email to MBC Administrative Assistant Debbie Gorham Oct. 21, asking her to alert MBC staffers to pray.
“I felt the prayers," Moncada said. “I didn’t stumble."
Moncada prayed for several rulers, including President George W. Bush and assorted young leaders in the room that night.
“Basically I prayed that they would be more partial to God’s love and God’s ways instead of partisan and personal concern," he said. “I prayed that we would be a nation that would be a blessing to many nations."
After the prayer, Talent made a point to publicly recognize “the reverend" as “a prominent leader" in the Philippine-American community. The senator told the audience that night that he has fond memories of sharing food and fellowship with Moncada and his people.
“I love those pig roasts, Rev," Talent said. “We’ve got to do that again."