Austin, TX (CNN) – For Republicans who are dissatisfied with the current presidential field for 2012, it could be divine intervention.
GOP insiders see Texas Governor Rick Perry as a potential game-changer. As his state's longest serving governor, the pro-business Perry appeals to both tea party activists and Christian conservatives, all with a Texas swagger.
At a press conference Monday, Perry confirmed what he recently told the Des Moines Register. He is feeling called by his faith and his friends to run.
"I don't ever get confused. I am a man of faith," he added.
The governor resisted the suggestion that his comments meant he is being called by God to jump into the GOP race.
"There are a lot of ways to be called. My mother may call me for dinner," Perry said.
Texas Republican party chairman Steve Munisteri is fielding plenty of calls himself, over the phone from GOP officials across the country, all encouraging Perry to jump into the race. He compares Perry to a clutch quarterback in a Super Bowl game.
"Rick Perry has never lost an election in his life," Munisteri said.
Every day there are new signs 2012 is the next election on Perry's list. Consider some of the highlights from this week's schedule: a teleconference with pastors in South Carolina Tuesday, a dinner with potential donors in Austin, a meeting with business leaders in California Wednesday, another meeting with potential donors Thursday in Colorado.
A key question for Perry is whether he can raise the money to take on Romney. There are no restraints in Texas on individual contributions to candidates.
"You can call 20 people for 50 thousand dollars and come up with a million dollars," Munisteri said.
But federal limitations could make it difficult for Perry to catch up with the former Massachusetts governor.
That gives Perry less than three weeks to weigh his fundraising potential before the next critical date on Perry's calendar, August 6.
That's the day the Texas Governor plans to lead a prayer event at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Organizers say the event, dubbed "The Response," will call for God's help to aid a "nation in crisis."
A video message by Perry is prominently featured on the "Response" web site. "We need God's help. That's why I'm calling Americans to pray and fast the way Jesus did," Perry says in the message.
Critics say the event blurs the separation between church and state. Controversial statements made by some of the event's organizers and official "endorsers" have also invited scrutiny.
One liberal group, People for the American Way has posted on its web site videos of the event's participants making comments on hot-button social issues such as gay rights.
Pastor John Benefel, a "Response" endorser, is seen in one video criticizing the Statue of Liberty.
"That is an idol, a demonic idol, right there in the middle of New York harbor. People say it's patriotic. What makes it patriotic? Why is it? It's a statue of a false goddess," Benefel says on the video
Perry insists he should not be held accountable for statements made by some of the event's participants.
"Just because you endorse me doesn't mean I endorse everything that you say or do," Perry said at his press conference.
Jim Hightower, a Texas Democrat who was defeated by Perry in a race for state Agriculture Commissioner in 1990, questions why the Governor would lead a religious event as he is gearing up for a possible presidential run.
"He's hitching himself up to it. There are some dogs that are too ugly to hug but he seems willing to do it," Hightower said in an interview with CNN.
Evangelical leaders in Texas defend Perry's participation in the event. Pastor Bob Long, who runs Rally Call Ministries in Austin, has prayed with Perry in the State Capitol.
He believes God may be calling Perry to run for President.
"I think it's absolutely a possibility that God is speaking to him," Pastor Bob Long said.