Houston, Texas (CNN) – Rick Perry seems to believe in the power of mixing prayer and politics.
The Texas governor has called on both Christians and politicians to attend his religious gathering, dubbed "The Response," in Houston this weekend.
In a video posted on "The Response" web site, Perry said he hopes worshipers at the event will help kick-start the nation's sluggish economy. In other words: pray away the malaise.
"With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis, and people adrift in a sea of moral relativism, we need God's help. That's why I'm calling on Americans to pray and fast like Jesus did," Perry said on the web video.
With Perry, the script often comes with an extra helping of scripture.
Last month, Perry told the Des Moines Register he feels "called" to run for president.
Back in April, he declared days of prayer for rain to combat the state's oppressive drought.
In May, Perry told a televangelist he believed the Great Recession served a higher purpose. "I think we are going through those difficult economic times for a purpose to bring us back to those Biblical principles," he said on Pastor James Robison's program, "Life Today."
Each time Perry has blended the political with the spiritual he has made no apologies.
"I am a man of faith," Perry said at a news conference last month.
In the weeks leading up to "The Response," critics have accused the governor of tearing down the wall separating church and state.
Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, argues nobody elected Perry state pastor.
"Many people down here love the slogan called 'Don't Mess with Texas.' It's a very effective campaign. I'd say to the governor don't mess with the Constitution," Lynn said.
None of this criticism has dimmed Perry's potent star power in the GOP where he is considered a potential game changer in the race for the Republican nomination.
Bill Martin, a professor of politics and religion at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, says Perry's spiritual messaging certainly helps him in Republican primaries. But after that, it's a leap of faith.
Martin says Americans like their presidents to be religious, just not too religious.
"Having an event like this will be brought up again and again by his opponents to say Governor Perry does not represent an example of the separation of church and state," Martin said.
Perry is expected to speak at "The Response." But his aides are tight-lipped about what he might say. Will he just pray? What exactly will he pontificate?
The governor has seen his public appeals for prayer fall short before. Four months after his days of prayer for rain, the state is still reeling from one of its worst droughts.
Then there's the response for "The Response." Roughly 8000 people have registered on-line to attend the event, far short of the venue's seating capacity of over 70,000.
Despite his calls for governors across the country to join him at the gathering, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback is Perry's only gubernatorial colleague to signal he would come to Houston.
On Friday, organizers were unsure whether Brownback would indeed attend.