Unprecedented Prayer on Display at Trump Inauguration
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Prayer played a major role in the inauguration of Donald Trump.
The ceremony featured six religious leaders, more than any other inauguration in history.
The list included Paula White, one of his spiritual advisors, Rev. Franklin Graham, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson.
The prayers included several references to the name of Jesus.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan beseeched God for wisdom for the new president as he read from the scriptures.
Rodriguez read from the Sermon on the Mount, in chapter five of the Gospel of Matthew.
"God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs," he read.
"And God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. For you are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on its stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
He ended his prayer in the name of Jesus.
White prayed, "We come to you Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus with grateful hearts thanking you for this great country that you have decreed to your people."
"We acknowledge we are a blessed nation...every good and perfect gift comes from you," she too referenced the name of Jesus after her prayer.
President Trump also referenced God at the end of his speech, saying, "We will be protected by God."
Rev. Franklin Graham pointed out that it started to rain as President Trump delivered his inaugural speech.
"Mr. President, in the Bible, rain is a sign of God's blessing," he said. "And it started to rain Mr. President when you came to the platform."
Graham also quoted a passage of scripture from from 1 Timothy 2.
"I urge then first of all that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people," he said. "For kings, for all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."
"This is good and it pleases God our Saviour who wants all people to be saved," he added.
Graham also acknowledged, "There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus."
Rabbi Hier also led a prayer.
"Bless President Donald J. Trump and America our great nation," said Hier.
"Guide us to remember the words of the Psalmist, "Who may dwell on your holy mountain? One who does what is right and speaks the truth."
"Bless all of our allies around the world who share our beliefs. "By the rivers of Babylon we wept as we remembered Zion... If I forget thee o' Jerusalem may my right hand forget its skill."
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson rendered the benediction at the close of the inauguration.
He hosted the then-Republican presidential candidate at his Great Faith Ministries International in Detroit during the presidential campaign.
He prayed for the new president and for unity and healing in the country.
"We're not enemies. We're brothers and sisters. We're not adversaries, but we're allies. We're not foes but we're friends. Let us be healed by the power of your love and united by the bond of your spirit."
Across the country, Episcopal congregations also marked the inauguration of Donald Trump with prayer.
Many announced that they would be open for prayer during the inauguration events. Some also offered special services on inauguration day.
Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty commission wrote an article in The Washington Post called, "You should pray for Donald Trump no matter how you voted."
"With the inauguration of a new president of the United States, now is a time to pray for President Trump and to remember our obligation as Christians to pray for all those who ae in civil authority," he wrote.
"The Apostle Paul charges us to offer prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for "all people," and includes in that list "kings and all who are in high positions (1 Tim. 2:2)."
There were also prayers before the inauguration.
An inaugural prayer breakfast was held at the new Trump International Hotel Friday morning. Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore reportedly spoke at the event.
I have been asked to read scripture at the Inaugural Prayer Service. Please pray God’s Word will have an impact on all who watch & attend.— David Jeremiah (@davidjeremiah) January 20, 2017
Conservative evangelical pastor and author, Dr. David Jeremiah tweeted that he was also asked to take part in the event.
An interfaith prayer service is scheduled Saturday at Washington's National Cathedral at 10 a.m.
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