One month ago the unthinkable happened….
We live in the Divided States of America right now and there’s only one thing that can bring us together: prayer.
Did you watch Inauguration of President Trump? Did you hear the many godly, biblical prayers delivered? The NY Times reported:
Some inaugurations have had just one, others have had two or three covering different religions, but this is a record.
Listen to the prayer of Reverend Franklin Graham, son of Billy, and president and chief executive of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
I was impressed with the God-centeredness of the Inauguration, while others were not so enthused. This is how the Advocate, a pro-LGBTQ journal, put it:
Donald Trump’s inauguration featured a record number of prayers — three invocations (opening prayers) and three benedictions (closing prayers), several from anti-LGBT clergy members and some notably sectarian in what is usually a nonsectarian event.
The inauguration itself featured five Christian clergy members and one Jewish one, and most of the Christians prayed in the name of Jesus, something that those who give inaugural prayers usually avoid, striving for an inclusive approach.
And in his benediction, the infamously anti-LGBT Rev. Franklin Graham read a Bible verse asserting that Jesus is the “one mediator” between God and humanity.
Isn’t it great that God’s Word got out? Though the Advocate article mentioned that some of the pastors were “anti-LGBT,” the journalist also mentioned that the prayers were not to some generic, universalist, all-inclusive deity, but “prayed in the name of Jesus.” They also noted, “that Jesus is the ‘one mediator’ between God and humanity.”
(As an aside, one can stand for biblical orthodoxy, that is, Christian marriage between a man and a woman, and not be anti-LBGT. We love that community and want them to turn to Jesus, too, in repentance and trust.)
At a final Donald Trump “Thank you” rally Graham said this:
I don’t have any scientific information. I don’t have a stack of emails to read to you. But I have an opinion: I believe it was God. God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land who had been praying for this country.
A ruler in the Book of Daniel named Nebuchadnezzar took the glory from God who had made him king. God judged him for his pride, driving him for seven years “from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.” (Daniel 4:33)
At the end of God’s judgment, listen to how Nebuchadnezzar’s tune changed:
“After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.
His rule is everlasting,
and his kingdom is eternal.
35 All the people of the earth
are nothing compared to him.
He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven
and among the people of the earth.
No one can stop him or say to him,
‘What do you mean by doing these things?’
36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.
37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” (Daniel 4: 34-37)
The day after the election, Franklin Graham wrote this on his Facebook page:
God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country. Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year, they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up.
According to exit polls, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians cast their ballots for Donald Trump.
We can’t know for certain if Trump is a Christian, but he sure appears to be pro-God and Jesus Christ.
Listen to the prayer of the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, an organization that says it represents roughly 100 million Hispanic evangelicals in the United States and Latin America. In a statement, he said that he saw participating in the inauguration as “not just a patriotic honor” but “as a sacred duty.”
Paula White was another who prayed at the Inauguration. Though her theology is suspect, her prayer was right on:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York since 2009. Though a critic of Trump, on his radio show, the cardinal said he was “honored” to be invited to take part in the inauguration and said he would have done the same thing had Hillary Clinton won the election. “It’s not the person, it’s the office, right?” he said. “I pray with prisoners. That doesn’t mean I approve of what they’ve done.”
Listen to his God-honoring petition:
President Trump is seen by many as divisive, but as we pray for our President, God can use him to bring peace and unity, which is God’s will.
Ronnie Floyd, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is encouraging Americans to embrace reconciliation and peace. He said,
This is a time to rebuild and reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future.
Trump, in fact, spoke about this in his Inaugural speech:
The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
President Donald Trump had a white Protestant male, a woman, a Catholic, and an Hispanic pray at his Inaugural.
He also invited Bishop Wayne T. Jackson who runs Great Faith Ministries International and Impact Television Network, which describes itself as the only Christian network founded and operated by African-Americans.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)
Perhaps, with God’s people praying, we will reap the blessing of righteousness, a turning back of the evil laws that have gone against God’s word over the past years.
Perhaps, President Trump’s Inaugural words will prove prophetic:
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.
According to Daniel 2:21, it’s God who establishes leaders and all authorities.
David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church is a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board.
We commit to pray for the new Trump Administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
In the spirit of unity and a nod to his—and our support—of Israel, Trump also invited Rabbi Marvin Hier to pray. He is the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization. Critics called for him to drop out of the inauguration, but the rabbi said,
There are 364 days a year for politics, for the two sides to pile on each other. Three hundred sixty-four days of that is enough. Once every four years, the president of United States deserves a pass from both sides from political bickering; otherwise, we weaken our democracy.
Rabbi Hier will be the first Jewish religious leader to take part in an inaugural ceremony since 1985, he said, a fact that weighed in his decision to attend.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote:
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 are in civil authority.
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). This very act of praying is itself a counter-cultural act.
Donald Trump was sworn in with his hands on two Bibles: his own, and one used by Abraham Lincoln in 1861.
Vice President Mike Pence was sworn in on the Reagan Family Bible, with his hand on this passage:
2 Chronicles 7:14—“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I want to challenge you to join the Presidential Prayer Team and pray for our new administration. Go here for information on how to pray daily. But make sure you watch this video:
Sources: “Should Christians unite behind Trump?” By Peggy Gustave; Russell Moore, The Advocate, NY Times, The Christian Post