Trump Invited Billy Graham's Granddaughter to Pray at National Service
January 21, 2017
Donald Trump continues to signal his support for evangelicals by inviting a record number to participate in the National Prayer Service Saturday morning, including the granddaughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham.
Held at the National Cathedral, the prayer service is a tradition that dates back to George Washington and calls upon the prayers of faith leaders across this nation.
Just one day after President Trump's inauguration, members of the faith community sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and prayed for peace.
The interfaith service included representatives from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim faith, among others, but the majority were evangelicals.
Southern Baptists Jack Graham, Ronnie Floyd, and David Jeremiah are members of the president’s evangelical advisory board and they were among a total of 26 faith leaders who attended the service.
"As a Baptist, I'm compelled by my faith to pray for the leaders of our nation and to ask God's blessing on them, for they cannot succeed outside his providence and without his guiding hand," said Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist and former chairman for the National Day of Prayer.
Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland Pastor Darrell Scott, who led the National Diversity Coalition for Trump's campaign, and Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition also spoke.
Foregoing a sermon altogether, Trump requested that leaders pray or read from scripture.
As it was at the inauguration, the name of Jesus was invoked several times during the service as evangelical leaders followed the biblical practice of praying in His name.
California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie prayed for the men and women of the military, as well as governors, mayors and all civil servants throughout the nation.
Graham prayed, “O God and Savior, the One who is the way, the truth and the life, enlighten by your Holy Spirit all teachers and educators.” He closed, “In Jesus dear name, give us grace to do Your will in all that we undertake.”
Floyd, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, read Psalm 23.
"May the power of God's word be our source and be our shield everywhere we walk today," he said. "May the Lord add his blessing to the reading of his Holy Word."
Dr. David Swanson of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando read The Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew and David Jeremiah read Romans 5:1-5.
Cissie Graham Lynch of Samaritan’s Purse is the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of America’s best-known and most beloved religious figure, Billy Graham.
She delivered her prayer with a passion befitting her family, asking God to grant wisdom and peace “through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords…in Jesus Name we pray, amen.”
It is no surprise that Trump surrounds himself with Christians. During the length of his campaign, Trump has spoken about his faith in Jesus Christ.
During his inauguration, Trump placed his hand on two Bibles, one used by President Abraham Lincoln, the other a childhood Bible given to him by his mother.
During his speech, Trump spoke of unity and referenced Psalms 133:1, which states" how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!"
instead of the customary one or two Trump also opted to have a half-dozen leaders with him during his inauguration ceremony held on the capitol.
Pastor Paula White and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez were among some of the leaders who prayed during the inauguration.
"There's a lot of guidance and even prophetic truth in simply gathering and setting your sights to sacred texts in how we're to live as a society," Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington, told The Washington Post.
Not in a Kingdom Hall.