Four nationally recognized American pastors who participated in Saturday’s National Prayer Service expressed confidence that God has opened the door to work through the new Trump administration.
Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Pastor Greg Laurie and Dr. Jack Graham all took part in the interfaith prayer event at the Washington National Cathedral – a tradition that began with the inauguration of George Washington nearly a quarter of a millennia ago.
An unprecedented prayer service
The four acclaimed pastors helped tip the scales this year to set the record for the number of evangelicals slated to participate at the prayer event – as the incoming president made it a point to bring in an unprecedented showing of evangelical leaders to pray for the nation. Each bestowed blessings, encouragement and advice on President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, D.C., the day after the Republicans’ inauguration.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that in a time of divisiveness and condemnation, this year’s prayer event was designed to turn the tide.
“[The National Prayer Service seeks to] unite and uplift [the nation by featuring] hymns, readings and prayers,” the group proclaimed in its press statement.
In a show of appreciation for his inclusion in Saturday’s spiritually uplifting event, Jeremiah, who serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, appealed to New Testament Scriptures to help set America on the right track with God.
"I am deeply honored and grateful to be participating in the National Prayer Service to be held at the National Cathedral, and I am so pleased to be reading from Romans 5:1-5," Jeremiah stated, according to CBN News. "The book of Romans also reminds us that there is no authority except from God."
The evangelist also reminded believers about God’s role for leaders and also shared about a Christian’s duty when it comes to those in charge.
“[People in authority are] God's instruments for good," Jeremiah proclaimed, citing 1 Timothy 2, which calls believers in Jesus Christ to pray for those in power. "As a pastor and as an American, I am humbled by the prospect of supporting the new administration in this sacred way and on behalf of the entire nation."
Entering a new era in history
The former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, expressed his gratitude to Trump and Pence for inviting him to take part in the historic event.
“I'm humbled to be able to stand next to other leaders of faith to ask God's blessing, mercy and guidance upon our nation and our elected officials," Floyd shared. "We are living history, and America needs our prayers today more than ever."
Currently serving as the senior pastor of Cross Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Floyd took his queue for encouragement from Jeremiah 33:3, where God promises to hear the prayers of his people.
“It is critical [to call upon God at] this moment in American history,” the Southern preacher stressed. "May we as a country turn to God with all of hearts so that He may renew us and show us His way. I ask the Church in America to bow down in prayer for the future of our country and for God's wisdom, favor and blessing upon this incoming administration. May we remain, as we have always been – 'one nation under God.'"
Harvest Crusade Founder Greg Laurie referred to his call to participate in the inaugural event at the nation’s capital a “sacred responsibility.” Laurie insisted that the prayer service provided proof that America still values God and prayer.
"President Abraham Lincoln once said, 'We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own,'" said Laurie, who is also the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. "We must remember it is God who has blessed America. Though, we may at times have forgotten God, He has never forgotten us."
Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham sent the clear message to Americans that their government leaders simply cannot succeed or persevere without the divine hand of God.
"This is a time of change for America and the world,” Graham impressed. “At moments, it has felt as if so much hangs in the balance. Yet, I believe we can approach this new era of our nation's history with hope, for one thing hasn't changed – we remain 'One Nation Under God.'"
Congregating at the prayer event were faith groups and leaders representing Evangelicals, the Greek Orthodox Church, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, those from the Bahá'í faith and more.
Despite the usual inclusion of various faiths, it was reported that Trump made it a priority to bring in “a record number of evangelicals” to the National Prayer Service following his inauguration, according to Christianity Today. It was also announced that the number of evangelical participants in this year’s event doubled the tally taken at previous inaugural prayer services – marking a significant jump.