A new chapter in the history of America began on Friday morning as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President. At the inaugural ceremony, six members of clergy prayed or read from scripture to bless the new leader and the country.
Rev. Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, began his portion by saying that in the Bible, “rain is a sign of God’s blessing,” and noted, “It started to rain Mr. President when you came to the platform.”
Graham read from 1 Timothy 2, a passage in which the Apostle Paul encourages the reader to pray for “all those in authority,” and that doing so “is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
Following Graham, Bishop Wayne Jackson of Great Faith Ministries, said a prayer for the president, vice president, and the nation's new leaders.
“Give them the wisdom to guide this great nation,” Jackson prayed, “the strength to protect it, and the hands to heal it.”
“We bless President Donald J. Trump,” he continued. “We ask that you give him the wisdom of Solomon, the vision of Joseph, and the meekness of Christ.”
Jackson also asked for unity in the country.
“We were all created by you with one blood,” he said in the beginning of his prayer. “We are not enemies; we’re brothers and sisters. We are not adversaries, but we allies. We’re not foes, but we’re friends. Let us be healed by the power of your love, united by the bond of your Spirit.”
President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Rev. Samuel Rodriguez read from Matthew 5:3-16, which includes the Beatitudes and a portion in which Jesus tells his disciples that they are “the salt of the earth,” and “the light of the world.”
Others who prayed during the inaugural ceremony included Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center; archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan; and Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
Trump’s inaugural ceremony was noted for having more clergy involved than previous ceremonies, and for the diverse backgrounds which they represented. Paula White was the first clergywoman and Rodriguez was the first Hispanic evangelical leader to have been featured at a presidential inauguration.