A group of Christian leaders prayed over the doorway through which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will walk at the Capitol Building for Friday's inauguration. They reportedly asked for direction, leadership, protection and blessings for the incoming Trump Administration.
In a first for presidential inaugurations, in January 2009, Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia joined the Reverends Rob Schenck of Faith & Action and Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, both based in Washington, DC, in a prayer service inside the U.S. Capitol that included anointing the doorway President-Elect Barack Obama would pass through on his way to the platform to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, reports Christian Newswire.
"When President-elect Trump and Vice -President Pence place their hand on the Bible for the oath of office, Christians are to be praying for them. The demands of the nation's highest office call us to put aside our differences and join in prayer."
Hope to the Hill director Nathan Kistler said it was an honor to be able to pray over the very spot where the President-elect will walk through before his Inauguration. "At this point in history, America has never needed prayer more than we do right now."
"With all the massive preparations surrounding the Inauguration, the most important and critical thing needed to be done is prayer. For it is prayer that will shift, shape and transform history. At a time when America is divided, it is the platform of the unity of prayer that will bring us together," said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Church on the Hill pastor and Christian Defense Coalition director.
"We come together, as we have for all Presidents, to ask for Christ's direction, leading, guidance, protection and blessing over President-elect Trump and his Administration. We ask that he would turn to God for wisdom and strength and look to Him for every vital decision he will make. We also pray that God would ignite a spiritual awakening that would heal our nation."
"Anointing with oil is a rich tradition both in the Bible and in the history of the US Capitol," said Rev. Schenck. "Oil symbolizes consecration, or setting something apart for God's use. George Washington used oil during the dedication of the US Capitol. We used oil today to set apart the walkway and doors that will be the literal rite of passage for Barack Obama as he ascends to the highest office in our land."
Typical inclusions at this prayer service include a short sermon-like talk on the need to obey God and His will, and for the future president to do what is right; reading of Bible passages; and applying sacred oil to the doorposts of the arched doorway leading out of the Capitol and onto the inaugural stage.