Alveda King, Bishop Harry Jackson Speak at Trump's Inaugural Prayer Service

Pastor Greg Laurie meets President Trump after participating in the inaugural prayer service.
Pastor Greg Laurie meets President Trump after participating in the inaugural prayer service. (Greg Laurie/Facebook)

President Donald Trump attended the 58th Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral on Saturday. The service, which goes back to President George Washington, is traditionally held the morning after the inauguration.

Accompanied by his wife, Melania, and other family members along with Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen, Trump watched as participants from a number of faiths offered prayers, readings and hymns, including "How Great Thou Art" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." A military choir sang "Let There Be Peace on Earth."

Along with many Christian leaders, Hindu priest took part in the service, as did a Mormon elder and a Jewish rabbi. The service also included a Muslim call to prayer from an imam.

Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, prayed for "wisdom and grace" for the president, vice president and the cabinet to "serve all people of this nation," asking God to "keep this nation under Your care."

Alveda King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, part of Priests for Life, recited a litany that read in part, "Use our liberty in accordance with Your will. Keep this nation in Your care."

A prayer from Greg Laurie, evangelist and senior pastor of Harvest Christian Church in California, covered a wide range of people, from the armed forces to the diplomatic corps to mayors, school board members and civil servants. Rev. Jack Graham of Prestonwood Church in North Texas, prayed for educators and first responders. David Jeremiah and Ronnie Floyd were among the other well-known Christian leaders who participated in the service.

In advance of the inaugural prayer service, The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal congregation, addressed the controversy about hosting the prayer service for President Trump.

"Understand that civility does not mean endorsing a president's views, behavior or rhetoric, nor compromising our own Christian values," Rev. Hollerith said in a statement. "Our willingness to pray and sing with everyone today does not mean we won't join with others in protest tomorrow. We will always strive to bridge the divide and repair the breaches in our life together. As a Cathedral, we have decided that we will approach this moment as open-handedly as possible."

During the president's inauguration ceremony Friday, six Christian leaders called on God to granted all that is needed as President Trump leads the American people. See our roundup of these prayers here.

The president continues his day Saturday with a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency. Large crowds are also participating in a "march for women" Saturday in many cities with likely the largest turnout in the nation's capital.


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