Floyd calls Trump prexy ‘our moment’
SBC Pastors Ronnie Floyd (center left) and David Jeremiah (center right) exit the platform and prepare to greet President Trump at the conclusion of the National Prayer Service Jan. 21 at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Fox Phoenix screen capture
“Right now we’ve got a shot to really make a difference,” Ronnie Floyd told his congregation on Sunday. “God has given us a moment. It’s time to pray more than we’ve ever prayed in our country…to pray more with stronger conviction that every life matters to God.”
Floyd was just one of the notable Southern Baptist pastors participating in inaugural ceremonies for incoming President, Donald Trump. The pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas was one of the evangelical advisors to Trump.
Noting the current discord in the nation, Floyd said, “This is not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about spiritual warfare; right and wrong. It’s not about what it appears to be about, it’s not about flesh and blood.
“You don’t announce you’re going to put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court and expect the world to receive it,” Floyd said in a video posted at his website.
Southern Baptists were prominent at the National Prayer gathering on Saturday following the inauguration, both in their placement in the program and on the platform among the 26 religious leaders invited to participate in the event.
Floyd and David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., sat on the dais of the National Cathedral, just behind the Episcopal celebrants who were leading the service and in front of the choir loft. Jeremiah read from Romans 5, the passage about character, endurance, patience, and hope. And Floyd read Psalm 23 from the King James Version.
Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor Jack Graham was one of the speakers in the “prayers of the people,” reading a scripted prayer on behalf of “those who serve.” And a granddaughter of Billy Graham, Franklin’s daughter Cissie Graham Lynch, read a similar prayer in a procession that included a rabbi, representatives of several Protestant denominations, and several Eastern religions.
Ramiro Peña, pastor of Christ the King Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, wrapped up the litany of prayers with The Lord’s Prayer. In an unofficial count, Southern Baptists outnumbered other faiths among clergy participating in the inauguration and prayer service. The interfaith service held an an Anglical cathedral had distinctly evangelical touches. Melania Trump led a standing ovation for the solo singer of “How Great Thou Art,” and the service concluded with “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” which Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, sang from memory.
On Inauguration Day, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist in Dallas, delivered the sermon at the private prayer service prior to the swearing-in ceremony. He titled the sermon, “When God Chooses a Leader,” taking the message from Nehemiah 1:11.
“When I think of you,” Jeffress said to Trump, “I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel. The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.”
He noted the first step God instructed Nehemiah to take in rebuilding the nation was building a wall around Jerusalem to protect is citizens. “You see, God is not against building walls,” Jeffress shared. Jeffress recalled sitting with Trump on a jet, eating Wendy’s cheeseburgers, and talking about the challenges facing the USA. Jeffress was an early supporter of Trump.
He told the incoming President and Vice President to look to God for strength and guidance: “…the challenges facing our nation are so great that it will take more than natural ability to meet them. We need God’s supernatural power.
“The good news is that the same God who empowered Nehemiah nearly 2,500 years ago is available to every one of us today who is willing to humble himself and ask for His help.”
He instructed them, “God says in Psalm 50:15 ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble I shall rescue you and you will honor Me.’”
– Staff Report, with info from Baptist Press, RonnieFloyd.com, FirstDallas.org, and C-SPAN.