AP NEWS

Franklin Graham calls for day of prayer to ‘protect, strengthen’ the president

May 27, 2019

Evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, called on Christians Sunday to set aside Sunday, June 2, as a “special day of prayer for the President.”

“President Trump’s enemies continue to try everything to destroy him, his family and the presidency,” Graham wrote on Facebook. “In the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has. I believe the only hope for him, and this nation, is God.”

As of midday Monday, Graham’s post had drawn 7.7 million “likes” and 40,000 comments and had been shared 117,000 times.

The response has been mixed. Many people have promised to pray for the president. And many have taken Graham to task for politicizing prayer.

Andy Rowell, a graduate of Duke Divinity School and assistant professor of ministry leadership at Bethel Seminary in Minnesota, wrote:

“All Christians believe in praying for their government leaders. But this initiative and wording and signers has been shaped to be an event flattering President Trump without regard to the morality of what he does.

This is not how Franklin Graham rightly instructed people to pray for President Obama in 2014. Nor are the signers of the statement a broad representation of Christian leadership. Rather they are mostly fundamentalist Baptists and independent Pentecostals. These are the same ‘court pastors’ who gathered to ‘appreciate’ and ‘speak love to power’ to President Trump in August 2018. I will pray for President Trump every day including June 2nd but it is a shame that Franklin Graham would manipulate people’s openness to biblical prayer for government leaders into an event that promotes and flatters Donald Trump.”

Mark Price of The Charlotte Observer first reported the post.

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