Last week, I filed two reports from Washington on prayer meetings that took place and on the six historic prayers that were offered in the inauguration ceremony of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. If you missed them, you can read them here and here.
Although the news media seemed to focus on the protesters and the anarchists who burned a limousine, set on fire a trash can and broke a few windows, I didn't see any of that. There were merely a few thousand protesters at the inauguration instead of the 100,000 predicted by the media. The inauguration crowd was estimated at 900,000, and I can believe that number is correct. So Trump supporters far outnumbered the protesters on Inauguration Day.
From my vantage point, the mood was exciting, expectant that a new president was about to take office and change the downward spiral into which our nation had fallen.
As a journalist, I know it's risky to describe only what you see and to suggest it represents a picture of everything that is happening.
My descriptions are like the blind men describing an elephant. Each told what the elephant felt like, but none had the full picture. So, you're getting only what I saw, heard and experienced. Likewise, you are getting my view as I made my way through the thick crowd and attended three inaugural balls, a prayer meeting, the swearing-in and inaugural parade.
Walking through the checkpoint for my standing tickets in the blue section, I saw a few protesters. But there were more police in riot gear keeping them away. Nearby, a hell-fire preacher—signs held high warning of false prophets—used a bullhorn to urge sinners to repent.
I found it interesting that the media (including the few Christian journalists who were there) seemed to ignore the street preachers as the crowd did. These preachers seemed sincere, if not somewhat judgmental. I wouldn't stand on the street and harangue passersby with signs and a bullhorn. But think about it. They were espousing a not-so-popular view—that people must repent or God will judge them. And so were the protesters, uttering foul, hate-filled rhetoric about Trump and those who support him. The fact that the preachers were ignored instead of criticized is almost symbolic of the way our culture ignores those who espouse an unpopular view of what the Word of God says.
Although these street preachers may have been false prophets themselves, there are true prophets, and a few of them were in Washington last week. Quite a few foretold that a flamboyant businessman, known for his polarizing statements, would be God's wrecking ball and would be raised up by God as he did Cyrus in Isaiah 45. If you read Charisma, you know we published these prophecies before the election.
On Inauguration Day, everything was well-organized. There were police and National Guard everywhere. I saw figures on top of nearby buildings. I assumed they were snipers prepared for the unthinkable, and I felt safer knowing they were there. A helicopter circled overhead.
On Election Day, I flew to New York to witness history when Trump made his 3 a.m. acceptance speech after few pundits thought he would win. On Inauguration Day, I wore the "Make America Great Again" hat I received that night.
Even though I was so far away I had to watch the ceremony on a nearby jumbotron—just as if I'd been watching TV at home—I felt as if I were watching history. I was standing on Pennsylvania Avenue, where I could barely see the podium on which Donald J. Trump placed his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution.
The huge screen also showed a choir singing religious songs and the Marine band playing patriotic music. If the protesters were out, we weren't aware of them.
I stood with my good friend, Scott Plakon, a conservative Florida legislator who flew up the day before, also to witness history. I felt full of thanksgiving to God for the change in direction I sense is coming as soon after Trump is sworn in.
If you missed my other reports from last week, they go into more detail on the prayer service and also the historic prayers. These reports must have struck a chord, because they were widely shared.
I encourage you to share this, partly to remind believers this is a new day in America and that, as Christians, we must pray!
As Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said at one of the gatherings I attended: Christians must—like Nehemiah—start in prayer and then get to work.
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