Dr. Jack Hayford Gives Benediction
at Presidential Inaugural
Prayer Service

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Asking God to strengthen and sustain President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, Dr. Jack W. Hayford on Sunday, January 22, led the closing prayer at the 54th Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service.

"It is so tremendously assuring as we conclude this service and have offered our prayers to the Lord to pronounce the benediction," Dr. Hayford said, "knowing that the Great Shepherd of the sheep who leads us beside still waters is the same as the Angel of the Lord that rides within the storm. He goes before us."

The National Prayer Service in celebration of the inaugural took place at The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Washington National Cathedral, and featured prayers and Scripture reading offered by spiritual leaders from the Protestant, Episcopal, Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Methodist churches, as well as by a Jewish rabbi. The Reverend Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse delivered the sermon.

In his closing prayer, Dr. Hayford said:

"Worship stirs our hearts this morning, Good and Gracious God. And we abound with gratitude and humility before You as our Maker and Creator. As we depart now, Lord, we set ourselves to abide in continuing prayer for Your servants—our brothers George and Richard. Strengthen and sustain them, we pray. Let a mantle of divine grace come over each of them, just as Your anointing flowed over Your servant leaders in time past.

"Grant them patience, understanding and love as they care for Your people. And grant us an equal fidelity and integrity that each of us offer ourselves and our talents and gifts for the good of our land, and for all peoples and nations.

"We ask all this, dear Lord, commending our hearts and our prayers to You. To You, Father, by the power of Your Spirit, and in the name of Your Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

"And all said, ‘Amen’."

Dr. Hayford attended the Prayer Service with his wife Anna.

Representatives of the National Cathedral and the Bishop of Washington opened the service with a prayer originally used at George Washington’s Inaugural Prayer Service. Scripture readings included Proverbs 3:1-8, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Psalm 23, 1 John 4:7-8, Matthew 6:25-33, and The Lord’s Prayer. The anthem, Psalm 92:1-4, was sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Musicians for the service included Christopher Ballard, Michael W. Smith, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Tiffany Ameen, as well as The United States Navy Sea Chanters, The United States Navy Brass Quintet, The Triumph & St. Stephen’s Male Chorus and The Cathedral Choir of Men & Girls.

Over the years, Dr. Hayford has consistently taught the importance of prayer for those in authority. To learn more, order the audio cassette "Shaking and Shaping Cities and Nations Through Prayer". Also of interest is a recent message from The Church On The Way by Pastor Scott Bauer entitled "When God Selects a President," available from Living Way Ministries.

Copyright © 2001 Jack W. Hayford, The King’s College and Seminary, Van Nuys, CA 91405

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