This is the moment evangelical leaders laid their hands on Donald Trump’s back as they prayed over him in the Oval Office.Evangelical pastor Rodney Howard-Browne led a prayer circle alongside his wife Adonica in the White House and then shared the image on Facebook.President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence can be seen closing their eyes and bowing their heads in the solemn moment. The group were invited to pray with Trump during a meeting with members of The Office of Public Liaison.Others pictured included Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and Michele Bachmann, the former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota.
Mr Howard-Browne, who is from South Africa but came to America in 1987 after a ‘calling from God’, described the moment as ‘surreal’ and ‘humbling’.
He wrote: ‘Yesterday I was asked by Pastor Paula White-Cain to pray over our 45th President – what a humbling moment standing in the Oval Office – laying hands and praying for our President – Supernatural Wisdom, Guidance and Protection – who could ever even imagine – wow – we are going to see another great spiritual awakening.
Mr Howard-Browne’s teachings on the concept of ‘holy laughter’ – an outpouring of joy caused by the Holy Spirit – helped to inspire the Toronto Blessing, which many believe to be an instance of mass blessing which took place in 1994.
Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University, a large evangelical university in Virginia, was also at the meeting.
He told CNN that they used to also pray with Obama, but with Trump it is different.
‘When we are praying for President Trump, we are praying within the context of a real relationship, of true friendship,’ he said.
‘He was also in good spirits,’ Moore said. ‘He was as strong and focused as I have ever seen him. It was as if he was entirely above the fray.’
President Trump put his Christian faith at the front and center of his campaign for the presidency, and made a particular point of appealing to evangelicals.
At dozens of his rallies he proudly read out polls showing strong approval ratings from the evangelical community, and thanked them for their support.
It was Trump’s positioning of himself as a defender of the faith – at one point vowing ‘to protect Christianity’ – that saw him ultimately defeat Ted Cruz to become the Republican nominee.
And this latest image attracted a lot of support on social media.
Writing on the Facebook post, Melinda S. Wiley wrote: ‘Thank you Jesus! Cover Your President Lord! Anoint him and fill him with the Holy Spirit for Your will to be done! Hallelujah! Thank you Abba!’
Tammie Rogers added: ‘Praise God fill him Jesus with your spirit keep your hands on him. It’s time we have a president that puts America first and belief in the almighty God the one one that can change everything.
‘Thank you pastors and for obeying God and surrounding our President with all your prayers, and thank you President Trump for allowing them to pray for you.
‘I get goose bumps thinking what God is going to do.’
But not everyone was convinced by the show of faith. Kenneth Averell said: ‘Lord help us all. How anyone sees Trump as the savior of the evangelicals is beyond me.
‘Doesn’t have a Christian bone in his body. Doesn’t attend church. Multiple divorces. Adultery. Literally about every single commandment he’s broken.
‘We’re all sinners, but c’mon, the evangelical right is choosing this guy to lead their ‘spiritual awakening’?’
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