A group of evangelical leaders laid their hands on President Donald Trump as they prayed for him during their impromptu meeting at the Oval Office on Monday.
The evangelical leaders, led by Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of Revival Ministries International, have been seen in a photograph circling the President with their hands on his back and shoulders, and their hands bent in prayer.
Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University, said that the prayer session occurred when the faith leaders were invited to meet with Trump after their meetings with officials from the Office of Public Liaison.
Others present at the prayer session included Vice President Mike Pence, former Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church.
“We similarly prayed for President Obama, but it’s different with President Trump,” Moore told CNN. “When we are praying for President Trump, we are praying within the context of a real relationship, a true friendship,” he continued.
Howard-Browne, who came to America from South Africa in 1987 after a “calling from God,” said that the prayer session with the president was “surreal” and “humbling.”
“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,” he wrote on Facebook.
Howard-Browne’s photo of evangelical leaders praying for Trump has been shared more than 5,000 times and garnered over 1,000 comments on the preacher’s Facebook page, according to The Kansas City Star.
Many prominent evangelical leaders initially did not endorse Trump when he declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015. But evangelical support for Trump has grown after he secured the Republican nomination, and it remained steady after he took office despite some controversies.
Evangelicals have been enthusiastically supporting the president in light of his promises to promote and defend religious liberty in the wake of reported government violations of religious freedoms in recent decades.
A Pew poll indicated that Trump had won 81 percent of white evangelical voters in the 2016 election. At some of his rallies, Trump had proudly read out polls showing strong approval ratings from the evangelical community.
“You didn’t let me down and I will never, ever let you down, you know that,” Trump said at the meeting of Faith & Freedom conference in Washington in June.