Following President Trump’s speech at the 95th annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington, evangelist Franklin Graham urged all Christians, regardless of denomination, to support President Trump in prayer: "Whether you are Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic--all Christians need to get behind him with our prayers.”
"Never in my lifetime have we had a president willing to take a strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith like President Donald J. Trump has," Graham, son of world-famous evangelist Billy Graham, wrote in a passionate Facebook post about the President’s speech.
President Trump addressed ceremony attendees with a reminder of the reason for the season, saying, "The Christmas story began 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son, and the most extraordinary gift of all – the gift of God's love for all of humanity.”
"Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are. Each one of us is a child of God. That is the true source of joy this time of year," President Trump continued. That is what we remember during today's beautiful ceremony," he added. "That we are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world."
In his Facebook post, Graham highlighted the differences between President Obama’s last tree lighting speech in 2016 and that of President Trump in 2017. Obama, in his speech, said, "...over these next few weeks, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, as we retell the story of weary travelers, a star, shepherds, Magi, I hope that we also focus ourselves on the message that this child brought to this Earth some 2,000 years ago. It's a message that grounds not just my family's Christian faith but that of Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, non-believers -- Americans of all backgrounds.”
As well as caling for unity and peace this holiday season, President Trump also asked those in attendance to pray for the nation: "We are called to serve one another, to love one another, and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world. We pray that our country will be a place where every child knows a home filled with love, a community rich with hope, and a nation blessed with faith.”