Evangelist Franklin Graham said that prayer — and God’s answer to it — helped Donald Trump and Mike Pence pull off “the biggest political upset of our lifetime.”
Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, said he has traveled across the United States this year, holding prayer meetings at each state capitol. “I could sense going across the country that God was going to do something this year,” Graham told The Washington Post. “And I believe that at this election, God showed up.”
On Thursday, a day after Trump was elected to become the nation’s 45th president, Graham said God had answered their prayers.
“Did God show up?” he wrote on Facebook. “In watching the news after the election, the secular media kept asking ‘How did this happen?’ ‘What went wrong?’ ‘How did we miss this?’ Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor.”
As The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey reported:
Exit polls show white evangelical voters voted in high numbers for Donald Trump, 81-16 percent, according to exit poll results. That’s the most they have voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004, when they overwhelmingly chose President George W. Bush by a margin of 78-21 percent. Their support for Trump will likely be seen as part of the reason the GOP candidate performed unexpectedly well in Tuesday’s election, according to Five Thirty Eight.
Evangelical leaders from the religious right — including Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins and Ralph Reed — stood by Trump during a heated election season.
Texas pastor Robert Jeffress sent a tweet Tuesday night from Trump’s campaign party.
By Wednesday morning, Christian leaders across the United States also extended congratulations and prayers to the president-elect.
Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, showed support for Trump and his plans to “make America great again.”
Graham said he did not endorse any candidate and that his prayer rallies were not political in nature; however, he said, he knows Trump and Pence and that the two are good men.
“But you have to judge a person by the people they surround themselves with,” he said. “My hope and prayer is that President Trump will surround himself with good, strong Christian men and women. We need to unite people in this country.”
He congratulated the president-elect and vice president-elect on their win.
“One thing is for sure, we need to pray for our new president, vice president, and our other leaders every day — whether we agree with them or not,” he wrote Wednesday on Facebook.
“They need God’s help and direction. It is my prayer that we will truly be ‘one nation under God.’ ”
He reiterated that statement again Thursday, when he wrote about how Christians across the country had united in prayer for their next leader.
“Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying,” he wrote. “This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up. While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.
“President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are going to need a lot of help and they will continue to need a lot of prayer. I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation. My prayer is that God bless America again!”
This story has been updated.