Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia joined ministers Rob Schenck of Faith and Action and Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, both based in Washington, D.C., in the 10-minute prayer service inside the U.S. Capitol building.
Schenck read from Proverbs 21:1, which says God directs the hearts of kings, and from 1 Timothy 2:1-4, which admonishes Christians to pray for those in authority. He then rubbed oil imported from Jerusalem on the doorpost of the arched walkway to consecrate it "to the use of God and His Word."
"Oil symbolizes consecration, or setting something apart for God's use," Schenck said in a statement. "George Washington used oil during the dedication of the U.S. Capitol. We used oil today to set apart the walkway and doors that will be the literal right of passage for Barack Obama as he ascends to the highest office in our land."
Broun, a Baptist layman who was widely criticized during the election for calling Obama a Marxist and likening him to Adolf Hitler, said he hopes Obama is successful as president and that he will heed God's direction.
"It's important for us to pray for this place, but it's also important for us to pray for the people who are involved so that God, as He stirs our hearts, that we can hear very clearly and that we can heed God's directions and can follow those directions," Broun said. "Because that's what's going to make the nation successful, that's what's going to put this country back on the right course is our listening to the Lord, reading His Word, understanding what God expects of us and what He wants of us so that we can follow in obedience."
Mahoney, who is on a 21-day fast for Obama, read an inaugural prayer Billy Graham delivered 40 years ago and prayed that Obama and his family would experience God's presence and power as they move into the White House.
A video of the prayer service can be viewed here.
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