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Religious leaders, congressmen urge Christians to pray for new president

WASHINGTON (BP)–A group of Christian leaders and congressmen gathered Jan. 19 in the Library of Congress to encourage Christians to pray for President-elect George W. Bush and his family.

The Friday morning gathering, hosted by the Washington-based Family Research Council, featured visits from Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship; James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Colson told Baptist Press he is euphoric about the new administration. “I believe that George W. Bush has a real mandate to return moral leadership to the nation,” Colson said.

“I think that President-elect Bush is going to do a great job in Washington and it’s great news for evangelical Christians,” he added. “We feel at home again. We have a place at the table.”

Dobson agreed, noting that the atmosphere in Washington resembled the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan. The popular radio host said he likewise hopes the new president will strengthen the moral leadership of the nation.

“My advice to President-elect Bush would be to stay on your knees, sir. This is too big of a job for just a man. Be in prayer at all times,” Dobson told Baptist Press, adding that he believes Bush has a heart for God.

Colson, who had an opportunity to speak to the president-elect on Thursday night, said he believes Bush is the right man for the job.

“He will restore moral sanity to the office,” Colson told Baptist Press. “But he’s going to need some help.”

“If we want to see morality restored to this nation, then we must join with the president and stand up as Christians,” Colson challenged the 100 guests in his remarks. “The church of Jesus needs to understand that this is an inauguration for Christians.”

Dobson, too, credited the Bush election to the prayers of Christian people.

“Thousands of people have prayed and fasted for this election,” Dobson told Baptist Press. “And we’ve got to continue to pray for this man, that the Lord will guide him and anoint him.”

Kenneth Connor, the newly installed president of the Family Research Council, said the future of the nation is bright. “The prospect for seeing positive change is here,” he told the gathering.

Christian author and speaker John Trent told Baptist Press the opportunity for Christians to impact the country is now. “I would just say that we have a window of opportunity and it begins with people on their knees praying and seeking God,” Trent said.

Santorum said the Bush election has raised spirits across the nation’s capitol. “It feels great to have good leadership in the White House,” he said.
(BP) file photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo title: CHUCK COLSON.

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  • Todd Starnes