Billy Graham Center

The 1989 Inauguration

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Excerpts from the Invocation

Our Father and our God, Thou hast said, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.' We recognize on this historic occasion that we are a nation under God. This faith in God is our foundation and our heritage. Thou hast warned us in the Holy Scriptures, 'If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?' We confess that we are in danger of destroying some of those foundations, for at times our faith in Thee has faltered and we chosen to go our own way rather than the way that Thou wouldst have us go, both as individuals and as a nation. Forgive us, we pray, as we turn to Thee in repentance and faith. Restore us to Thyself and create within us a desire to follow Thy will for all our lives. As George Washington reminded us in his farewell address, morality and faith are the pillars of our society. May we never forget that.... We acknowledge thine divine help in the selection of our leadership every four years....

And now we come to a new era in our history. In Thy sovereignty Thou hast permitted George Bush to lead us at this momentous hour of our history for the next four years. As he today places his hand upon the Bible and solemnly swears before Thee to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, give him the wisdom, integrity and courage to help this become a nation that is gentle and kind. Protect him from physical danger, and in the lonely moments of decision grant him Thy wisdom to know what is morally right and an uncompromising courage to do it. Give him a cool head and a warm heart. Give him a compassion for those in physical, moral and spiritual need. O God, we consecrate today George Herbert Walker Bush to the presidency of these United States with the assurance that from this hour on, as he and his family move into the White House, they will have the presence and power of the One who said, "I will never leave thee or forsake thee. [Hebrews 13:5]"

[Rev. Graham then asked blessed on retiring President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, Vice President Daniel and Marilyn Quayle, members of the Cabinet, courts and congress and other national leaders, "so we may enjoy a greater measure of peace and justice."]

"We pray that the spiritual tide that many of us have sensed running in this nation may continue. As we read our papers and watch our television screens, it seems that evil is getting worse. But we thank Thee for the millions of people that pray daily, go to church and synagogoue...and have thousands of prayer groups and Bible study groups around the country. We believe that "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it [Psalms 118:24]."

The Benediction

May the Lord bless thee and keep thee. May the Lord make His face shine upon thee. May the Lord life up His countenance upn thee, and give thee peace .

(Text from the April 1989 issue of Decision magazine and newspaper articles on the event)

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Last Revised: 1/22/10

Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005