US President Donald Trump has given his Easter message from the Oval Office, asking Americans to pray.
Mr Trump said: "On this Good Friday, Christians from all around the world remember the suffering and death upon the cross of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. At Easter Sunday, we will celebrate his glorious resurrection.
"At this holy time, our nation is engaged in a battle like never before - the invisible enemy. Our brave doctors, nurses, and responders - first responders, responders of all - are fighting to save lives. Our workers are racing to deliver critical medical supplies. Our best scientists are working around the clock to develop lifesaving therapeutics, and I think they're doing really well in doing so. Our people are making tremendous sacrifices to end this pandemic.
"Though we will not be able to gather together with one another as we normally would on Easter, we can use this sacred time to focus on prayer, reflection, and growing in our personal relationship with God. So important.".Trump said later that his own plans were to watch Pastor Robert Jeffress, leader of First Baptist Dallas church.
"I ask all Americans to pray that God will heal our nation; to bring comfort to those who are grieving; to give strength to the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers; to restore health to the sick; and to renew the hope in every person who is suffering. Our nation will come through like never before."
Mr Trump thanked those praying for his family and Mike Pence, the Vice President, then quoted from the Old Testament: "The Prophet Isaiah wrote these words: 'Darkness covers the Earth…but the Lord rises upon you, and His glory appears over you…For the Lord will be your everlasting light.'
"As our nation battles the invisible enemy, we reaffirm that Americans believe in the power of prayer. We give thanks for the majesty of creation and for the gift of eternal life. And we place our trust in the hands of Almighty God."
The President then wished everybody a Happy Easter and said the country is praying for all the countries that are fighting the pandemic.
Also in the room was Bishop Harry Jackson from Maryland, a Pentecostal minister and senior pastor at Hope Christian Church at a town in Maryland, who said: "Many churches would've had to close down had it not been for your insightful leadership. So thank you both very much."
Bishop Harry read from Psalm 105 and prayed: "Lord, let the death angel pass over. Let there be a mitigation of this plague, this disease. Let medical science come forth.
"Lord, let us come out with a thriving economy. That silver and gold spoken of in that passage, let it be our portion.
"And then, God, as we face other challenges in the future, Lord covers with a cloud by day and a fire by night. Once again, give this great man, our President, and give the Vice President wisdom beyond their natural limitations. Give them insights so they can cover us, lead us, and bless us."
When asked about whether churches should have Easter services, the President said he would address that in the press briefing room. He did not order churches to close but referenced that many services would not be happening.
(Premier / VOA)
12 Apr 2020