Warren Ends Inaugural Prayer with 'Jesus'

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Pastor Rick Warren delivered the inaugural invocation at the swearing in of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th President, acknowledging the event as a "hinge point" in history.

"Today, we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time," Warren prayed. "We celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African American President of the United States.

Click the player to watch Warren's prayer during the inaugural ceremony.

"We are so grateful to live in this land - a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership," he continued. "And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven," Warren prayed. 

Jesus' Name Controversy

Unfazed by recent controversy over the invoking of Jesus' name, Warren boldly concluded his prayer.

"I humble ask this in the name of the One who changed my life - Yeshua, Isa, Jesύs, Jesus - who taught us to pray," he closed.

Warren is considered by many to be America's most influential pastor. Conservative blogger Rod Drehre gave Warren high marks today - even likening him to Rev. Billy Graham. "Stunningly good, I thought. And has anybody ever prayed the Our Father at the Inaugural? Warren is now the new Billy Graham, no doubt about it," Drehre said.

"What a nearly perfect invocation Warren gave!" one inaugural viewer said of Warren's invocation. "I hope the anti-religious people in this country can come to understand what a blessing faith is to those of us who are given the gift of faith." 

61 Percent Approval for Warren

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, the majority approved of Warren's presence with 61 percent expressing approval of his selection. A recent Gallup poll revealed that media reports of President Barack Obama's selection of Warren may not have been an accurate reflection of public sentiment.

"News media accounts of negative reactions to…Obama's decision to select Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural prayer appear to reflect more of the vocal positions of interest groups than an opinion that is shared by the majority of the American public," the Gallup Poll report concluded.

Sources: The Christian Post, Belief.net, The Washington Post, The Associated Press

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