(Photo: Reuters/Chris Keane)
Franklin Graham called for daily prayer for President Barack Obama and said that "prayer must never be partisan" in his Thanksgiving message.
"Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama, and all of our elected leaders – for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes," said Graham in a statement issued Tuesday.
He continued, "While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies. God's Word commands us to pray for 'kings and all who are in high positions.' (I Timothy 2:2)"
Graham, who is the president and CEO of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said in interviews after the presidential election that he believes America has turned its back on God and is on a "path of destruction" and could face "economic collapse."
"What has happened is we have allowed ourselves to take God out of everything that we do – and I believe that God will judge our nation one day," Graham told Newsmax TV recently.
He added, "Maybe God will have to bring our nation to our knees – to where that we just have a complete economic collapse … Maybe at that point, people will again call upon the name of Almighty God."
On Election night, Graham told CNN that he believes America is on a "path of destruction," which he partly contributed to the legalization of same-sex marriage.
"If we are allowed to go down this road in the path that this president wants us to go down, I think it will be to our peril and to the destruction of this nation," Graham said.
Four states endorsed same-sex marriage during the Nov. 6 election – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State – by popular vote.
In May, Graham had said that President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage meant he had "shaken his fist at the same God who had created and defined marriage."
"It grieves me that our president would now affirm sex-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more," Graham said in a statement in May.
During the Election season, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association paid for ads calling for people to "Vote Biblical Values," which some interpreted as an indirect way of urging people to vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney given that the Grahams are outspoken about their opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, which Obama supports.
In Graham's latest message, he took on a gentler tone saying, "When we look at the moral and economic decline of our nation and the international threats before us, it should be clear that we cannot solve these monumental problems without the help of Almighty God.
"As Americans this Thanksgiving, may we be reminded to thank God for His blessings; and may we also remember to pray for our nation and the protection of our freedoms. Our future may very well depend on our prayers."