November 5th, 2008
07:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Praying with the President-elect

Before stepping on stage Tuesday night to address his supporters; the nation; and to a certain extent, the world, Sen. Barack Obama took a moment to pray with a conservative evangelical pastor.
Before stepping on stage Tuesday night to address his supporters; the nation; and to a certain extent, the world, Sen. Barack Obama took a moment to pray with a conservative evangelical pastor.

(CNN) - Before he delivered his victory speech on Tuesday night in Chicago, President-elect Barack Obama took a call and bowed his head in prayer. Dr. Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Church in Orlando, Florida and Otis Moss Jr. from Mount Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio joined him in that prayer.

Speaking with CNN today by phone, Dr. Hunter says the prayer was intensely personal and private but did say “I prayed for his family and for him and for the country. I had no agenda other than trying to create an environment in which he felt the presence and could receive wisdom from God.” Dr. Hunter, a conservative evangelical who delivered a prayer at the Democratic National Convention this summer, says the President-elect “…feels the weight of this responsibility. He [Obama] doesn’t take upon himself of having to have all the answers but he certainly realizes the huge challenges this nation faces. He feels the personal weight of the potential to guide us through these difficult times. I don’t think he’s oppressed by it though.” Dr. Hunter says he thinks it set in for Obama last night and led to the sober tone of the victory speech.

Evangelicals have long been a force in American politics but many wondered with the defeat of Sen. John McCain what role they will play in the Obama administration. Eric Sapp is one of the founders of The Eleison Group which works specifically with Democratic campaigns to mobilize Christian voters he says, “There is a new generation of white evangelicals. They are less partisan and it all plays to Barack Obama’s favor.” Sapp puts Hunter in that category and thinks the Obama administration will be inclusive of evangelicals. “I think it’s an early indication of the way he’s going to govern. For something as personal as who he wants praying for him is a good indicator of how he wants to be president.”

For Hunter, it wasn’t the first time the two men had prayed together and says the prayer before Obama's speech Tuesday night was in keeping with the next president's character, “Obama is a big picture person. His big picture includes God and he wanted to do that as it’s just the right thing to do at that moment.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    We need to pray for him because if he fails, we too, all fail. If he's hurt, we too are hurt.

    Bush's pain is our pain. His frustration is our frustration.

    November 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. R.M.Peralta

    They took God out of schools and look what's happened there.
    They are wanting/trying to take God off of our money, and look at the economy.
    But take God out of the white house, Oh Lord have mercy on America!

    Regardless of the outcome, "the people" have spoken. I just hope that it wasn't all JUST about "making history" or having a "Black president". God loves ALL people and He created each one of us equally in His image, but the issues, faith, values and morals of this country are now on the line. It would have been awesome to have a "History making Black president" that had all the values and morals and faith that our ForeFathers fought so hard to instill and that God's word clearly and loudly reads.

    And now all we can do and need to do is stand strong and unite. Be bold and confident, Pray that God would have His way. This is God's country!!!

    Dear Heavenly Father.. let Your will be done!!

    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    Bush showed extreme dedication and perseverance to stay the course. He may be wrong, but being steady is a real good trait for a President.

    November 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Dave in NYC

    god bless you president-elect obama! my wife and i prayed for you last night, too...

    November 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. Randy in Oregon

    What a leader! There really is hope! And this really is a new dawn for the USA! The negative and hateful comments by right-wingers are just being ignored! What a welcome and refreshing time for America!

    November 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. Concerned American

    Where was Rev. Wright? Oh yea...under the bus

    November 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. Beaz

    At least he didn't have that Anti-White, Anti-American, Nut Job Wright deliver it. He is surely not a Christian Reverend.

    November 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Another Texan For Obama

    I am so thankful that Obama was elected President of the United States.

    November 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Marty

    In Gods eyes we are all equal. One Nation under God with liberty and justice for all............... My prayers go out to the president elect and his family.

    November 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Wade

    President-Elect Obama is the true, Christian leader we need to bring this nation together. Let's learn from the divisionist politics and how poorly they've worked, and try our best to work together to fix our common problems.
    What makes me sick, "Sick", is how quickly we Christians are to judge. Instead, pray for Obama. Pray for me and you, and our country, sinners all.
    May God Bless the United States.

    November 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. Kenyan for Obama

    Congratulations Barry! President-Elect of the USAA!

    November 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. God's Child

    This country should be thankful that you now have a leader that prays and believes his power does not come from him, but from God. The last person that tried to govern this country without any higher power leading him, lead us into the devil's hands. The problen has been that religion is NOT apart of this country! If people learned there is much more to the country than a President, than maybe they'll learn that praising God comes with great rewards.

    November 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. S.M.K. Pasadena, TX

    CONGRADULATIONS BARACK OBAMA.
    Job well done..................................................
    Our prayers will be with you all the time.

    Well I was watching the TV closely this morning to
    see whether JOE THE PLUMBER has made his final speech. ????
    There are ...... still some radio talk show hosts trying to convince the Houstonians to change their vote....................... Hahahhaha ????

    November 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Don't Be Scared to Post This

    Once elected, I wonder if he'll seek out one of those Black Churches that convinces its members to vote skin color over values and ideas.

    November 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. Go Obama

    I always promised myself that I was man enough to never shed a tear, but after watching Obama's speech last night, I wept because I knew that America has finally lived up to its promise that we are all equal. I followed this election for nearly two years and I couldn't be any prouder to be an American than today. Even those I talked to who voted for Mccain feel the same way I do. Although I am not a religous man, I will always pray for you Obama and we are ready for the future!!! Congratulations!

    November 5, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Samantha Lieber

    Keep on dreaming...If Obama would have been Joe Smith with the
    same qualifications, and white, he wouldn't have had a chance at the
    Presidency...really! Obama will be overwhelmed by the task he
    knows nothing about..

    November 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. Kona

    Dear Mr. President,
    Let the naysayers talk, because that's all they do is talk. Really, that's what naysayers do, they "say" "naything" important :-). We are in your hands now sir, and you are in God's hands, which by logical rule bodes well for us all.

    Thank you for your perseverance a steadfast nature. We are all blessed by God because of it. May God Bless you, and may God Bless America.

    Kona

    November 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    Great job uniting the democratic party (including Hillary supporters). I am confident Dems & Reps will similarly come together now.

    Uniting the world is a whole different story. Obama, please don't be naive & trust the world to come together like we Americans do. Pick your international allies with caution and deal with them very carefully.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. maynard hopkins wi

    Lord help America now more than ever.... You now have evil running this country

    November 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Obama 2008

    To "Sick" you are the one that's in trouble due to that sick brain of yours.

    November 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Mike

    I pray for all Americans because on 1-20-09 the error begins.

    November 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  22. Brad

    YAY !!!! On to L'Dovid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. maynard hopkins wi

    Keep the church out of politics.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Dominican for Obama

    Thanks God we the minority became the Mayority by electing President Barak Obama...I will pray for Mr Obama always....

    Let us be one people and one country...

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Simmy

    President Obama, I will continue to pray for you and your family. He brought you this far, He will take you all the way!

    Sorry for James Dobson's followers, whose prayer was not answered when they prayed for rain during the Dem Convention, and for McPalin that they would win! Is their god the one with the little 'g'?

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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