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. Lillian / Pa

    God bless america we did it and it is time for change. I will always pray for OBAMA and his family. LETS DO THIS TOGETHER!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. OHIO FOR OBAMA

    for all you haters get over yourselves. you should try prayer and you wouldn't be so filled with hate. you are what is wrong with this country. so I will pray for you.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Nebraska DEM

    @sick, joe and is:

    We will pray for you. To put your anger and disappointment behind you and become happy, healthy Americans for a change.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. Donna from Ohio

    according to my Bible we are to pray for our leaders as they will be held accountable. I didn't vote for Obama not because of the color of his skin but for his LIBERAL ways. I pray he governs from the center and will be for all of us. I don't agree with him on moral issues but will pray for him and the country. Another thought. How would the African Americans react if he had lost? I heard talk about burning down the towns. It is great to be with a winner. I know that there would have been anger and hate going on if Obama lost. See both sides of it. Both sides need to get along even if we disagree. We can disagree without being disagreeabe.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Elle

    Although I believe Obama appears to be a decent man, I also strongly believe. just as Biden did, that we will be sorely tested. it is unfortunate that we let a true patriot slip right through our fingers. Yes, he is a republican, and unfortunately that is why he lost. Apparently, the voters did not pay attention to the fact that it is McCain who does not simply vote in the Senate according to party lines. Is that something Obama has done? Never mind the fact that McCain is a war hero who gave up 5 yrs of his life, only to be tortured and nearly straved to death.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    Before long you will be seeing Rev. Wright at the White House.

    November 5, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. DOCS 3

    It is as it was foretold-- " in every generation there will be at least one from the wildness to guide us".

    November 5, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Paula from Canada please post!

    President Obama is truly an inspiration for all of us who haven't had a golden road or silver spoon in our past. Barack is a true golden heart and I pray for him every night. He needs us to continually hold him and his family up in prayer.. he puts his life on the line everyday for the American people. Canada is thrilled to have such a great leader as our neighbour! My heart is so full of gladness! Rejoice and again I say rejoice! I pray all Americans will work with President Obama to make the United States a healed nation, full of promise and hope!

    November 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. The real Beasley

    I am so thankful that Barack Obama was elected President. This nation will now surely head in the right direction.

    November 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Fellow American with African Blood

    I pray in all things that God will grant Obama WISDOM and sound MIND, his presidency will be a blessing to all americans and glory to GOD. Amen

    November 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. an

    I knew the first time I heard Mr Obama speak, that this was the man that Martin Luther King spoke about in his "I Have A Dream" speach. I also believe that God also showed Dr. King this day. Just like Moses, God showed King the promise land but did not allow him to cross over. For any doubters God has his hand on President Obama.

    November 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. Artola

    Go to presidentialprayerteam.org Sign up to pray for Obama and Biden. They will email daily scriptures to you to guide your prayers for our leaders. They were organized and guided prayers for McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden through out the campaign and are now organizing daily prayers for President Obama. (I love saying that President Obama!) I think this is a beautiful way to begin uniting our country.

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. julio

    one nation under god with liberty and justice for all. I prayed for obama to do a good job and for mccain to comfort his heavy heart. these are both great americans and we must all come together and pray this nation moves forward and due to my faith I know we will move forward under the leadership of president elect Obama.

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Milton Chicago

    The Lord is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow, God bless America, the world and our president elected Barack Obama

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Blanche in Florida

    Jeremiah 29:11 says paraphase: I know the thoughts and the plans i have for you. They are not to harm you but to give you and expeceted hope for the future, for this is your heritage.

    No one can stop what God has put in place. To God be the glory for the things he has done. And as for as Jeremiah Wright, no matter what others think of him, the man told the truth. Just read your bible and when you do ask God to give you the true meaning of His word.

    May God continue to bless and keep the Obamas, the Biden and all of us.

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. robert

    I would be a little concerned as by his own admission, his spiritual advisor is that loony reverend buddy of his

    November 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Nebraska DEM

    Why are so many people being judgmental? You disturb me! Leave the judging out of your life....it indicates self-loathing and self-destructive tendencies. You really need help.....and probably a hug!!

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. Pray Obama's Aunt Gets deported Tomorrow

    She's living off taxpayer money and she's an illegal immigrant.

    This is unfair to legal Mexican immigrants. Throw her out now.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Obama 08

    Willy Brown, quit making comparisons to Jimmy Carter. Believe me, there's a ton of Republican presidents that I could make bad comparisons to: Nixon, Ford, Bush 1 and 2, Hoover. The list goes on.

    November 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Ali

    So, since all you conservatives prayed for McCain to win and he lost: Maybe that is God telling you you're wrong. Just a thought.

    November 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Teresa - California

    Today, I woke up and thought I was dreaming... I never thought I would see this day come in my lifetime and I congratulate Obama and Biden.

    The people that are making such hateful comments are making those comments out of fear and I hope one day they will learn to shed their ignorance. We are entering some tough economic times and either this country stands together and we overcome this bump in the road or we stay divided and allow the United States to fall...the choice is ours.

    November 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. David

    To 1/20/09!

    November 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Gobama!!

    We should expect some hateful posts these days, as many are bitter and hurt. We need to understand their pain, and receive them in a manner that would make Barack proud: extend an offer to come along for the ride on the train of change.

    Never is change comfortable for everyone. Set an example rather than responding in a hateful tone. In time, people will turn the corner and acknowledge this special man's gifts.

    November 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Faye from Georgia

    America United. This is what I see. I have to be honest, personally in my heart I did not trust most White people (I am an African American woman), because of past experiences...even smart educated people...one of past bosses in an educational environment treated all Black people with no respect...and then even his White female boss supported all of his evil efforts...I have seen this time and time in my life....BUT now I have a renewed respect for most White people...because a large percentage of them voted their hearts instead of their fears...I respect that so much...and so I will choose to not dewell on the evils from my past..but Love..and support my fellowman and woman... America we will be United and we will WIN!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Chris

    He needs to pray for forgiveness over his stance on late term abortion. If you check the 5th commandment, it clearly states, "THOU SHALL NOT MURDER." Mr. President-Elect, you need to start praying daily that God will forgive you for the blood of the unborn which you have stated you will allow to be killed as soon as you become president.

    November 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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