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

Praying with the President-elect

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. fairness

    he and anyone can pray as they need/wish. Why this has to be even commented?
    It is private thing to pray. So let it be. Some people just have to dissect, overanalyze. Where is your own life? Let others be free.

    November 6, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. Minister M.A.P.

    I have read most of these statements, and I am at a amazment of how the ignorant people who have made negative statements towards your next President (whether you like it or not!!!!). Seeing the words on this page let's me know that we will NEVER be as ONE or UNITED in all things for the case of the USA. And to Use GOD in your prayer and then criticize!? You all are just SICK and Need prayer yourself. Still God Bless you all for your negative comments. Strength will come from it. GO President Obama Go!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. Bear

    I have read your comments and I see what I always see! You do not have an ideal as to what is going on. Some say God gave us Obama, some say he is not a Christian, some are saying he is black and some say he is white. Who cares! God did give us the ability to choose, wheather it is the right choice or not, look at Adam and Eve, they had a choice!! The answer is the majority made a choice, just as with President Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, etc. etc. Now we have to see if the majority made the right choice, very closely, and if so great, but if not, we have to stand united to correct it!! God and the devil gives us choices each day. As in the past we should "keep the Eagle eye" on the new President and act accordingly.
    God bless America !
    ps If all of you is so concerned about God and the United States of American, I expect to see you screaming about taking "In God We Trust" off our money and lets get prayer back into our schools, homes and business'
    your fellow American

    November 6, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  4. julio

    to all the bitter individuals that can't handle the fact that Obama got elected I will pray for you to have God forgive you for having such bigoted hearts of stone. my candidate did not win but I trust we will be in good hands with prez Obama. God bless you all atheist and non-atheist alike.

    November 6, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Theresa

    Obama is the answer to OUR prayers. God listens and send us angels to protect us. Obama is here for a purpose: to help us move forward! I am so proud to be an American AGAIN!!

    November 6, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. The People Have Chosen

    It seems to me that many have found it easy to ignore the ideals and philosophies and embrace the personality and image of President elect Obama. He has certainly invested a lot of care and thought into that image and the results are undeniable. I think President elect Obama could be just a colossal disappointment, accomplishing little of what he has promised, but I doubt it. I think he will accomplish amazing things, things which will forever alter the course of our country and things for which many generations, not just Americans but people of many nations, will pay dearly.

    November 6, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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