November 5th, 2008
07:05 PM ET
13 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. Steve H

    I still don't see why this is such a "big event" for the country. Just because he is half black? There are plenty of blacks in high level jobs, including politics. Is this the only good reason to elect this guy? What are his qualifications? Nobody seems to know.

    Hold onto your wallets, cuz this guy is going to suck away your wealth so that he can give public housing to illegals just like his auntie.

    There is a lot of talk about hate in these posts. Hey maybe it's not hate, it's just intellegent people giving an opinion that this guy isn't suited for the job.

    Any any black voter who voted for him because he is black, hey that is racist !!!!!! It's good enough for you but nobody else?

    He's got a very strong socialist agenda and will attempt to quiet any dissenters in the ranks. Where have we seen this before? THINK people !!!!

    November 5, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  2. Denise Groves

    Glad he did that. He is going to need all the help he can get from the Lord

    November 5, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  3. Common Sense Christian

    Everyone, just accept it. I supported and voted for John McCain but the people have spoken, and Barack Obama is our President. From this day forward, to do anything but support him in his efforts to lead the nation would be unforgivingly unpatriotic of us. Not to mention selfish, bitter and divisive. To read these posts is sad, because it seems many of my fellow McCain supporters would rather see our nation peril and "be proven right" than see it prosper and "be proven wrong". And you people call yourselves Christians and patriots? I urge all Americans to put our differences aside so we can secure our nation and protect our way of life.

    November 5, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  4. Still a Winner

    Whether it be Bush, McCain, or Obama, I go about my daily life, working, taking care of my family, and doing my best with what I've got. The President if the President. On a day-by-day basis, he doesn't have much, if any, effect on my life. At least now Sen. Reid of Nevada can finally say he has a President. If I may use him as a role model, I can also claim now to NOT have a president, just like him, because I disagree with all that he is and does. Thanks Sen. Reid for being my role model

    November 5, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Fred

    Prayer?.......Yes, God help us. All you Hussein supporters will soon see the mess YOU ALL have got us into. God help us!

    November 5, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  6. Taa Taa

    Father God, thank you for sending Barack Obama to us. Thank you so much Father for allowing us the opportunity to elect him as our leader. We give him to you to use him the way you see fit. And for all these so called christians that are blogging, we give them to you as well to do to them as you see fit... In the blessed name of Jesus.. AMEN, and God Bless President – Elect Obama, and Vice President – Elect biden.

    November 5, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Eugene

    You can feel the millions of prayers for President-elect Obama. The Holy Spirit was in the air last night in Grant Park. The prayers will continue throughout his term in office. Thank you, all praying folks, for your constancy and God for such great grace!

    November 5, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. mike

    Not President Yet. Before he was aloud to run everything was checked to ensure he was elgible. So DROP IT. Wether or not you or I like it he will be the next president. Now go cry yourself a river build a pretty littlebridge and get over it then if you still have any anger left over use it to burn your bridge.

    November 5, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. FOr not yet president

    His Birth Certificate is on his Website. Please Feel free to check it out

    November 5, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  10. julio

    I voted for Mccain but I respect Obama and the people elected Obama. I give President Obama my full support. He is a decent American and I believe he will do what is best for the USA. We must all stand behind our president if we are to move ahead. If God is helping my brother beat disease then I know in my heart he will not abandon President Obama. God bless him, his family, all the American people, and the world.

    November 5, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. Paula Englert

    President-Elect Obama,

    May the Lord bless and keep you.
    May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
    May He look upon you with kindness and give you His peace.

    Congratulations on our marvelous win. I am very hopeful for the future of our country, thanks to you. I know you will lead the United States to prosperity and renewed respect. You are always in my prayers.

    God bless you and your family.

    November 5, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. eva

    Luke- you talk about Christians should value life. that's so true. Pro-lifers (CONSERVATIVES) believe that if you are pro-choice you can't be a Christian. Does life begin and end at birth? You never talk about caring for the child after they are born by making sure they have food to eat, shelter, healthcare to stay alive and thrive,. You call that socialism. Life is not just being alive. Life is health, jfamily, joy, opportunity, etc. Also, so many conservatives favor the DEATH penalty. iS THAT PRO-LIFEI am so confused by your logic. It baffles me. Are you TRULY prolife? Are you a true Christian. Just seems hypocritical to me.

    November 5, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. The Flying Spaghetti Monster

    I mean seriously people... Give the God thing a rest. We're not all a bunch of superstitious sheeple. Believe in yourselves and the people around you for a change. At least you can be 100% sure that they are real.
    Believe in a book of fiction all you want, but STOP STUFFING IT DOWN MY THROAT!
    Remember, the last time we mixed politics and religion, people got burned at the stake.

    November 5, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  14. Karen - South Africa

    To America:
    Congratulations on electing the most inspirational, smart, thoughtful and hopeful man into the highest office in the world – President Elect Barack Obama. Please America, Unite and work together to make your country the leader it was before. I did not like the McCain/Palin ticket, but I have to give credit where credit is due – Sen. John McCain was gracious in defeat and I trust that he will work with President Elect Barack Obama. Good on you.

    To President Elect Barack Obama:
    Congratulations. You have made the world a better place.

    November 5, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  15. Hopeful Citizen

    Those on this blog who make something negative or cynical about Obama's pre-speech prayer will not discourage me. I have great hopes for Obama and for all of us in this country to follow his lead. I hope your lack of respect will dissolve as we change our culture.

    November 5, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  16. el

    Lord , please save US

    November 5, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  17. paksa

    Please don't say that it was God's will that Obama was elected. That is not an answer based on scripture. Obama was elected – and none of us know clearly that it is God's will. What we do know is that God can bring good out of any situation. And that should be our source of hope at this time.

    November 5, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  18. MC

    He said "Don't make a BIG election about little things!" None bigger than the fact that we must ALL now come together and work as One nation!


    November 5, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. Ken

    It's OVER!! It is time to get on with life and to co-exist and to work together. This is the UNITED States. Get over it!

    November 5, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. 3strikes

    god didnt send obama & obama aint gods will.

    obama is a prophecy fulfilled from the book of revelations – false prophet.

    November 5, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. Robby

    I find it very funny that McCain supporters are saying they want to move to Europe when Europe, in general, is much more liberal than the United States. There are probably more Obama supporters in European countries than there are here...

    November 5, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  22. local haloe

    Yikes! Reading these comments makes me wonder what century I live in!! If I recall correctly, the Christians claimed god choose Bush? Both times? Let's hope he did his homework this time...

    November 5, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. don

    The comments on this blog are proof positive of how religion and now especially fundamental Christianity is ruining and morally corrupting this country and the world. Barack Obama is the leader for a new generation of Americans and all of you who are so frightened about, who knows what, I suggest you pray for yourselves to become students of the constitution of this country and understand that separation of church and state is not only stated in our constitution it is demanded.

    November 5, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. Realistic Republican

    Barack Obama is not the Messiah that some of his supporters seem to think him to be. Neither is he the anti-Christ that some of his detractors claim him to be. I was glad to hear that he prayed with evangelical ministers before his victory speech. If he was only claiming to be a Christian to get elected, he would have dropped the act once the votes were counted. He may not believe exactly the same things that I do, but if he made a genuine commitment to Christ, God can use him in these perilous times. He can't live up to the expectations that have been set for him, no one could, but if he surrounds himself with wise advisers and seeks the face of God, the next 4 years may not be as bad as some McCain supporters fear. We all have a duty to pray for the president whether we always agree with him or not.

    November 6, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. Deb in Pennsylvania

    Congratulations President-Elect Barack Obama!
    The United States finally stood up and showed the world that true democracy has finally landed on America's shores, and I could not be prouder of my country than I am at this moment!

    The bitter (and obviously racists), hateful comments are of no consequence. People have sadly, always used God and their "Christian Faith" to spew hate. The same people who have a problem with a woman's right to choose and to deal with her faith and its' consequences, have no problem with wars: why else McSame?,and this has no business in the discussion about our soon-to-be President Barack Obama and his faith.

    What you republicans bible-thumpin' "evangelicals" do in the name of your faith is shameful, and you will have to answer for your judgment ( remember that commandment?) one day when we all stand before God, or whatever name that we call when we pray.
    Those who truly love God's word, see the good heart in this man. I will pray that God, the Father, will make him invisible to the snakes in the garden who profess to love life and the Lord, but as Satan's minions are always at the ready to spew hate and want to cause harm...,all in the name of loving God ,and caring about life.
    These same people had no problem cheering Bush/Cheyney on while they drove this country and other parts of the world into total destruction!
    False claims to love this country, and to care about the unborn,look like the bitter bleats of a small-minded, group who seems to think that the United States of America belongs to them alone, even though every single one of them are from a family of immigrants. Check your hate and racism, disguised as "Christians who love their country and the unborn" (but to HELL with them once they're born!), at the door and grow up!!!!! You like petty children,whining b/c you lost, while the world won!


    November 6, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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