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. awed by the moment

    Praise God for a man that will lead us that actually believes that he must have the blessings and hand of God in His life. I am still in shock and humbled that I have lived to see this moment. I will be praying for President Obama everyday that he occcupies the oval office. it has been a long time coming but the change has come. Praise God forevermore.

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    Dear Obama,

    Cling on to this verse: Proverbs 16v3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The Lord works out everything for his own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster.

    November 5, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. abdirahman haji

    I am not a US citizen yet, but i will before next election. i admire the united states, the election of Obama, glorifies the great country, we pray for the gretness of America and for the president elect Obama.

    November 5, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It doesn't make any difference whether you are a democrat, republican, doctor or lawyer, we all stand in the need to prayer and if you don't believe in prayer, that's okay because somewhere someone is praying for you.

    November 5, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Anderson

    For "sick":

    Sure we are in trouble. We're stuck in an illegal and immoral war that is costing human life and flushing our money down the toilet. We're faced with a financial crisis generated by prodigious greed and carelessness. Our international reputation is in ruins, but is slowly improving now.

    This is because America has chosen to disregard the self-proclaimed moral majority, who thinks it can decide who is a "real American" and who is not, and chosen a competent and clear-headed leader with a vision for the future that people can get behind and work toward.

    Yes, we are in trouble, but at least now we are no longer allowing the inmates to run the asylum. America is America again, not some backward cleptocracy wrapped in guns and jingoistic religion.

    (but don't be bitter...)

    November 5, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Tired

    This country will never be the same, meaning for the worse.

    November 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. ls

    Don't blame me ! I voted for Clinton !

    November 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Amanda

    I ,as a conservative, prolife, southern born and raised, am extemely proud to be an American today and to look to the future with Barack as president.

    November 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    A true story: Some Elgin folks were lost in miles of corn fields. They were running out of gas and it was getting dark. In their desperate moments, these folks from Elgin, IL, remembered God and prayed for guidance.

    While driving, a road split right in the middle of the corn field and a car stopped on the side of the road. A BLACK woman asked them if they were lost and gave them directions to get out. They got back in the car and turned to thank her, but there was no road in the corn filed and there was no BLACK woman.

    They became devoted Christians.

    November 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Simmy



    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. John for Obama

    30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain .....give it a are a dying breed

    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Nevada for Obama

    I will be praying for President Elect Obama continuously. Prayer is vital and God's grace is evident per the outcome of this election.


    November 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. becazican

    When are we going to keep religion out of politics. I would rather my spiritual beliefs not to be polluted by politics. Our forefathers knew this and made a separation of church and state. So who he prayed with doesnt make a bit of difference and should not be news. Lets take this country forward, the christian right kidnapped the republican party and look what they have become , can you say nazi.

    November 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    Another true story: My cousin attended a revival up in Minnesota and she heard a real spooky and funny story.

    It was late night and the pastor got out of a meeting to go home, but he kept hearing a voice, telling him to go to the gas station to get a gallon of milk.

    He grudgely followed it and picked up the milk and heard the voice again and grudgely drove in the pouring rain, to an unknow street. He saw a run-down house and went up and knocked on the door. A Hispanic lady came to the door and cried and thank God for the gallon of milk. She had been praying to God for a gallon of milk. Her kids were hungry.

    He finally understood why God directed him to pick up a gallon of milk.

    November 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. KMW

    Sick is very sick. This is the time for ALL Americans to come together to repair the damage of 8 years of bad leadership and strife. In my eyes, any man that prays from his heart, and listens to the man above will lead this country in to the light.

    In short, we should choose to be part of the solution, not part of the problem and help the President-elect succeed!

    November 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Voted for OBAMA in Louisiana

    What a day. A day when everyone smart enough to vote for the right choice can stand tall and walk proud. This is not only a great day for America – it's a great day for our future and the future of the world God created for us. Do not judge. Be proud to be a part of such a democracy. I was proud to be an American a week ago, am today, and will be until the day I'm delivered.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. Lyndon,CA

    God is smiling so far.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. nogods

    Nothing fails like prayer.

    November 5, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Yes, God is Alive!! God, Guts and Guns made this country. Remember, Russia SHUT its door to Christianity for 40 years. They woke up, realizing their population was wicked. They created a race of evil men. Gorbachev forced them to kick open the doors of churches to the love and light of God.

    Without God, there's no purpose, only the dark side to turn to... only the callings of Hitlerism.....

    November 5, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  20. Pray for HIm

    Pray for this man this is an awesome task. And anyone one who is not willing to help this country only criticize it. Then shut up, We have a new president neither him or any other president can stop anything that is going to happen. Learn to put your faith in the true Leader himself God and quit relying on the candidate to get you out of this mess. This candidate and his family, America and the whole world needs prayer. Sick get over it man let it go, what's done is done. OBAMA is your President whether you like it or not. don't like move.

    November 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    I dont even care about getting a tax cut. I'll do whatever it takes to help lift AMerica up.

    November 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Kathy

    If this story was about any Republican politician praying after an election, these same blissed-out commenters would be screeching about right-wing theocrats destroying the separation between church and state.

    November 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Norma Taylor

    Now there is a Leader to believe in! God's speed Obama!!

    November 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Erma Lee

    As a black woman in America this moment in time is hughe and the prayer before the speech was larger than life. God was there and has allway been there, here and everywhere because He is omnipresent. When there is a moment like Nov. 4 2008 and the victory is won God will all ways be there because it is HIS-STORY. The high energy that we all saw and felt all over the world of man reaching a new and high level of consciousness God will be part of that celebration.

    God Bless America and our newly elected President and family.



    November 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. AJ

    For people like "Joe" and "Sick" above, you are a bunch of sorry people just wallowing in your own hatred and ignorance. I pity you and pray that someday you will let hatred go. I will always pray for Obama, his family, our country, and our world.

    November 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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