Here's the White House transcript of President Barack Obama's address Thursday morning to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington:
I want to begin by just saying a word to Mark Kelly, who’s here. We have been praying for Mark’s wife, Gabby Giffords, for many days now. But I want Gabby and Mark and their entire family to know that we are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul.
And even as we pray for Gabby in the aftermath of a tragedy here at home, we're also mindful of the violence that we're now seeing in the Middle East, and we pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world.
For almost 60 years, going back to President Eisenhower, this gathering has been attended by our President. It’s a tradition that I'm proud to uphold not only as a fellow believer but as an elected leader whose entry into public service was actually through the church.
This may come as a surprise, for as some of you know, I did not come from a particularly religious family. My father, who I barely knew - I only met once for a month in my entire life - was said to be a non-believer throughout his life.
My mother, whose parents were Baptist and Methodist, grew up with a certain skepticism about organized religion, and she usually only took me to church on Easter and Christmas - sometimes. And yet my mother was also one of the most spiritual people that I ever knew. She was somebody who was instinctively guided by the Golden Rule and who nagged me constantly about the homespun values of her Kansas upbringing, values like honesty and hard work and kindness and fair play.
And it’s because of her that I came to understand the equal worth of all men and all women, and the imperatives of an ethical life and the necessity to act on your beliefs. And it’s because of her example and guidance that despite the absence of a formal religious upbringing my earliest inspirations for a life of service ended up being the faith leaders of the civil rights movement.
There was, of course, Martin Luther King and the Baptist leaders, the ways in which they helped those who had been subjugated to make a way out of no way, and transform a nation through the force of love. But there were also Catholic leaders like Father Theodore Heshburg, and Jewish leaders like Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Muslim leaders and Hindu leaders. Their call to fix what was broken in our world, a call rooted in faith, is what led me just a few years out of college to sign up as a community organizer for a group of churches on the Southside of Chicago. And it was through that experience working with pastors and laypeople trying to heal the wounds of hurting neighborhoods that I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior.
Now, that was over 20 years ago. And like all of us, my faith journey has had its twists and turns. It hasn’t always been a straight line. I have thanked God for the joys of parenthood and Michelle’s willingness to put up with me. (Laughter.) In the wake of failures and disappointments I've questioned what God had in store for me and been reminded that God’s plans for us may not always match our own short-sighted desires.
And let me tell you, these past two years, they have deepened my faith. The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray. Abe Lincoln said, as many of you know, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”
Fortunately, I'm not alone in my prayers. Pastor friends like Joel Hunter and T.D. Jakes come over to the Oval Office every once in a while to pray with me and pray for the nation. The chapel at Camp David has provided consistent respite and fellowship. The director of our Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership’s office, Joshua DuBois - young minister himself - he starts my morning off with meditations from Scripture.
Most of all, I've got friends around the country - some who I know, some who I don’t know, but I know their friends who are out there praying for me. One of them is an old friend named Kaye Wilson. In our family we call her Momma Kaye. And she happens to be Malia and Sasha’s godmother. And she has organized prayer circles for me all around the country. She started small with her own Bible study group, but once I started running for President and she heard what they were saying about me on cable, she felt the need to pray harder. By the time I was elected President, she says, “I just couldn’t keep up on my own.” “I was having to pray eight, nine times a day just for you.” So she enlisted help from around the country.
It’s also comforting to know that people are praying for you who don’t always agree with you. Tom Coburn, for example, is here. He is not only a dear friend but also a brother in Christ. We came into the Senate at the same time. Even though we are on opposite sides of a whole bunch of issues, part of what has bound us together is a shared faith, a recognition that we pray to and serve the same God. And I keep praying that God will show him the light and he will vote with me once in a while. It’s going to happen, Tom. A ray of light is going to beam down.
My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years. All the more so, when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we're being true to our conscience and true to our God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
As I travel across the country folks often ask me what is it that I pray for. And like most of you, my prayers sometimes are general: Lord, give me the strength to meet the challenges of my office. Sometimes they’re specific: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance - (laughter) - where there will be boys. (Laughter.) Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance. (Laughter.)
But while I petition God for a whole range of things, there are a few common themes that do recur. The first category of prayer comes out of the urgency of the Old Testament prophets and the Gospel itself. I pray for my ability to help those who are struggling. Christian tradition teaches that one day the world will be turned right side up and everything will return as it should be. But until that day, we're called to work on behalf of a God that chose justice and mercy and compassion to the most vulnerable.
We've seen a lot of hardship these past two years. Not a day passes when I don't get a letter from somebody or meet someone who’s out of work or lost their home or without health care. The story Randall told about his father - that's a story that a whole lot of Americans have gone through over these past couple of years.
Sometimes I can't help right away. Sometimes what I can do to try to improve the economy or to curb foreclosures or to help deal with the health care system - sometimes it seems so distant and so remote, so profoundly inadequate to the enormity of the need. And it is my faith, then, that biblical injunction to serve the least of these, that keeps me going and that keeps me from being overwhelmed. It’s faith that reminds me that despite being just one very imperfect man, I can still help whoever I can, however I can, wherever I can, for as long as I can, and that somehow God will buttress these efforts.
It also helps to know that none of us are alone in answering this call. It’s being taken up each and every day by so many of you - back home, your churches, your temples and synagogues, your fellow congregants - so many faith groups across this great country of ours.
I came upon a group recently called “charity: water,” a group that supports clean water projects overseas. This is a project that was started by a former nightclub promoter named Scott Harrison who grew weary of living only for himself and feeling like he wasn’t following Christ as well as he should.
And because of Scott’s good work, “charity: water” has helped 1.7 million people get access to clean water. And in the next 10 years, he plans to make clean water accessible to a hundred million more. That’s the kind of promoting we need more of, and that’s the kind of faith that moves mountains. And there’s stories like that scattered across this room of people who’ve taken it upon themselves to make a difference.
Now, sometimes faith groups can do the work of caring for the least of these on their own; sometimes they need a partner, whether it’s in business or government. And that’s why my administration has taken a fresh look at the way we organize with faith groups, the way we work with faith groups through our Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
And through that office, we’re expanding the way faith groups can partner with our government. We’re helping them feed more kids who otherwise would go hungry. We’re helping fatherhood groups get dads the support they need to be there for their children. We’re working with non-profits to improve the lives of people around the world. And we’re doing it in ways that are aligned with our constitutional principles. And in this work, we intend to expand it in the days ahead, rooted in the notions of partnership and justice and the imperatives to help the poor.
Of course there are some needs that require more resources than faith groups have at their disposal. There’s only so much a church can do to help all the families in need - all those who need help making a mortgage payment, or avoiding foreclosure, or making sure their child can go to college. There’s only so much that a nonprofit can do to help a community rebuild in the wake of disaster. There’s only so much the private sector will do to help folks who are desperately sick get the care that they need.
And that's why I continue to believe that in a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play; that our values, our love and our charity must find expression not just in our families, not just in our places of work and our places of worship, but also in our government and in our politics.
Over the past two years, the nature of these obligations, the proper role of government has obviously been the subject of enormous controversy. And the debates have been fierce as one side’s version of compassion and community may be interpreted by the other side as an oppressive and irresponsible expansion of the state or an unacceptable restriction on individual freedom.
That's why a second recurring theme in my prayers is a prayer for humility. Now, God answered this prayer for me early on by having me marry Michelle. Because whether it’s reminding me of a chore undone, or questioning the wisdom of watching my third football game in a row on Sunday, she keeps me humble.
But in this life of politics when debates have become so bitterly polarized, and changes in the media lead so many of us just to listen to those who reinforce our existing biases, it’s useful to go back to Scripture to remind ourselves that none of has all the answers - none of us, no matter what our political party or our station in life.
The full breadth of human knowledge is like a grain of sand in God’s hands. And there are some mysteries in this world we cannot fully comprehend. As it’s written in Job, “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways. He does great things beyond our understandings.”
The challenge I find then is to balance this uncertainty, this humility, with the need to fight for deeply held convictions, to be open to other points of view but firm in our core principles. And I pray for this wisdom every day.
I pray that God will show me and all of us the limits of our understanding, and open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view; that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal the way forward that we can travel together.
And the last recurring theme, one that binds all prayers together, is that I might walk closer with God and make that walk my first and most important task.
In our own lives it’s easy to be consumed by our daily worries and our daily concerns. And it is even easier at a time when everybody is busy, everybody is stressed, and everybody - our culture is obsessed with wealth and power and celebrity. And often it takes a brush with hardship or tragedy to shake us out of that, to remind us of what matters most.
We see an aging parent wither under a long illness, or we lose a daughter or a husband in Afghanistan, we watch a gunman open fire in a supermarket - and we remember how fleeting life can be. And we ask ourselves how have we treated others, whether we’ve told our family and friends how much we love them. And it’s in these moments, when we feel most intensely our mortality and our own flaws and the sins of the world, that we most desperately seek to touch the face of God.
So my prayer this morning is that we might seek His face not only in those moments, but each and every day; that every day as we go through the hustle and bustle of our lives, whether it’s in Washington or Hollywood or anywhere in between, that we might every so often rise above the here and now, and kneel before the Eternal; that we might remember, Kaye, the fact that those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint.
When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to give me the strength to do right by our country and its people. And when I go to bed at night I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to forgive me my sins, and look after my family and the American people, and make me an instrument of His will.
I say these prayers hoping they will be answered, and I say these prayers knowing that I must work and must sacrifice and must serve to see them answered. But I also say these prayers knowing that the act of prayer itself is a source of strength. It’s a reminder that our time on Earth is not just about us; that when we open ourselves to the possibility that God might have a larger purpose for our lives, there’s a chance that somehow, in ways that we may never fully know, God will use us well.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may He bless this country that we love.
This dialog makes me truly thankful for our religious freedom and freedom of speech. ...and for our seeking President.
Well, interesting, I suppose you have to,,,google it yourself...
Barack Obama mocks the Bible
Barack Obama claims he is Muslin
Google..Obama told Egyptian minister, he is Muslim
This president is the best president for any country to have...it is enough that he is highly educated and one of the best speakers in the world, no matter what religion he is count his achievements rather than his beliefs....
Al-Asr sura 103:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
By the declining day, (1) Lo! man is a state of loss, (2) Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. (3).
Al-Bayyina sura 98:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters could not have left off (erring) till the clear proof came unto them, (1) A messenger from Allah, reading purified pages (2) Containing correct scriptures. (3) Nor were the People of the Scripture divided until after the clear proof came unto them. (4) And they are ordered naught else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion. (5) Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. (6) (And) lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings. (7) Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they dwell for ever. Allah hath pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him. This is (in store) for him who feareth his Lord. (8).
Al-Adiyat sura 100:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
By the snorting coursers, (1) Striking sparks of fire (2) And scouring to the raid at dawn, (3) Then, therewith, with their trail of dust, (4) Cleaving, as one, the centre (of the foe), (5) Lo! man is an ingrate unto his Lord (6) And lo! he is a witness unto that; (7) And lo! in the love of wealth he is violent. (8) Knoweth he not that, when the contents of the graves are poured forth (9) And the secrets of the breasts are made known, (10) On that day will their Lord be perfectly informed concerning them. (11).
Obama mocks the Bible....but calls the Koran "holy Koran.."
Obama attacks ....
What else is there to know about Obama alias Barry Soetoro?
So big deal, Muslim Barack Hussein Obama alias Barry Soetoro said a prayer. The question is to what god? Just because someone goes to church and prays doesn't make him/her any more 'Christian' than a cat with 4 legs make it a dog.
Barack Hussein Obama is a 'secret' muslim. He admits it, why to bring "change" to America, ring in Sharia Law. It has been revealed that under the Obama watch, the administration has "secretly spent $23 million of taxpayers money to dund a "yes" vote that would increase access to abortion in Kenya and "establish legal status for Islamic Laws. Obama is a liar and deciever.
Obama, "my Muslim faith, and spirit...' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCAffMSWSzY
For Christians to read;
Why bother? Here is some reality about Islam and Christianity:
"Why is it so hard for Muslim to become a Christian or join with another religion? Mohammed said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” (Hadith Al Buhkari vol. 9:57) This command is practiced in almost all Islamic Fundamentalist countries today."
Why should a man look back when he is advanced in knowldge ? Why go back to worshipping other than God ?
Why go back for those who left back their monotheism and went to what God has warned us from by all sent prophets and messangers of God?
-Who claim that God has a Son and worship the named Son rather than God?
-Who claim that God is Three in One (meaning that God came to earth in the skin of Jesus)?
The religion is not a joke and no one should become a Muslim unless he is a hundred percent that he is convinced of it being the mear truth and wouldn't think about leaving it and change into another religion...
Religious or non,you will not regret reading this page;
Miracles of the Qur'an
Shaykh Muhammed Metwalli Al-Sharawi
All you need to know about Islam is noted below:
1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured
1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh
2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured
3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.
5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.
6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.
7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.
8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.
9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.
10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror
11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.
12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.
13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,
14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.
15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.
16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.
17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.
18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.
Al-Ghashiya sura 88:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Hath there come unto thee tidings of the Overwhelming? (1) On that day (many) faces will be downcast, (2) Toiling, weary, (3) Scorched by burning fire, (4) Drinking from a boiling spring, (5) No food for them save bitter thorn-fruit (6) Which doth not nourish nor release from hunger. (7) In that day other faces will be calm, (8) Glad for their effort past, (9) In a high garden (10) Where they hear no idle speech, (11) Wherein is a gushing spring, (12) Wherein are couches raised (13) And goblets set at hand (14) And cushions ranged (15) And silken carpets spread. (16) Will they not regard the camels, how they are created? (17) And the heaven, how it is raised? (18) And the hills, how they are set up? (19) And the earth, how it is spread? (20) Remind them, for thou art but a remembrancer, (21) Thou art not at all a warder over them. (22) But whoso is averse and disbelieveth, (23) Allah will punish him with direst punishment. (24) Lo! unto Us is their return (25) And Ours their reckoning. (26).
What about abortion, gay marriage, etc., are these Christian values? Not impressed by his speech.
You should not judge someone else's faith or make assumptions. I am a Lutheran, and I consider myself pro-life. I hate the idea of abortion, the taking of an innocent life, but at the same time, if a woman feels that an abortion is her option, either out of fear from her family or whatever, I would much rather have her get an abortion that is in a clinic, done by a physician rather than one done in some back alley, done with a coat hanger and bleach. As far as gay marriage, I'm all for it. We are called to welcome and embrace all people to grow into all that God created them to be, even if they are gay.
Isarel is a mans name in the bible,his name was changed by God from Jacob which means( the supplanter) to Israel which means ( A Prince with God) This is found in Genesis Chapter 32 verse 28 he is the Grandson of Abraham. Abraham is the man that God made a Covenant with in GEN CH 12verse1-3 God said in verse 3 " And I will bless them that bless thee,and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." There is much that could be said about this one verse. The blessing to" all familes of the earth" is Jesus being born through the linage of Abraham an easy to follow family tree can be found in Matthew chapter one verse one through verse 25. We should also note that God said " I will bless them that bless thee" This country that we live in is blessed by God and is the power that it is partly because of its stand to protect Isarel. We should realize and read in the bible all of the times that God himself fought for Isarel and he will again at the end' but God has all through history used other means to protect Isarel,We as a country would be very foolish and indeed would seal our on fate if the powers that be ever decide to go against Isarel. Remember this we as individuals,groups or nations will never be able to fight against God and win, God himself promised Abraham that he would bless him and make him a great nation. I would like to encourage you to read all of Gen, it is a very rich Book in Gods Word. Abraham also had a son Ishmael with a woman named Hagar Gen ch 16 verse1 and in verse12 you will see where God said Ishmael would be "A wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand will be against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." Even though God did not want Abrahanm to do this God still made Ishmael a great nation ch 17 verse 20. Understand that the greatest thing then was for children to be born and Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born, that was his first child, but God intended for Abraham's first child to be with Sarah. Both of their names were changed in the bible as well Abram to Abraham and Sari to Sarah. There is to much to tell,but we need to realize that the book of Genesis covers a period of time of over 2000 years and some would argue much longer .So if you or anyone else wants to know the" Why" we should bless Israel or the rich history of The nation of Israel it is all in the bible. All quotes were taken from Authorized KING JAMES VERSION BIBLE 1611.
So god plays favourites huh? nice.
The general reaction on CNN to BO's speech is overwhelmingly skeptical. It is ON CNN. Think about it!!! That says how sincere his feith is. Remember, faith shows. Faith is not words. Faith is not communication. Faith is not church. Faith is not even prayer. Faith is life.
No one really believes that 0bama is a Christian or a man of faith. He is a Muslim that is trying anything to get re-elected in 2012. God may not look to kindly on his insincere activities.
I think that's for God alone to judge whether or not the man is sincere. Having heard the complete speech he made and his decalarion of Jesus as is Lord and saviour, I have to say, no self respecting Muslim is going to say that publicly. Sorry, also having a sense about people, I feel that the man is very sincere and is following the dictates of the Christ that served 'the people', the less fortunate of his time...not the modern day Pharisees who call themselves Christian but turn their backs on the less fortunate. Or they they diss Mr. Obama because he's not completely white. I saw a lot of that crap myself in the Christian churches that I frequented as a teenager and I have to say that's one of the main things that drove me away. Oh and this not the only time I've heard the man make that declaration of his belief in Jesus as is personal lord and saviour....huhmmm no Muslim there–secrt or otherwise–there from what I can see and have heard.
I believe President Obama is a Christian. I do not believe you are a Christian. I believe you are a Muslim. Prove me wrong. You can't, can you?
AMEN! AMEN!! Wow, He really is a follower of Jesus Christ!!
All religions are stupid.
Mawm, aren't opinions grand? They are like elbows, everyone has one.
All religions are stupid.
All skateboarders are stupid
All bikers are stupid
All democrats are stupid
All Republicans are stupid
All janitors are stupid.
All statements made calling a group of people you know nothing about – are stupid.
How about growing up and contributing to the conversation instead?
Two. People have two (2) elbows. Unless you experienced a traumatic amputation or a birth defect...
Brrrrrrriliant. Just an absolutely articulate argument.
Words are cheap. Actions speak louder than words. It is one thing to say you are a Christian, it is quite another thing to put that professed faith into practice. Obama says that he has come to know the equal worth of all men and women, but his abortion policies and forced taxpayer funding of abortion say the exact opposite, his hands are dripping with the blood of Americans, unborn children, murdered. Does he recognize their equal worth, and that the only difference between them and us is time? All races have been impacted by abortion, but none as severely as blacks in the United States, 28% lost to abortion. I pray that Obama's eyes will be opened, and although I am skeptical, I hope and pray that there is a small hint of sincerity in his words, that his igorance will be enlightened, that he will see the great harm and evil that his abortion policies are doing do our country, and that his conversion from the culture of death is still possible.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.