By Dave Schechter, CNN
(CNN) - Republican presidential contender Rick Perry recently urged social conservatives to pray for President Barack Obama.
“As I campaign for president, I not only ask you for your vote and your support, I ask for your prayers. I ask you to pray for our country. I ask you to pray for our president to give him wisdom, to open his eyes,” the Texas Governor told an audience in Florida last month.
Doing just that is the stated mission of the Presidential Prayer Team.
Conceived in November 2000 in an adult Sunday school class in Scottsdale, Arizona, the PPT – or “The Prayer Team,” as it calls itself – takes its charge from the words of the Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
“We believe prayer is the most important power in this entire world,” PPT president Jim Bolthouse tells CNN. The idea is simple: prayer moves God and God moves the leaders.
PPT members are charged to pray for their leaders, even if they don’t care for the individual or disagree with their policies. “We don’t necessarily agree with everything our President is doing, but that doesn’t stop us from praying for our President. That is a mandate,” Bolthouse says.
The PPT is a Christian enterprise. Prayers are offered “in Jesus’ name,” but Bolthouse notes that calls to pray for leaders can be found in the Old and New Testaments. Because of the range of beliefs within Christianity, the PPT tries to avoid denominational conflicts.
The original goal was to persuade one percent of the American population (at the time, roughly 2.8 million people) to pray for the president. The campaign was set to launch in November 2001 but the date was pushed up after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In March 2009 the PPT claimed 1.7 million members worldwide.
Today, 3.7 million people “have been served,” according to Bolthouse, a veteran of the computer industry, who played a key role in setting up the PPT’s technical operation at the beginning and became its president (a part-time position) in March 2010.
The $30,000 a month it costs to finance the PPT comes from individual donations. There is no charge to be a member; in fact, fewer than 1 percent of PPT members make a financial contribution, though there are 1,000-2,000 people who donate on average $45-55 monthly, Bolthouse says. These donors, he says, are people who “see the value in what prayer means for our country.” Finances are among the subjects discussed when the small staff gathers for its regular Monday morning prayers.
Most of the communication with members is by e-mail. A daily devotional is sent to some 38,000 members who have signed up for that service. The major weekly e-mail, covering a variety of topics, goes to about 580,000 people. E-mails include suggestions on topics worthy of prayer, “as the Lord moves you,” Bolthouse says.
Since its founding, the PPT has expanded its scope with prayers for Cabinet secretaries, congressional leaders, Supreme Court justices, the U.S. armed forces and even the first lady, Michele Obama. Suggestions are made for prayers on topics in the news, including the economy, relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the health care reform law advocated by the Obama administration.
“We’re taking a much more far-reaching stand in praying for our country, beyond just praying for our President,” Bolthouse says.
The PPT can be timely in its call for prayers. The January shootings in Tucson, Arizona, in which six people were killed and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was one of 19 people wounded, happened just eight miles from PPT’s offices. Bolthouse says that the website began offering prayers – not only for those shot, but also for the emergency response and medical personnel involved – within 30 minutes of the incident, even before much of the news media had reported the news.
As for President Obama, Bolthouse says that it has taken effort to convince some PPT members that it is proper to pray for the current president, given their opposition to his policies, some of which he says are “in conflict with biblical principles.” Gay rights and abortion are two such issues, Bolthouse says, explaining, “These are not gray areas in the Scriptures,” he says.
PPT members are “asking God more for his divine intervention in Mr. Obama’s life than in Mr. Bush’s,” Bolthouse says, referring to President George W. Bush.
Bolthouse admits to being personally “cautious” when it comes to the President’s own assertions that he is a Christian, but Scriptures he says, counsel against passing judgment.
President Obama discussed the role of prayer in public policy debates when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2010.
“Surely we can agree to find common ground when possible, parting ways when necessary,” he said. “But in doing so, let us be guided by our faith, and by prayer. For while prayer can buck us up when we are down, keep us calm in a storm; while prayer can stiffen our spines to surmount an obstacle – and I assure you I’m praying a lot these days – prayer can also do something else. It can touch our hearts with humility. It can fill us with a spirit of brotherhood. It can remind us that each of are children of a awesome and loving God.”
Obama has reaffirmed his Christian faith many times, including in a January 2008 interview with Christianity Today.“I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian,” he said. “I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful.
A poll conducted in July-August 2010 for the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press offered evidence of the public confusion about the President’s religion. In the survey of more than 3,000 adult Americans, 18 percent identified the President as a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009. About one-third (34 percent) said he is a Christian, down from 48 percent the year earlier. Forty-three percent said they did not know.
As for those who would like to succeed President Obama in the Oval Office, when the PPT website posted a column about the Republicans seeking the presidential nomination, the comments that followed included discussion – and warnings – about the degree to which individual candidates are worthy of being called Christian. That Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons is just one aspect of that debate.
The PPT website features a prayer wall on which participants offer prayers on a variety of subjects, sometimes on topics known to spark arguments and debate, such as same-sex marriage and the military’s recently-rescinded “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regulations. There also is a page dedicated to “Morality in America.”
And coming in November from the PPT, one year before the 2012 elections, will be “Pray the Vote,” a project to provide to prayers for candidates at all levels, from the office of President to state legislators. The site will analyze where candidates stand on 10 “value points” identified by PPT members as being of particular interest.
Prayer is a useless, misguided act that only gives the one who prays a misguided and sanctimoniously self-centered sense of importance.
The ancient Greeks had their gods. They are all gone. The Romans had their gods, they too are gone. The Egyptians had theirs, well what do you know, they are gone too. Let's not forget the Norse gods either. Whoops!!! Where did they go? You see, we are all atheists to some degree. I just believe in one less god than you do. Once you realize why you've dismissed all those other ones I mentioned, you'll see why I have dismissed yours as well. In time, yours too shall pass.
History has shown that yesterday's religions are today's mythology. Come tomorrow, today WILL be yesterday.
I like that thought.
I pray for his death.
Horrible, and disgusting remark Joe. You wouldn't happen to be a plumber? To pray for someone's death, especially our President is beyond insane, and I have a strong belief God would NOT BE PLEASED with you! Shame on you!
All Christians scare me, not because of their threat of hell for not believing, but because they get people to believe their non-sense.
Signs of the end times
1. People will hate you because of me
2. Evil will abound
3. Good will be called evil and evil will be callled good
Atheist and anti religon people....when will you stop your hating. Reminds me of a story of a young agnostic/atheist who in colllege set out on a mission. That mission was to disprove christianity. He did loads of research and found out that there was more evidence supporting christianity than against it....it even led him to convert and become a well known author and minister. Josh Mcdowel is his name. I challlenge all atheist to go learn for yourself and not just sit back fat and happy and lazy religon bashing.
@ Rehab ... I am not a "hater", I am simply an atheist. I do not hate people simply because they read a book. What I don't like is that they throw that book in my face, tell me that I HAVE TO bow down, submit, pray and ask this "god" for forgiveness because that book tells me to. If this is what one must do to appease your "god" , then your god needs seriously intense therapy because "god" has a MASSIVE inferiority complex. If we are supposed to pray to "him" praise "him" and worship "him", then your "god's" ego is so far down the tubes he should just do us all a favor and commit suicide, so as to leave the rest of us alone to live our lives they way WE see fit.
I can't believe how many of you nitwits still blindly believe in this nonsense!!!! Lord of the rings was a great story full of magic and miracles too. You Jesus creeps should give that a shot.
The first trick the devil told you what that their is a god in the sky.
What an ironic statement. I loved it. Anyone else see the twist in what Isis said? By he way, I used to watch you every Saturday morning in the mid '70's, right after Shazam! ... you were hot!
I have been a member of the Presidential Prayer Team for several years, but make no mistake, it is bias towards the current president. The people behind it are actively against the present president of the United States. Want solid proof of this? Go to archive.org and enter presidentialprayerteam.com and look at all the years when President Bush was in office. Every cover each week featured a glowing photo of the president along with encouragement, quotes, and articles positive towards him. As soon as the current president entered office, they changed their policy and they very rarely, if ever, show the current president on the site. And the opinions sections regularly present a negative take on him. Go look. How can they have that overt a prejudice as to remove his image from their site, but profess to pray for him?
WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED AGAINST WHITES
THEY WERE MURDERING YOU WITH AND INSIDE OF THEIR CORPORATIONS FOR OVER 66 YEARS !!! THEY HAVE CLOSED DOWN ALMOST EVERY SMALL COMPANY IN UNITES STATES OF AMERICA AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO GO OUT THERE AND PROTEST FOR THEM AGAINST WALL STREET(corporations = Wall-street) !!!
FOR ENTIRE 66 YEARS, ON DAY TO DAY BASES, ALL THEY WERE DOING IS CRIME CONTEMPLATING AGAINST US INSIDE OF THEIR BACK OFFICE CUBICLES(on job torture/bullying/mobbing and forceful unemployment to progress humanity as Obama exclaimed over and over) PER EEOC AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO RAISE COMMUNIST FLAG UNDER AMERICAN SKY !!! ONE RACE; RAT RACE(Wall street protesters are Obama's army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow) !!!
WHEN YOU PROTEST(it is much more than just than necessarily), RAISE SIGNS HIGH SO WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE DISPLAYED I CITE, "66 YEARS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE !!!"
THIS INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED TO YOU BY WHITE AMERICAN REFUGEE !!!
http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw OR http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xleq3o
I always pray for the POTUS; however, America, America, I will always pray for you.
We thank you God for your spacious skies perched above the amber waves of grain. Thank you for the purple mountain majesties rising high above the now polluted plains! America! America! I will always pray that God shed His grace on us. May He crown our good as our brotherhood ring from sea and crosses the shining sea!
We thank you God for our founding fathers. At their direction and by our own might, we stretched America’s highway called freedom across the wilderness and into the night! America! America! I will always pray that God forgive our every sin. Let us once again reconfirm our place inside the household of God through self-control before our drive for liberty becomes our end!
We thank you God for our political leaders though they are ridden with selfishness and strife. These men and women who more than self their country love but cannot agree to save our American way of life! America! America! I will always pray that God again will be our goal. Let us redefined our nation until our success becomes nobleness and our gain, the righteousness of God!
We thank you God for the American dream that allows us to see beyond our years. Because of it, America’s alabaster cities beam though they were constructed from our blood, sweat, and tears! America! America! I will always pray that God shed His grace on thee. May God forgive our great sin of greed as we forgot that God was God before the pilgrims crossed the sea!
We thank you God for your people, whether they be rich, poor, friend or foe. Allow us always to remember and sincerely imprint a love for them within our chest! America! America! I will always pray that God continues to shed His grace on us. May the seeds of discord that we sowed as by God’s word we grew, be uprooted because they are the real reason we are in this mess!
We thank you God for the glory of America’s present liberating struggle. The dividing road once traveled has become the road we are choosing to travel twice. However, we cannot avail unless we pursue a Godly and righteous life! America! America! I will always pray God shed His grace on thee until the sins from our selfish gain no longer shall stain the land of the brave and the free!
We thank you God for our American Reality Check forcing us to rise after sleeping all of these years. Only to find that our alabaster cities and streets of gold are dimmed and tarnished because our greed overcame us during our sleep! America! America! I will always pray in God’s grace we shall again rise to spread the word of His Love and Peace from sea across the shining sea!
Wacky waving arm inflatable flailing tube man! Wacky waving arm inflatable flailing tube man! All office furniture over 50% off! Oops... I just soiled myself
well, if you need to change your diaper, maybe you can ask a Mormon if you can borrow their special undies!! :)
>>>"Hey Archie, don't you think that GWB might have done a little better if he hadn't fabricated evidence to start an unnecessary war."
Hey H'Bent .... Sometimes stories just fall perfectly to put holes into others arguments. :)
CNN Article : Obama orders U.S. troops to help chase down African 'army' leader
Are you suggesting Obama fabricated evidence to justify sending troops to Uganda? Do you know The ICC has issued warrants for the leader of the LRA? Sending 100 advisors with the agreement of the legitimate government is significantly different than invading a sovereign country. Perhaps you are unhappy because the LRA is a christian entity?
>>>”Are you suggesting Obama fabricated evidence to justify sending troops to Uganda?”
Any reason can and often “is” offered to the public to justify sending troops into war. What I am not suggesting but stating is that Obama and crew spent so much time fooling simple Liberal voters that he was going to “correct” the bad decisions of the G.W.Bush administration. As a politician most on the Right are not surprised but now three years later Democrat voters are slowly waking up to understand that just because he is the first African American president has not meant that he will not act like any other politician that has come before him.
What I am suggesting is to see Democrats admit that he has not only kept us in the same theaters of war that G.W.Bush had our military resources in new ones. Also the best part, he reached out to G.W.Bush and Cheney for advice on military issues, such as the Obama troop surge in Afghanistan.
So, while you say that G.W. Bush gave false evidence.... a issue we can debate … especially since it was reported that all the ally leaders got the same report from Africa about Iraq...
...If we still have troops in all the same places that GW.Bush had us in and Obama has not removed them then all he does, every day an American solider is in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is justifying that G.W. Bush was ultimately right in his presidency.
By the way... Your “advisors”... that is not what Obama's letter to Boehner stated.
“"I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield,"
That “combat-equipped” is the key that they are not advisors ….they are another Seal Team six. I got to admit, for a Noble Peace Prize winner... this President has had more people hunted down and killed than most.
Truthfully the LRA are some pretty bad guys and I am happy that Obama is trying to do something about it but so was Saddam. Saddam killed many more folks that the he Lord's Resistance Army, so the same priciple that Obama uses to justify this action is the same as G.W.Bush's to get Saddam.
...again ultimately proving the G.W.Bush's presidency was right.
L'Chaim ...and nice to see you posting again. :)
Waht's a mamzer?
A child born out of wedlock. A bas-tard.
Once again a prayer for the Republicans and all other Christians: ( Is it working? Apparently not as Romney is still a Mormon and Bachmann is still confused)
The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
do not waste time on reality posts hit report abuse to all reality copy paste
Ye tho I walk through the foyer of Olive Garden, I fear no noodle.
:) :) :) :) :)
Since the begining of history, the world has seen so many mockers!
Also if Jesus is the same as God the Father, who are the other two persons of the Trinity? I assume you believe the Holy Spirit would be one of the others, but that would leave one more.
If you are that bad off ,did you have someone else type the question for you?God bless
They are all manifestations of the same thing. God is not supposed to be governed by the rules of the physical world.
Herbie... that's pretty typical of your kind. Sarcastict put down followed by the condescending God Bless. You don't even practice what you preach. You are an idiot. At least your too stupid to realize it.
Herbie, why didn't you take this as an opportunity for a learning moment, instead of insulting someone else? Do you know the answer? Do you know when it was decided and by who?
This was actually a response to another post on page 5
Herb is an atheist. He's trolling.
JW-You have to believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation, there is no one else that can save mankind. Jesus has very clearly established this in the scriptures. Jesus is God, the scriptures are very clear. The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son and God the holy spirit are all one.
One would suggest you read the scriptures again, above all ask God to speak to you and seek a good Bible based church and fellowship to get stronger in coming to acknowledge the lordship of Christ and accepting him as your savior.
So you are acknowledging that I am right Observer. I said that there was a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit but you said no. You obviously do not understand Jesus's word if you even are Christian, or else you would not have been so condescending.
You have to believe in Jesus Christ for you salvation.
Do you understand Trinity? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all ONE.
@JW, Looking at your posts you are not sure about who Jesus said he was.I think some others have given you ample scriptures to study.
Jesus and the Father and the Holy spirit are all one and the same, you have to clearly understand the divinity of Christ, you have to understand that Jesus Christ is God, he is part of the Triune God in Trinity.
You have no redemption for your sins without acknowledging Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior.
I did not say that Jesus was not divine you idiots. Maybe you need to stop dishing out insults when you obviously do not know what I believe.
It is obvious that you do not know the answer to my question as well. If there are not 3 parts to the Trinity what is going on during the Transfiguration. Why even call it the Triune God if there is only one part. What you are saying is that God simply transformed into a human, but that is not true. The Father was still in heaven, even when Jesus was on earth.
JW-You keep arguing over and over again without understanding the divinity of Christ.
You have to read the Bible to understand Trinity. You are blasepheming are getting agitated when people call you on that.
Ok Nick Moron and how do you know that I do not understand the divinity of Jesus? Are you some sort of a mind reader. You and Observer are unable to answer my question so you divert to insulting my intelligence. I believe in everything that is said in the gospels, and I have said that. But it also says in the gospels that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit.
JW-Your post was
"Actually Jesus did not really claim to be God. He claimed to be the Son of God, but he spoke of himself as being less than God.
October 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
This above statement by you is theologically wrong and you have been called on that by many posters here time and again-What is it that you are trying to argue ?
JW- You have repeatedly come here posting irreverential comments about the God of the Bible.
First of all Nick there are a couple of other JWs that come on here from time to time, and I am fairly sure one is an atheist.
Observer, maybe that particular post was poorly worded but I tried to explain it later. I was not saying that Jesus was not divine, but he did not come to earth so that all would bow down and worship him. He would tell people to glorify God, but he never told people you need to glorify me, although he did make it clear that believing in him was the way to eternal life.
The Portugese Water Dog's kibbles are made from people! IT'S PEOPLE!!!
In the bible Jesus tells you how to pray. he also tells you not to make a public display of it. REPENT you sinners.
Prayer can move mountains but it can't do anything to bronchitis. Very mysterious stuff.
God hates amputees too. He has never healed one. That's just mean.
Honestly, I see zero point in praying for a man that is already the savior.
/sarcasm <~~~~~Almost forgot to add that.
“God is not a robot to answer just any prayer.” Must not be talking about the Christian god
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NAB)
The complete story on that includes:
James 4:1 "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
It was nice of you to add the quote. I used to do that but I got tired of it once I realized that most atheists know more about the bible that most christains. Let them do the research.
Chad... So you are saying that all unanswered prayers are because of wrong motives? Do you really believe that?
"all unanswered prayers are because of wrong motives? Do you really believe that"
To simplistic to say that. As you can see from the context, James was talking specifically to a group of covetous, quarreling people, and addressing why their specific prayers were not getting answered.
The bible is replete with examples of answered prayers that sometimes take decades to come about.
The answer might be 'No'
He may answer the prayer, but not in the way you want (since when was our 'want' the same as our 'need')
God loves us, His first priority is saving us. He basically never does what I tell Him to do, but He does what's best, and I know He always hears.
Thank you for your response. I must have entered in the middle of the conversation. My bad.
And what about all the unanswered prayers with innocent, heartfelt motives? Praying for a child with cancer for example.
"And what about all the unanswered prayers with innocent, heartfelt motives? Praying for a child with cancer for example"
Sometimes, as I have experienced with my own child, the answer seems to be no. I dont understand it, but there it is. God isnt under any obligation per se to answer every prayer in the manner that the request was presented, no matter how genuine it appears to be presented.
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.