Obama’s Prayer . . . and Mine

I remember in the 2008 election when Barack Obama conducted his world tour as part of his presidential campaign, he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem. You may remember that he inserted a prayer in the wall. The Jews consider this a sacred act—even if the individual represents another faith.

Obama's prayer

(Photo: Paul J. Richards / AFP – Getty Images)

After Obama left the Western Wall Plaza, someone scrabbled out the prayer—written on King David Hotel stationary—and took a picture of it.

Here’s what Obama’s prayer said:

Lord—Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will. —Barack Obama

Prayer for Our Leaders

Because the Word of God enjoins me to pray for Obama, I do (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

I join with millions of Christians by saying “Amen” to Obama’s prayer—in the name of the only One who can forgive his sins, grant him humility and hope, and give him wisdom to lead—Jesus Christ.

“Believe in God,” Jesus said, “believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

The Bible and the United States of America

I think of the Prophet Samuel’s words to his people after they demanded the enthronement of King Saul:

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you . . . Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. —1 Samuel 12:23–24

My prayer is not only for Obama, but for my great country of the United States of America.

For, although we are not Israel—and the Lord has made no covenant with us—we still have God’s timeless promise He made to ANY nation:

At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. —Jeremiah 18:7–10

Question: Can you genuinely pray for someone whose political and moral ideologies you don’t agree with? To leave a comment, just click here.


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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • Jim McNeely

    Thanks for this wonderful and balanced and genuinely godly viewpoint, it is very refreshing.

    • Patrick

        I would say it makes more logic to pray for someone you disagree with than otherwise. Although both need our prayers because the bible says they do. Pray for them and avoid maligning them. That and honoring Christ is how we serve our nation and the world.

  • Steve J

    That is wonderful. God is so in control!! I agree with you my brother in Christ and I also pray for Obama with you.

    Love ya bro
    In Christ my Lord & my Life
    Steve J

  • Meredith B

    Thanks so much for sharing this Wayne. I’m very encouraged by it and anxious to see what God in His Sovereignty has planned for this time in our Nation’s history.

    Along these same lines I was also encouraged during the Saddleback church forum when Barack was asked “NOW YOU’VE MADE NO DOUBT ABOUT YOUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO TRUST IN CHRIST AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN ON A DAILY BASIS? I MEAN, WHAT DOES THAT REALLY LOOK LIKE?”

    And he responded with “AS A STARTING POINT, IT MEANS I BELIEVE IN THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR MY SINS AND THAT I AM REDEEMED THROUGH HIM. THAT IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND SUSTENANCE ON A DAILY BASIS. I KNOW THAT I DON’T WALK ALONE, AND I KNOW THAT IF I CAN GET MYSELF OUT OF THE WAY, THAT I CAN MAYBE CARRY OUT IN SOME SMALL WAY WHAT HE INTENDS. AND IT MEANS THAT THOSE SINS THAT I HAVE ON A FAIRLY REGULAR BASIS WILL BE WASHED AWAY. BUT WHAT IT ALSO MEANS, I THINK, IS A SENSE OF OBLIGATION TO EMBRACE NOT JUST WORDS BUT THROUGH DEEDS THE EXPECTATIONS THAT GOD HAS FOR US. AND THAT MEANS THINKING ABOUT THE LEAST OF THESE. IT MEANS ACTING — WELL, ACTING JUSTLY AND LOVING MERCY AND WALKING HUMBLY WITH OUR GOD.”

    Thanks again for sharing the prayer and encouraging us to pray for our leader!

    Meredith

  • Wayne Stiles

    Wow, I think most people would be very surprised to hear this quote. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Deaf4jesus

    It's a shame he follows his own so called wisdom than Jesus wisdom.

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  • Coby5

    Question: Can you genuinely pray for someone whose political and moral ideologies you don’t agree with?

    Yes, in fact even more so.

  • sweetfreedom1

    Yes, I pray that America as it was founded and has thrived on a foundation of freedom, liberty, self reliance can survive and emerge stronger after Obama has finished 8 years of dismantling my beloved country. I pray that Obama is weakened and cannot fundamentally “transform” the USA. I pray that Obama leaves America and never returns.

    • Thanks for your comment.

    • Debbie Jay

      Sweetfreedom1, I agree with your comment completely. I too pray we will never seem Obama again. Our country has been compromised by his behinf-the-door shenanigans. May God save us from the wrath of Clinton as well should she get into office.

      • sweetfreedom1

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        Debbie Jay
        Sweetfreedom1, I agree with your comment completely. I too pray we will never seem Obama again. Our country has been compromised by his behinf-the-door shenanigans. May God save us from the wrath of Clinton as well should she get into office. 9:57 a.m., Friday Aug. 5 | Other comments by Debbie Jay |   |
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  • Debbie Jay

    Wayne, it is hard to pray for someone who is so disrespectful to the American people…that cannot be of God’s will. He has been so deceiving. Are we not supposed to have discernment when one is as dishonest as Obama? He overrides the American people, and does things underhanded over and over. If I have gone off subject, please delete my comment.

    • I understand your frustration, Debbie. I don’t pray for Obama because I hold to his views– but only because God’s Word commands I pray for him (1 Timothy 2:1-6). When Peter told his readers to “honor the king,” the Caesar at that time was the evil Nero–the ruler whose persecution of Christians included lighting them on fire as human candles! Praying for someone doesn’t mean we support their views. Thanks for your comment and for your passion.

      • Debbie Jay

        Wayne, you are absolutely correct. I think when I do pray , I’m supporting Obama. I’ll change my mindset, obeying God’s will versus mine. Thank you for your insight.

  • Paul R Falconr

    I think he knew his prayer would be read, thus a patronizing prayer, he had oppourtunity to be a godly president, he chose to be a Saul and never looked back. He has called good evil and evil good, bitter and sweet water do not come from the same spring, he supports gay marriage, abortion, and all sorts of policies against Gods law. Obama has been no good friend to Israel. He deserved our prayers,but did not respond to the promptings of God.

    • I too am curious, Paul, how Obama would pray today, if given the opportunity to do it again. Certainly we pray differently when people are listening. Let’s turn our prayers to the new president and ask God that He may be gracious to our nation. God bless.