THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
Please, please, everybody have a seat. Well, good morning,
everybody. It is good to be with so many friends united in
prayer. And I begin by giving all praise and honor to God for
bringing us together here today. (1)
I want to thank our co-chairs Mark and Jeff; to my dear friend, the guy
who always has my back, Vice President Biden. (Applause.)
All the members of Congress –- Joe deserves a hand –- all the members
of Congress and my Cabinet who are here today; all the distinguished
guests who’ve traveled a long way to be part of this. I’m not
going to be as funny as Eric -- (laughter) -- but I’m grateful that he
shared his message with us. Michelle and I feel truly blessed to
be here. (2)
This is my third year coming to this prayer breakfast as
President. As Jeff mentioned, before that, I came as
senator. I have to say, it’s easier coming as President. (3)(4) At a time when it’s easy
to lose ourselves in the rush and clamor of our own lives, or get
caught up in the noise and rancor that too often passes as politics
today, these moments of prayer slow us down. They humble
us. They remind us that no matter how much responsibility we
have, how fancy our titles, how much power we think we hold, we are
imperfect vessels. We can all benefit from turning to our
Creator, listening to Him. Avoiding phony religiosity, listening
to Him. (5) This is especially important right now, when we’re facing
some big challenges as a nation. Our economy is making progress
as we recover from the worst crisis in three generations, but far too
many families are still struggling to find work or make the mortgage,
pay for college, or, in some cases, even buy food. Our men and
women in uniform have made us safer and more secure, and we were
eternally grateful to them, but war and suffering and hardship still
remain in too many corners of the globe. And a lot of those men
and women who we celebrate on Veterans Day and Memorial Day come back
and find that, when it comes to finding a job or getting the kind of
care that they need, we’re not always there the way we need to be.
It’s absolutely true that meeting these challenges requires sound
decision-making, requires smart policies. We know that part of
living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious
beliefs alone can’t dictate our response to every challenge we face. (6)
But in my moments of prayer, I’m reminded that faith and values play an
enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent
problems, in keeping us going when we suffer setbacks, and opening our
minds and our hearts to the needs of others. (7)
We can’t leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at
the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation
together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect
a union. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams, Martin
Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Abraham Heschel -- the majority of great
reformers in American history did their work not just because it was
sound policy, or they had done good analysis, or understood how to
exercise good politics, but because their faith and their values
dictated it, and called for bold action -- sometimes in the face of
indifference, sometimes in the face of resistance. (8)
This is no different today for millions of Americans, and it’s certainly not for me.
I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little
time in scripture and devotion. And from time to time, friends of
mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D.
Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they’ll call on the phone or
they’ll send me a email, and we’ll pray together, and they’ll pray for
me and my family, and for our country. (9)
But I don’t stop there. I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my
values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private
conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try --
imperfectly, but I must try -- to make sure those values motivate me as
one leader of this great nation. (10)
And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same
rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance
companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, or
making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the
most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will
make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because
I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and
treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s
command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I know the version of
that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of
beliefs -– from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato.
And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely
believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when
we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed
income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families
who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I
think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s
been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I
enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. (12)
But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that
“for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” It mirrors
the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to
use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of
moderation and consideration for others. (13)
When I talk about giving every American a fair shot at opportunity,
it’s because I believe that when a young person can afford a college
education, or someone who’s been unemployed suddenly has a chance to
retrain for a job and regain that sense of dignity and pride, and
contributing to the community as well as supporting their families --
that helps us all prosper. (14)
It means maybe that research lab on the cusp of a lifesaving discovery,
or the company looking for skilled workers is going to do a little bit
better, and we’ll all do better as a consequence. It makes
economic sense. But part of that belief comes from my faith in
the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper;
that as a country, we rise and fall together. I’m not an
island. I’m not alone in my success. I succeed because
others succeed with me. (15)
And when I decide to stand up for foreign aid, or prevent atrocities in
places like Uganda, or take on issues like human trafficking, it’s not
just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or
projecting American leadership around the world, although it does all
those things and it will make us safer and more secure. It’s also
about the biblical call to care for the least of these –- for the poor;
for those at the margins of our society. (16)
To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to “Speak up for
those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are
destitute.” And for others, it may reflect the Jewish belief that
the highest form of charity is to do our part to help others stand on
their own. (17)
Treating others as you want to be treated. Requiring much from
those who have been given so much. Living by the principle that
we are our brother’s keeper. Caring for the poor and those in
need. These values are old. They can be found in many
denominations and many faiths, among many believers and among many
non-believers. And they are values that have always made this
country great -- when we live up to them; when we don’t just give lip
service to them; when we don’t just talk about them one day a
year. And they’re the ones that have defined my own faith
And today, with as many challenges as we face, these are the values I
believe we’re going to have to return to in the hopes that God will
buttress our efforts.
Now, we can earnestly seek to see these values lived out in our
politics and our policies, and we can earnestly disagree on the best
way to achieve these values. In the words of C.S. Lewis,
“Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed
political program. It is meant for all men at all times, and the
particular program which suited one place or time would not suit
Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical. It is
God who is infallible, not us. Michelle reminds me of this
often. (Laughter.) So instead, it is our hope that people
of goodwill can pursue their values and common ground and the common
good as best they know how, with respect for each other. And I
have to say that sometimes we talk about respect, but we don’t act with
respect towards each other during the course of these debates. (20)
But each and every day, for many in this room, the biblical injunctions
are not just words, they are also deeds. Every single day, in
different ways, so many of you are living out your faith in service to
Just last month, it was inspiring to see thousands of young Christians
filling the Georgia Dome at the Passion Conference, to worship the God
who sets the captives free and work to end modern slavery. Since
we’ve expanded and strengthened the White House faith-based initiative,
we’ve partnered with Catholic Charities to help Americans who are
struggling with poverty; worked with organizations like World Vision
and American Jewish World Service and Islamic Relief to bring hope to
those suffering around the world. (22)
Colleges across the country have answered our Interfaith Campus
Challenge, and students are joined together across religious lines in
service to others. From promoting responsible fatherhood to
strengthening adoption, from helping people find jobs to serving our
veterans, we’re linking arms with faith-based groups all across the
I think we all understand that these values cannot truly find voice in
our politics and our policies unless they find a place in our
hearts. The Bible teaches us to “be doers of the word and not
merely hearers.” We’re required to have a living, breathing,
active faith in our own lives. And each of us is called on to
give something of ourselves for the betterment of others -- and to live
the truth of our faith not just with words, but with deeds. (24)
So even as we join the great debates of our age -- how we best put
people back to work, how we ensure opportunity for every child, the
role of government in protecting this extraordinary planet that God has
made for us, how we lessen the occasions of war -- even as we debate
these great issues, we must be reminded of the difference that we can
make each day in our small interactions, in our personal lives. (25)
As a loving husband, or a supportive parent, or a good neighbor, or a
helpful colleague -- in each of these roles, we help bring His kingdom
to Earth. And as important as government policy may be in shaping
our world, we are reminded that it’s the cumulative acts of kindness
and courage and charity and love, it’s the respect we show each other
and the generosity that we share with each other that in our everyday
lives will somehow sustain us during these challenging times.
John tells us that, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his
brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in
him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with
actions and in truth.” (26)
Mark read a letter from Billy Graham, and it took me back to one of the
great honors of my life, which was visiting Reverend Graham at his
mountaintop retreat in North Carolina, when I was on vacation with my
family at a hotel not far away.
And I can still remember winding up the path up a mountain to his
home. Ninety-one years old at the time, facing various health
challenges, he welcomed me as he would welcome a family member or a
close friend. This man who had prayed great prayers that inspired
a nation, this man who seemed larger than life, greeted me and was as
kind and as gentle as could be. (27)
And we had a wonderful conversation. Before I left, Reverend
Graham started praying for me, as he had prayed for so many Presidents
before me. And when he finished praying, I felt the urge to pray
for him. I didn’t really know what to say. What do you pray
for when it comes to the man who has prayed for so many? But like
that verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit interceded when I didn’t know
quite what to say. (28)
And so I prayed -- briefly, but I prayed from the heart. I don’t
have the intellectual capacity or the lung capacity of some of my great
preacher friends here that have prayed for a long time.
(Laughter.) But I prayed. And we ended with an embrace and
a warm goodbye. (29)
And I thought about that moment all the way down the mountain, and I’ve
thought about it in the many days since. Because I thought about
my own spiritual journey –- growing up in a household that wasn’t
particularly religious; going through my own period of doubt and
confusion; finding Christ when I wasn’t even looking for him so many
years ago; possessing so many shortcomings that have been overcome by
the simple grace of God. And the fact that I would ever be on top
of a mountain, saying a prayer for Billy Graham –- a man whose faith
had changed the world and that had sustained him through triumphs and
tragedies, and movements and milestones –- that simple fact humbled me
to my core. (30)
I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment --
asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian
walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us
together and keep us strong. I know that He will guide us.
He always has, and He always will. And I pray his richest
blessings on each of you in the days ahead. (31)
Thank you very much. (Applause.) (32)
9:30 A.M. EST
Critique Notes of Barack Obama’s 2012 National Day of Prayer Speech
1) “Christian” Barack Obama never prayed in the name of Jesus Christ.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17.
2) Christians are blessed through meekness.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5.
3) Barack Obama does not understand what Christianity is about.
Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high
things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own
opinion. Romans 12:16.
4) Christian brothers and sisters are focused on Jesus Christ.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26.
5) God the Father wants everyone to listen to Jesus Christ.
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them;
and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Matthew 17:5.
6) Barack Obama does not want to rely on wisdom from God.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this
age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in
the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it
pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save
those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:20-21.
7) Barack Obama does not understand the righteousness of God.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being
witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God,
through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. Romans
8) Apparently, Barack Obama was never elected by God.
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our
prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love,
and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God
and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 1
9) Apparently, Barack Obama is not a disciple of Jesus Christ.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in
him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone
does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and
they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If
you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you
desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:5-8.
10) Barack Obama should be a servant to become great.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of
the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise
authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever
desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever
desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son
of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28.
11) The Christian “Golden Rule” begins with love for God.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to
him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all
your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the
Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
12) Christians will be responsible for their actions personally.
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have
and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come,
follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away
sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:21-22.
Note: “Collective responsibility” is a catch phrase for socialism.
13) Barack Obama should be a servant to become great.
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom
his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their
portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master
will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make
him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart,
‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and
female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that
servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an
hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his
portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s
will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be
beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things
deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom
much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has
been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:42-48.
14) Institutional education should not guarantee employment.
Jobs attended Monta Loma Elementary, Mountain View, Cupertino Junior
High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He frequented
after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto,
California, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a
summer employee. Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs
enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out
after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while
sleeping on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for
food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna
temple. Jobs later said, "If I had never dropped in on that single
calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple
typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
(Steve Jobs was a college drop-out)
Note: Socialism is the misapplication of resources from producers to slackers.
15) Institutional education should not guarantee employment.
Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard and
spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in
contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the
summer of 1974. The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair
8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the
opportunity to start their own computer software company. He had talked
this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after
seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company. Wikipedia
Encyclopedia. (Bill Gates was a college drop-out)
Note: Socialism is the misapplication of capital from useful purposes
to a high-speed railway that parallels the San Andreas Fault.
16) Christians will be responsible for their actions personally.
They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. Galatians 2:10.
Note: Socialism will give young people purpose, uniforms, and marching orders from a dictator.
17) Responsible people will work regardless the job.
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent
makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in
harvest is a son who causes shame. Proverbs 10:4-5.
Note: Barack Obama has confused personal responsibility with socialism.
18) A Christian will be responsible to love those in need.
I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of
your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all
the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the
acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For
we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of
the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. Philemon 1:4-7
Note: Barack Obama has confused personal responsibility with socialism.
19) Christians will not be hypocrites in practice.
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be
seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before
you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that
they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their
reward.” Matthew 6:1-2
20) Christians will be despised for doing good.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor
giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the
saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13.
21) Apparently, Barack Obama has been disqualified.
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed
you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not
disqualified. 2 Corinthians 13:5-6.
22) Christian compassion is a key to truly helping others.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another;
love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil
for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing,
knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9.
23) Christian compassion is a key to truly helping others.
And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with
compassion for them, and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14.
24) “Christian” Barack Obama has forgotten Jesus Christ.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in
him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
25) Barack Obama has confused socialism for personal responsibility.
So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him. Matthew 20:34.
26) “Christian” Barack Obama has left out Jesus Christ.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also
ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this
world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart
from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children,
let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by
this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts
before Him. 1 John 3:16-19.
27) “Christian” Barack Obama should not practice hypocrisy.
“Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:28.
28) The will of God does not include socialism.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know
what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who
searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He
makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans
29) The will of God does not include joking during prayer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the
peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
30) Christians will humble themselves before God not a man.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn
and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to
gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift
you up. James 4:8-10.
31) A true spiritual guide includes a testimony of Jesus Christ.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into
all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He
hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will
glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All
things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take
of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-15.
32) Christians will give thanks to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians
Note: Barack Obama never used the name of Jesus Christ.
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX