The God Factor: From Obama, a Quiet, Humble Faith

At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama describes the importance of prayer in his life.

Barack Obama

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (Feb. 3), President Obama made a compelling case for something terribly unusual: humble faith.


Obama has often been reticent to speak at length publicly about his Christian faith. As a result, he's faced intense scrutiny by skeptics who would seek to disprove his professed beliefs.


During the prayer breakfast, the president gave more than just a glimpse into his spiritual life -- he detailed the how, when and what of his daily prayer life, and spoke eloquently and intimately about his love and devotion to God.


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The president explained that his daily prayers center around three themes: petitions for strength, humility, and a desire to walk closer with God.


Particularly when faced with tragedies such as the shootings in Arizona, Obama's prayer is to draw nearer to God, he said. "It's in these times that 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," he said.


"My prayer this morning is that we might seek his face not only in those moments but each and every day ... that we might every so often rise above the here and now and kneel before the eternal."


Of his prayers for humility, Obama said in part:


"It's useful to go back to Scripture to remind ourselves that none of us has all the answers; (for all) of us -- no matter our political party or station in life -- the full breath of human knowledge is like a grain of sand in God's hands, and there are some mysteries in this world that we cannot fully comprehend. As it's written in Job, 'God's voice thunders in marvelous ways. He does great things beyond our understandings."'


And this is where Obama acknowledged his humble humanity.


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Kathleen Falsani, Religion News Service
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