From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Obama at 2013 National Prayer Breakfast: Faith is a process

(President Kennedy at the 1961 Prayer Breakfast)
Many Americans eagerly associate February with Valentine's Day.  Far fewer realize that a different type of "lovefest" – the National Prayer Breakfast – has been held on the first Thursday of every February since 1953.

Wikipedia reports that this breakfast, now held at the Washington Hilton (aka "Hinckley Hilton" since this hotel is also the site of Hinckley's assassination attempt on President Reagan), is attended by approximately 3500 guests from around the world.  There are typically two featured speakers at this event: a "mystery guest" (whose identity is not revealed until that very morning), and the President of the United States.  Every United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated; 2013 marks President Obama's fifth time.

Daniel Burke of the Religion News Service presents a transcript of Obama's 2013 address.  After his opening acknowledgements, Obama was quick to remind listeners that "faith is something that must be cultivated."  In other words:  Faith is a process.

This theme resurfaced again and again.  With regard to an earlier-read passage from the Book of Hebrews ("He [God] rewards those who diligently seek Him…"), Obama emphasized that this seeking must be a lifelong quest (during "every moment, and every day").   He nevertheless admitted to worrying that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten…"

The cure for such spiritual amnesia?  In Obama's estimation:  humility.  He further advised that "those of us with the most power and influence need to be the most humble."  


Copyright February 9, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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