UPDATE: President Obama’s remarks on prayer (circa 2011)

(This is the text from the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast! While the look back still is relevant today, we’ll get the 2012 remarks momentarily. Sorry for the mistake.)

Keeping with tradition (going back to President Eisenhower), President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast. CNN has his remarks posted, which featured a lighthearted moment particular to a parent:

As I travel across the country folks often ask me what is it that I pray for. And like most of you, my prayers sometimes are general: Lord, give me the strength to meet the challenges of my office. Sometimes they’re specific: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance – (laughter) – where there will be boys. (Laughter.) Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance. (Laughter.)

Just after this, the President gets serious in a rather profound way:

But while I petition God for a whole range of things, there are a few common themes that do recur. The first category of prayer comes out of the urgency of the Old Testament prophets and the Gospel itself. I pray for my ability to help those who are struggling. Christian tradition teaches that one day the world will be turned right side up and everything will return as it should be. But until that day, we’re called to work on behalf of a God that chose justice and mercy and compassion to the most vulnerable.

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