Eugene Cho

A conversation about prayer with President Barack Obama.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber I don’t get star-struck, but I have to admit, it was pretty cool to meet President Barack Obama earlier this month. During his visit to Seattle on the weekend of February 16, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend one of the events he was speaking at. Specifically, it was an event at Boeing Everett to celebrate the work of American workers, Boeing, and the culmination of the work of the Dreamliner 787.

Light to the World.

As you know. I don’t run in these circles.  Sitting in a special section with dignitaries and politicians including mayors, various council members, business bigwigs and the Washington governor was awkward to say the least.  How I got invited to this event is a little unclear but over the past couple years, I’ve been building relationships with the White House via their Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It’s also from a commitment I’ve had – as a Christian, a pastor, and a leader – to be a light to the World and not just merely light to the Light. Translation: As we serve and love the church, we must also look outward and engage the larger culture. Folks notice and when opportunities arise, they sometimes ask for input and involvement or just merely your presence and that’s what happened.

Because of this theology and ecclesiology to be a light to the world, I’ve tried to obviously love and serve my church but to also engage both local issues and national issues – including the messy business of politics.

Why Politics Matter

I care about politics not because I obsess over politics.

Rather, politics is important to me because it involves policies and policies, ultimately, impact people. We have no choice: we must be engaged in our civic responsibilities and affairs.

I am a staunch independent when it comes to political parties and urge Christians to not be played, swayed, and seduced by the powers to be. For this reason, I’ve tried to urge others to be cautious of the politicization and manipulation of Jesus, Christians, and religion.

But back to the story.

After the larger event to feature the Dreamliner 787 and listen to President Obama’s speech, a small group of folks were invited to a more intimate gathering (more like meet & greet) with the President. I was told I was going to be invited but I had no idea what to expect.

A conversation about Prayer

In my mind, I had envisioned the opportunity to share some convictions of my heart that would dramatically impact President Obama and alter the trajectory of his leadership, presidency, and country. Go big or go home, right?

Unfortunately, the opportunity for a long conversation wasn’t to be. Had I had that opportunity, I was hoping to talk policies, justice, human dignity, womb to tomb, Linsanity, family, marriage, compare pictures of our kids, and challenge him to a one-on-one basketball game.

Rather, it was a few minutes amongst a small group. When folks were introduced at this smaller gathering, they all had “important” titles. I was simply introduced by “Eugene Cho” and I’m certain many were asking, “Who is this and why is he here?” In fact, President Obama, himself, had a puzzled look as he said, “Hello Eugene.” So, I had to introduce myself to him and explained to him that I was a pastor here in Seattle and involved with some other work. We chit-chatted briefly about stuff  but there is something I very specifically remember and I don’t know if I’ll ever forget this portion of our conversation.

I shared with President Obama that I occasionally but regularly prayed for him and this is how he responded:

“Thank you, Eugene. I really appreciate that. Can you also please pray for my wife and children? Pray for their protection.”

His demeanor changed. Perhaps, this is just me. Perhaps, I’m reading and analyzing too much into all the non-verbal cues but then again, I’m a pastor and after 21 years of doing ministry, you develop a “pastoral sense” and I genuinely sensed his gratitude for prayer and his request for prayer for his family.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about our short conversation – and a sense of the burden and weight of his job and the ‘calling’ of the Presidency. In many ways, we ought to commend the courage of all those who step into leadership – on any level – including the highest level. We can criticize all we want about our current presidential candidates but we must commend them for their courage to place themselves in such vulnerable positions.

On a more micro level, I too have experienced harsh pushbacks and criticism in my leadership as a pastor. Several years ago because of a controversial blog post I wrote (and a subsequent public spat with a cultural figure in Seattle), we had a rock thrown into our church building, phone call threats to my home, and anonymous hate email. It was a scary time and after assessing the potential danger to my family, I called the police to explain and seek advice, deleted our home phone line, and removed all pictures and names of our kids from the interwebs.

Now, imagine that. Multiply that 100,000,000 and then, consider that every day. Imagine this not just for yourself but for your spouse and for your children.

You see, it doesn’t matter what your political leanings, affiliations, and affections may be. I’m always amazed by those who so often quote 1 Timothy 2:1-4 as an encouragement to pray for our leaders but we hesitate when it’s someone we disagree with and instead start quoting Psalm 109:8

“May his days be few; and let another take his office.” 

This of course was the recent (and nebulous) encouragement of Kansas GOP House Speaker Michael O’Neal to his supporters. As you can imagine, a great deal of brouhaha erupted because that verse (if you read onto the next verse) is literally about “may his days be few.” It’s about death…

And then there are those absolutely crazy stories like that of Pastor Wiley Drake who shared and continues to share very publicly that he is praying for the death of the president of the United States. Wow. Dude…

An endorsement for prayer

This post isn’t an endorsement for President Obama or a political party. As an active pastor of a congregation, I believe it to be wise not to make endorsements but rather, I’ll talk about issues – particularly from the framework of my Christian faith.

However, I am making an endorsement on this blog post and it is an endorsement for prayer and specifically, prayer for President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and his daughters – Malia and Sasha.

As we shook hands and shared this brief conversation, I was reminded that despite President Obama being arguably “the most powerful man in the world” – beneath it all was simply another broken and fallen man with doubts and fears – just like me and all of us. All in desperately need of the grace of God. All in need of the comfort and strength through prayer. Our brief conversation reminded me of the words I heard from President Obama himself when I attended the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast (Feb. 3) in Washington DC:

“And like all of us, my faith journey has had its twists and turns. It hasn’t always been a straight line. I have thanked God for the joys of parenthood and Michelle’s willingness to put up with me. In the wake of failures and disappointments, I’ve questioned what God had in store for me and been reminded that God’s plans for us may not always match our own short-sighted desires.

And let me tell you, these past two years, they have deepened my faith. The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray. Abe Lincoln said, as many of you know, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’”

Agree or disagree. Like or dislike. Republican or Democrat. Tea Party or Coffee Party. It doesn’t matter.

Lift a prayer for President Obama – for this fellow brother-in-Christ. Pray for his marriage and family. Pray for their peace and safety. Pray for strength, conviction, and courage. Pray for his commitment to honor God in his life and through his leadership. Pray for his courage to protect the sanctity of life – not just our lives but “their lives”; all of life – from womb to tomb; for those who are especially vulnerable in our society.

Yes, Lord, we pray for our President…

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146 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Eugene, this is exciting. Not for the star power but for what you are saying. Love your “light to the world” instead of “light to the light!” Let me blow as much wind into that sail as I possible can friend. Btw, you need to invite me along next time so I can take better pictures. Could even grab some of you in action.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Fellow brother in Christ? You are both ignorant as to what that statement means!

    • aaron says:

      does it matter?

    • @Kimberly – can you unpack that a bit? I do consider Obama to be a fellow brother in Christ and would be curious to know how or where I’m ignorant in that.

      Thanks.

      • Jessica says:

        Ignorant is a very harsh word. I dont agree with that. I am a Christian saved by grace and my family and I pray for president Obama. I might just be living under a rock, but there is no indication to me that he is a born again christian. forgive my ignorance, but people from all religions pray to their Gods, that does not make them a Christian. I do agree that we need to pray for president Obama and his family and for them to know the Lord. Thank you for sharing your experience. May the Lord bless your ministry and protect your family!

    • Sharon Bowler, Seattle says:

      “I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
      Barack Obama
      Interview in Christianity Today, January 22, 2008.

      • Melody says:

        thank you for posting that.

      • Greg Scandrett says:

        nothing unclear about that. why do we refuse to believe he means it but when i say it no one doubts it. (not that there is anyone really concerned about what i believe or don’g believe) but the point is when the average person says something as clear and correct about their salvation as this man does we ask no more questions, just believe he is saved. why do we refuse our president this grace?

        does he do some things that, when evaluated by our standards, seem inconsistent. sure. but i would suggest that inconsistencies are the norm for all followers of Jesus. that is the purpose of grace and growth.

      • Mrs.C says:

        Belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior isn’t what saves us. Even the demons believe and tremble. Asking Jesus into our hearts isn’t what saves us. Jesus never walked up to anyone and said “If you’ll just ask me into your heart, you’ll be saved!” Following Him and Doing the same works that Christ did is proof that we are saved and know Him. Faith without works is dead. A Tree that produces no fruit is fit for the fire. The evidence of Salvation is that we are DOING what Jesus called us to do. We will be known by our fruit as Christ said “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit”.

        • sejb says:

          I was not trying to describe how to be saved. I was quoting Obama (nearly a year ago) when he said something only a Christian would say. Even if you disagree with the finer theological points.
          While I don’t know if Jesus ever walked up to anyone and said, “If you’ll just ask me into your heart, you’ll be saved!”

          Hear the Word of the Lord:
          Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
          Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

          What I ask you Mrs. C; Where are the verses that give you the authority to judge another person’s fruit? Do you prefer the fruit of Mitt Romney?

          I’m so glad that I can leave the job of deciding who is saved up to the Lord, and you of course Mrs. C.

          Sharon

    • GlobalGramma says:

      God help you and those like you, Kimberly, who are so blinded by your small mindedness and hate that your Christian faith and the love and compassion that is at the core of all that Jesus stood for and taught us, all that he died for, fails to penetrate the ugliness of your condemning heart.

    • GlobalGramma says:

      I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic schools for 12 years, and was taught that ALL human beings are brothers and sisters in Christ. What do you think the parable of the Good Samaritan is about if not embracing, loving, and extending our care and sense of family to those whom we don’t see as belonging to our group, our mindset?

      And what about ‘judge not that ye shall not be judged’?

      Exactly who are you to judge Barack Obama’s Christianity, when he has been going to Christian churches his entire adult life? Who are you to judge any other human being’s relationship to God? What do you base your right to judge on? Judging is the antithesis of Jesus and all that he taught.

      God is all-embracing. God loves ALL his children. Poor Jesus…he and everything he lived and died for are so regularly and consistently betrayed by those who beat their breasts too loudly, calling, ‘Lord, Lord!’ to him while embodying the very essence of all he came to lead us away from.

      To me, I take his admonition, “By their fruits, ye shall know them,” very seriously. Those of your ilk, however loved and forgiven by God you might be, in your blind ignorance and addiction to self-righteousness, have become perfect manifestations of the pharisees of today and are killing the loving spirit of Jesus, impeding its movement forward that could heal our world.

      Be mindful, you become like what you LOVE. But you also become like what you hate. Because when you love your hate, it is hate’s essence that is written on your forehead. Hate consumes you, it penetrates every cell with its toxicity, shrivels your heart, and deadens the true life of your soul.That is why Jesus taught us to “resist not evil.”

      It is tragic that so many Christians today fail to comprehend any of this.

  3. Ryan says:

    That is awesome! Great insight and finally a personal experience to humanize a man who is often only viewed in regard to his position and not his humanity.

  4. awesome. important. sharing that everywhere with everyone.

  5. Eric Nicolaysen says:

    Good words…
    Thanks for sharing that moment.

  6. Joe Chambers says:

    This post made an old man get wet eyes. Praise God for the path you are on. I am following you as you follow Christ.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      thanks joe. praise God that we have a community of people we can learn from – together – as we follow Christ.

    • Janice says:

      Glad I am not the only who cried. I was deeply touched. Although I didn’t vote for him but I forget he is just like all of us with fears and doubts and of course this HUGE job that he has to carry and all the threats that’s been made to him and his family. It brought a sense of convictions, that there are time I don’t honor him like I should. Scripture have told us we need to honor and respect authority, if we don’t agree that’s fine but they need respect.

      • Curtis says:

        It is refreshing to hear an evangelical acknowledge that a Liberal can be a believer. But is it just a matter of praying for a President and his family – though the majority of evangelicals, fundamentalists do not believe Obama is a “real” Christian? As one GOP candidate states “has a phony theology…, not a Biblical one”.

        Realizing I am departing from the “ecumenical” spirit of Eugene’s message; I am puzzled that any of us who call ourselves Christian could vote for a party whose goal is to make the rich, richer, the poor, poorer and that scoff at the idea that we are our brother’s and sister’s keepers? Cutting investment in America (taxes) and vilifying the worker (who votes for them against their own self interest). A party that uses abortion, gay/lesbian issues as the “only moral” issues that are ruining America while working aggressively, knowingly to destroy the lives of millions of Americans inspired by the “love of money”, the United Corporations of America, ignoring the 10s of millions whose lives have been sold off (shore) for the singular purpose of increasing share holder equity and individual, immoral profits.

  7. Justin Kim says:

    Great post, Eugene! Thanks for sharing.

  8. James says:

    Loved this and love that political independence does not mean disengaged. Thanks for this.

  9. Christianne says:

    Thank you so much for this, Eugene. There have been several seasons of the last few years when I’ve been impressed with a string urgency to pray for President Obama and the First Lady. It encouraged me to learn that you do too. I’m also grateful to know that I ought to broaden the prayers to include Malea and Sasha.

    Seeking to be a light to the world, too,
    Christianne

  10. Greg says:

    Thanks Eugene, very cool. The Pres and family attended a college basketball game here in small town Maryland. I was struck with how obviously in love he is with Mrs. Obama. They looked almost like newlyweds. Reminded me that even the most influential person in the world is a person just like me.
    Thanks for this reminder to pray for them.

  11. Daniel Azuma says:

    Thanks Pastor E for sharing this with us. So easy to forget that beyond all the politics and issues is a man and his family with their struggles and fears, doing the best they can just like the rest of us.

  12. Denise says:

    Thank you for reminding me to pray for our leaders and their family. Will do…. God bless you and your family, Denise

  13. Excellent comments. As a national prayer leader, I am often in the company of people who challenge everyone to pray for leaders, but all too often it feels like they only support prayer for those they agree with. I recommend an excellent non-partisan prayer by David Butts, the head of America’s National Prayer Committee, “Praying for the 2012 Elections”. Check it out at http://www.prayerconnect.net/resources/prayer-guides/2012-election-prayer-guide.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful words.

  14. Brian says:

    Eugene, thanks for posting the fresh words that are needed in times like these! – Brian

  15. Andrew Wade says:

    Hi is indeed a brother in Christ and we should be surrounding him, and his family, in prayer. The divisiveness in politics should not become a means for dividing the house of God. As “ambassadors of reconciliation” called to peacemaking, why do we allow politics to divide us? Empire, no matter the flavor, is not the Kingdom. However we hope to influence Empire for Kingdom purposes, we need to keep Christ central – the cross, humility, sacrifice, grace, and love. If the Body of Christ lacks love, it is no longer his body.

  16. Lisa says:

    I enjoyed this post. My daughter is moving to the Seattle area. It is encouraging to see a moderate Christian voice in the area.

  17. Teri Dykhuis says:

    There is a wonderful ministry, called The Presidential Prayer Team, dedicated to a focused mission of encouraging, inspiring and practicing PRAYER on behalf of our President, nation’s leaders and our troops. The ministry seeks to be a catalyst in the development of a robust prayer lifestyle by finding and PROVIDING tools to encourage prayer. They believe that prayer will TRANSFORM our nation, one heart at a time. I joined a couple of years ago and the weekly prayer update is just the reminder that I need to fulfill my commitment to pray for our nation and leaders and has also been a great resources in learning about them and what they do. I love it and highly recommend it; you can find it at this link.

    http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/

  18. Patricia says:

    What an inspiring piece. To me, it shows a person who seems hardly ever viewed as a man, humble and sincere, with heartfelt wishes for the guidance and protection of those he holds most dear. Thank you. I shall pray for them, and for you and your family, as well.

  19. chrisi says:

    …and if he is not a brother in Christ, we still pray. God is good.

  20. Paul Klaus says:

    I myself am a Christian man. I know that Barrack Obama is not. He is not a conservative president. However, he does know what the American people want and tries to falsely apply himself to that want. Also as a christian man, I want the best for my beloved country. I want Rick Santorum for president in 2012. Just check him out, and you will eventually see that he is the true conservative. He is a true man of God. He is exactly what our country needs. By the way, please watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5:00 on GBTV.Com.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Ok then. Thanks for stopping by.

      Is this you, PK?

    • Bob from California says:

      I personally consider Rick Santorum a danger to our Country. Who would want a Devout Catholic who thinks like a 15th Century leader of a Theocracy? Paul, if you want to live in a Theocracy move to Iran. Santorum likes to make personal decisions for everyone based on his personal beliefs that come from the Pope. Do we want that kind of man leading our Country? Not me. I also consider Glenn Beck (who is a Mormon) off his rocker.

      • Paul Klaus says:

        I am aware of Glenn Beck having a few mormon beleifs. But I am also aware that overall, he is a very good man who shares most of the christian faith. What really matters is that he has truly accepted Jesus Christ into his heart as Lord and Savior. He also as a conservative, loves America and is far more educated politically than any Obama supporter out there. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself with patriotic tea party beliefs and help get America back! Even if you made sense about me moving to Iran, I would not have to move there if Obama was re-elected because that muslim globalist will have the United States of America looking like Iran very shortly anyway.

    • Norm Boyd says:

      How did anyone get the idea that “Christian” and “Conservative” were synonyms? If anything they are antonyms. Do you really see Jesus in the Conservative movement?

    • GlobalGramma says:

      OMG…Conservative does not a Christian make. Far from it these days given the mean-spirited take on conservatism that is rampant. Nor is being a Christian limited to conservatives.

      Wow! What a reductionist, limited, and misrepresentative view of God and Jesus you have, Paul! God help you and bless you and open the eyes and loving spirit that is there in your soul, buried beneath all that toxic ideology.

      God help us all when this is the spirit that Jesus has become identified with today by so many of his most vocal followers. It makes the rest of us want to run, screaming, the other way.

      • Paul Klaus says:

        Notice that your name tag says GLOBALgrandma. Seems like everyone on this site is a communist!

        • Terri says:

          God is no respecter of country. He loves globally, why shouldn’t we?

          • TeaParty Patriot says:

            Because God wants his people to have self-governing rights. He does not want to have his people be ruled over by arrogant leadership.

        • GlobalGramma says:

          Global is the reality of the big, indivisible Blue Marble we all live on and share, Paul. I am not a communist.

          God is One, God’s Creation arises and proceeds from that Oneness, though it has endless and diverse manifestations, and we are one human family. There is a huge difference between being committed to the common good of all human beings and being a communist. Some day, you will be able to grasp that.

    • chad says:

      So much of what you said here makes me very very sad. I was really hoping it was some sort of playful attempt to be ironic or something. In part, it’s rhetoric like this that is making it so easy for so many young people walk away from faith when they leave their homes. Conservative = Christian? Not much room for conversation in that comment. And Glenn Beck has our country’s answers? I guess we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

    • Gene Valgene says:

      Do not feed the troll. Obviously not a real post.

    • Ben Zabel says:

      I would love to know, how do you find yourself in a position to state so absolutely that the president is not a Christian man? What, in your opinion, is required for this label?

  21. love this e: “they sometimes ask for input and involvement or just merely your presence.” welcome presence is so important and oftentimes the first step.

  22. Mary says:

    Thanks for the fine words and reminder to pray and be a light to the World, not only to the Light. (Just a small correction: Obama’s daughter is “Malia”, not “Malea”. I only noticed that right away because my own daughter’s name is Malia. :)

  23. Jen Hatmaker says:

    I like you so much, Eugene. I like what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Glad you have a strong voice in the Christian community right now. Keep going, brother.

  24. tom says:

    I have been led to claim Psalm 21:7 for our president, but will add his family to my prayers…thanks for the report.

  25. Helen Lee says:

    I’m serious. I had tears come to my eyes upon reading this, especially after you described the moment of the President asking you for prayer. Too often we treat our presidents either as people on pedestals or as enemies to be eradicated–both approaches allow us to forget their humanity and I’m glad that in this brief interaction you’ve allowed us a window into Obama’s.

    (By the way, I bet he was secretly dying to have an extended conversation with you about Linsanity. Maybe next time.) =)

  26. Hanna says:

    Wow, Pastor Eugene Cho. This post was an awesome reminder that we are all merely human, no matter what title, class, etc, we have been labeled with. Underneath all hype, prestige, honor, everyone is the same, broken. That fact alone is so humbling. Dang. Thank you for sharing this insight. Truly empowers me, as a college student, to really live my life, clothed in love and in His light. It’s also pretty awesome to see a Korean-American(?) older brother really step out in faith and empower/encourage the younger ones :P (With age comes wisdom). Keep it up P. Eugene. Fighting!! :)

  27. nathoagland says:

    Dear Eugene,
    I attend a major church in Puyallup. Our pastor promotes a similar view of how to support our president whether we agree with him or not. I can understand how such a request from someone in such authority, would stay with you. Though brief, what a powerful conversation.

    Forgive me for asking, but how does one become involved with politics etc from a perspective of ministry? I have always felt a call to ministry, but politics has weighed in on my heart very heavily since I was a junior higher. We took a class trip to D.C. and I have always been filled with wonder for this “other world.” Its quite the trip. I have always wondered if there is a way to be in ministry vocationally but to also have a foot in politics, without desiring to run for office. I would love to hear more from you about what you do and how someone can get involved at the level I one day hope to. Feel free to respond here or email me at nataliehoagland@yahoo.com. It would be an honor to hear from you!

    I will remember to keep not just our President in my prayers but his family as well.

    • Adrienne Yoder says:

      Hi, your question about being involved in politics from a perspective of ministry made me think of Sojourners. Not sure if you’ve heard of them before, but they “attempt to articulate a biblically grounded vision for engagement in public policy.” http://www.sojourners.com/

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Good question.

      I don’t know of all the resources out there but what Adrienne suggested is a good place to start.

      Sojourners has its share of critics but I think it does an honest job of engaging the issues of justice and politics from a large umbrella of evangelicalism.

      Here’s the link again: http://www.sojourners.com/

      • nathoagland says:

        Thanks!
        I just have always found it fascinating that we have this whole seperation of church and state struggle and yet our country was started on many biblically sound principles, and there is this whole underground really of the church being involved in politics in many varying ways. Men and women who serve our country in the military or on the political frontlines & behind the scenes, make requests like the one our president gave you, but they either claim they don’t believe in God or they acknowledge that there is one but they aren’t going to accept him. I find the whole thing wonderfully ironic. That thing that is so instinctively planted inside every person, that tells them there is creator, draws them to a conclusion they can’t place, and yet they remain seperated from Him. There is something about how our country runs that requires a deaply rooted seed of involvment on the part of the church, yet to please the people as a whole, its involvment is kept pretty low profile. The intricacy of it all :)

        I am preparing to move to Andover New Jersey, which is only a couple hours from DC. I once traveled there years ago and fell in love. I can not wait to return there! I may even make a visit to the Sojourners offices that they invite you to check out on their website. Loving your blog! So glad I found it while I was still in the area.

  28. Adrienne Yoder says:

    Thanks for a thoughtful post, Eugene! How cool that you met Obama and got to talk with him!! Hearing how much he cares for his family made me remember an interview with his family that I watched when he was on the campaign trail last election. I searched for it and watched it again, and I thought I’d share it, if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWkPGJmZtA I remember being struck that instead of his normal commanding leader persona, he seemed much more resigned, and you could tell how committed to and in love with his family he was.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Like others, I have things I agree and disagree but one thing that has always impressed me has been his commitment to his marriage and family.

      I’m glad that no one can monopolize or have the corner on family values.

  29. Thank you for this and to your faithful blog-followers who posted this link on Facebook. I have found myself hurt, angry and profoundly sad the last couple days when seeing various comments questioning the veracity of the President’s profession of Christian faith. In the denomination I was raised in, we never questioned another’s salvation, believing that was for God alone to decide (because He knows all of us more intimately than anyone else possibly can.) Your message is simple, true and one that I think the entire “communion of saints” can (& should) agree upon. I wish there was more out there these days to unite us…

  30. dmbaldwin says:

    In the small Baptist Church I grew up in back the 50’s & 60’s in the Finger Lakes Region of NY our pastor would pray for the president every Sunday and for the leaders in authority over us. He prayed whether they were liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. We’ve lost our way as evangelicals by not praying for our leaders. Thank you for this stark reminder to do so.
    You didn’t let your encounter with President Obama go un-wasted. You made the best of it for sure Eugene.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  31. Paul Klaus says:

    Please comment below if you also support Rick Santorum for President in 2012.

    • Karen says:

      Why are you hijacking this thread with something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand?

      • Paul Klaus says:

        Because it is very clear that you guys support Obama as a president. I am trying to help my fellow christians by showing them the way to look if they as christians, want leadership that is in honor of the Lord. Don’t you want some God loving leadership? If your answer is yes, Obama is defineitly not the answer.

        • dmbaldwin says:

          Whoever is our president — our command from Scripture is to pray for them. That’s the bottom line. Eugene sets an example for us all.
          Thanx,
          Dave

          • Paul Klaus says:

            I do agree that we should pray for our leadership especially in times like these. Mr Obama does need some serious prayer. That I already know.But does it hurt to have good leadership in the first place?

  32. Paul Klaus says:

    Barrack Obama is not the man for this country. I don’t mean to be a racist, but due to the fact that his father was born in Kenya, Mr. Obama does not even qualify for President of the United States.

    • Bob from California says:

      Don’t be ridiculous Paul.

      • Paul Klaus says:

        It is not me who is being rediculous Bob. I am sorry if I offend you, because I have no intentions to do so. But it is true that Obama is not a full-blooded American, but a muslim. He has it in his name.His middle name is Hussein (as in saddam). His last name is Obama (which sounds a lot like Osama). Please just give what I have told you a chance, and see for yourself. He is the last thing this country needs, and if he is re-elected, our country may never be the same. The United States was put together in hope of religious freedom and the right to worship the Lord. The United States was created as “One nation under God”. We need good conservative men of God to lead our country and maintain our what makes our nation great. The last thing we need is a bunch of arrogant leadership that trusts in their own power, and who waves God’s hand away. When God is kept out of our leadership, that goes against the whole unique purpose of America. Mr. Obama is the exact opposite of what we need. He is a Globalist, who wants America to think that he is a christian. Rick Santorum however, is a true conservative who loves God and actually qualifies for president. You do not have to fully accept what I am saying, but please give it a chance. If only you would take time to listen to Rick, you would see that what I have said about him is true. By the way, watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5:00 on GBTV.Com and just check it out. Thankyou for reading this, my christian brother.

        • The point Eugene was trying to make in this post is that we should be lifting President Obama and his family up in prayer.

          “…I am making an endorsement on this blog post and it is an endorsement for prayer and specifically, prayer for President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and his daughters – Malia and Sasha.”

          Whatever you believe about President Obama does not negate the fact that we need to be praying for him.

          This is a post about prayer.

          If you want to make a case for Santorum or for Glen Beck, there are much better and more appropriate venues for that.

        • Norm Boyd says:

          Oh this then is the gospel according to Glenn Beck, the only man in history to be too crazy for Fox News. Doesn’t it bother you to see who you are walking with, Paul? Orly Taitz and Glenn Beck?

          Eugene your story was wonderful. You do not have to be politically partisan to wish the best for a man in the world’s toughest job.

          • Paul Klaus says:

            You obsess over showing your ignorance don’t you! Go ahead and contradict your christian beliefs. Vote for Barrack Osama too. You will see the tea partiers win in the end regardless

          • Paul Klaus says:

            If you think Glenn Beck is so bad, watch the people such as Bill O’reily or Sean Hannity who are still at Fox news. They, (like Glenn Beck) speak the conservative truth.

        • christie says:

          Paul, it is people like you is why I am no longer a Christian. You repeat lies and mistruths. I hope you find peace and your fellow Christians continue to pray for you. So sad.

        • Matriarch says:

          I think you are perhaps having us on a bit.

          ‘… Obama is not a full-blooded American, but a muslim. He has it in his name.His middle name is Hussein (as in saddam). His last name is Obama (which sounds a lot like Osama).’

          This sounds like something from a comedy routine. Obviously, whoever gave him his middle name never thought the president would run for political office. Or perhaps thought that no one would judge the character of a person or whether or not he loves God based on that person’s middle name.

          • Paul Klaus says:

            My point was that he does not even qualify for president because his father was born in Kenya. There is a requirment to be able to run for president that states clearly that both parents must be born in the United States. OBAMA DOES NOT QUALIFY!!! It does not matter what he was named. The point is that his father was born in Kenya, and our president himself does not even qualify.

            • Sharon Bowler, Seattle says:

              Six other U.S. presidents had a foreign-born parent. Mr. Obama will be the first in nearly ninety years, since President Herbert Hoover was inaugurated in 1929.

              Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) is the only president born of two immigrants, both Irish. Presidents with one immigrant parent are Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), whose mother was born in England, James Buchanan (1857-1861) and Chester Arthur (1881-1885), both of whom had Irish fathers, and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) and Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), whose mothers were born respectively in England and Canada.

            • GlobalGramma says:

              Paul, honey, There is nothing about having a foreign born father that prevents one from being President, Paul. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. He is a natural born citizen of the US. You cannot make stuff up and maintain credibility with intelligent people. You need to stick to facts, look them up if necessary. Just saying something doesn’t make it so…that is why most people give no credibility to the likes of Glenn Beck.

              Here is the simple truth:
              Age and Citizenship requirements (for President of US) – US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

              No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

          • Sharon Bowler, Seattle says:

            Paul’s last name sounds like Claus. I think he is related to Santa and is related to him. He is not American. He is from the North Pole and here illegally. I’m calling the INS now.

            • Paul Klaus says:

              My name originated from Germany. But it was my great, great ,great grandparents who were born there. Ever since then the rest of my family has been a family of U.S citezens. My mother was born in Fresno, California. My father was born in St. Paul Minnesota. Nice try though!

  33. Bob from California says:

    Thank you Eugene for your intelligent and reasoned article. You’re whats right about Christianity. Consider the burden our President has; fix a world-wide recession all by himself. We have no idea of his daily grind. Also consider Jesus was not a conservative; Jesus was a Liberal Rebel who did not follow predictable traditions.

    • Paul Klaus says:

      In the book of Matthew, the Bible says that the the leader of the one world order will stand in the Jewish temple of the Lord and declare himself greater than God. At this, the Lord will be so fed up, and then comes the end of time. As a globalist, Barrack Obama is all for the one world order.He is working towards getting that one world leader(who will one day angry God) into power. Again, it is your choice whether or not you will listen to me.

  34. Dale says:

    Pastor Cho-

    Your blog was shared with me via Facebook. I’ve seen the President portrayed through many different perspectives, the loudest being the media & his critics. Thank you for sharing your encounter with us and even a little of what shapes your perspective. I share your belief that we are called to a light to the world; not a light to the Light. I was never able to articulate that as well as you have and my pass that along to others. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

  35. Paul Klaus says:

    Obama is… The first president to preside over a cut to the credit rating of the U.S government· The first president to violate the War Powers Act· The first president to orchestrate the sale of murder weapons to Mexican drug cartels· First president to issue an unlawful recess appointment while the U.S senate remained in session(against the advice of his own justice department)· First president to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil in the Gulf of Mexico· First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health care reform law· The first president to halt deportations of illegal aliens and grant them work permits, a form of stealth amnesty roughly equivalent of “The DREAM Act” which would not pass congress· The first president to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party· First president to spend a trillion dollars on shovel-ready jobs (and then later admit that there was no such thing as shovel-ready jobs· First president to sue states for requiring valid ID’s to vote, even though the same administration requires valid ID’s to travel by air· And the list goes on! Obama sucks!

  36. Love this post. Thanks for posting it.

  37. Garrett Chan says:

    Thanks Pastor E for this post… a good reminder that even “the powerful man in the free world” needs blessing and sanctity of prayer, especially for his family. I pray his wife and daughters continue to be safeguarded and under the Lord’s protection…

  38. [...] a conversation about prayer with president barack obama (eugenecho.com) [...]

  39. Paul Klaus says:

    Can we please pray that the U.S will side with Israel(Gods chosen country). The reason I say this is because Iran and Israel are threatening each other to war(a war that I know Barrack Obama wants to take a part in as Iran’s ally). We are in so much debt to China that I’m scared that they will not fund us for war, and we will be defenseless. All of our nuclear weapons and missles are being taken away from the U.S military by Obama too.

  40. Dale Marcum says:

    I thank the Lord for people who pray for one another and especially their leaders. The book of Daniel states 3 times that the Lord puts into power whomsoever he desires. He does this through the hearts of the people who are in or out of the truth. As a missionary in Russia I pray fervently for the leaders in that country as well as my own. If believers in Jesus only realized the awesome power of prayer

  41. Terri says:

    Thank you for this. The article & even the comments following really touched my heart on many levels.

  42. Jack Kooyman says:

    Thanks for your post Eugene. I especially appreciate you sharing President Obama’s request for prayer for his family. While I have concerns and disagreements regarding some of his actions and inactions since becoming President, I appreciate the reminder and encouragement to me and all fellow Christians to pray for our president and brother in Christ.

  43. Thanks Eugene, I believe when we are able to see the humanity in each other, no matter
    What our position in life, it frees us up t love
    with intention and purpose. Prayer works, and the husband and father, who happens to be our president knows this; great article. Blessings!

  44. Catehess says:

    Oh my goodness, I am so grateful for the simple human compassion shown for this man who arguably has served as one of the most polarizing figures of this new millennium. That being said, not only have I been praying for the President, I am an ardent supporter of his recognizing that not all his positions are ones that I would take but as my husband likes to remind me, “we have never been President and don’t know what it is the President has to go through”. 1 Peter 3:8 reminds us to: “…live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” Like you, Pastor Cho, it is not up to me to decide who is what or who will go where but in order to be lights in this world, we must show that humility, love and compassion…for everyone but especially of the household of faith. WHY? It’s not about a political philosophy or a candidate or a series of divisive, discordant and oft repeated buzz/code words. If we say we are Christians, our aim should always be about what Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 …”let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Anything else and we’ve totally missed the point.
    May God richly bless you, Pastor Cho and your family. I offer also fervent prayers for President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and their daughters, Sasha and Malia. And also, we pray for this land, and the people…Lord that your will, not our will be done. And we’ll be ever careful and mindful to give your name the glory, the honor and all the praise. In Jesus mighty name we pray and ask it all. amen.

  45. Bob from California says:

    Paul….why do you troll this blog..?…Do you have a life to live..? I suggest you should refrain from posting. Thanks.

  46. Paul Klaus says:

    What follows are 10 reasons Santorum is the man for the job:
    1.)Rick has a very strong knowledge of the military, and the middle east.
    2.)He is the only man running right now who would not want to throw go further towards throwing away the constitution. (The only thing that stands in the way of our communist leadership taking away “We the People’s Power).
    3.)Rick Santorum is a solid conservative who unlike Obama, has a relationship with God.(If you think he is a catholic, at least he believes and God, and is not a phony.)
    4.)It is already a sworn fact that because he actually loves America, he would not put us in such huge debt to china. (Nor would he spend so much on vacations.)
    5.)He would not threaten the safety of the U.S by sending weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
    There are so many reasons Santorum would do 20 times better. But I will only get into 5 because it is clearly time you start doing some research and educating yourselves. If only you would just give Santorum a chance to be president, you would see the difference.

  47. LaTosha Ramsey says:

    Pastor! You just did what Jesus would have done and I thank you for that! Thank you for sharing in a sincere Christ-like way! Blessing to you and your family!

  48. GM says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for your article on your meeting with President Obama. I am humbled by your wisdom and your grace. Thanks for leading the Church in Christ’s calling upon us to BE followers in every dimension of our life…. including prayer for people with whom we may disagree…. and especially a brother in Christ who holds such an important position on the world stage.

    I want you to know that I pray for YOU and your family as you continue to step out in faith at such high risk to lead your church in Seattle, and to serve the victims of injustice and tragedy around the world. May God bless you and your family with protection from any influence of the evil one, and may he bless you with peace, joy and good health all the days of your life.

  49. [...] a conversation about prayer with president barack obama « Eugene Cho. Written by Editor Posted in research Tagged with prayer, president [...]

  50. Pastor Bill says:

    Eugene, I was nearly in tears reading your post, and I’m so appreciative. (I’m also saddened by some of the responses above, especially since you just ask us to pray.) Anyway, I contacted you through twitter to ask, but I want to ask again here for your permission to have you as a guest blogger on my site – and to repost what you’ve written here. Sometimes someone just says it so much better than I could, and I don’t want to merely refer to what they’ve written, but share it. In any case, may the blessing of the God of heaven be upon you my “brother in Christ.” – and for you haters, shame, shame.

  51. [...] pleased and honored to have guest blogger Eugene Cho share with you this month. Sometimes someone else just says it so much better than I could. Thanks [...]

  52. Mary K says:

    I just read what you had to say in Sojourners … you don’t officially endorse Obama in 2012 – really? You wouldn’t mind if the Republicans got in? really?

    I think that President Obama has a fantastic vision & Blueprint for America – & quite frankly I found some of your rhetoric in the article I read quite patronizing.It was not appreciated in the least ….

  53. Michelle Stewart says:

    Thank you for a balanced reminder that we are under Gods’s mandate to pray for those in authority. When we are tempted to filter our prayers political agendas, perhaps we should pray the prayer that is always answered yes, according to author Jan Karon, “Thy will be done.”

  54. Thank You Pastor Cho for sharing this account. It allows us to see the humanity of our President.

    I am very glad to hear that my constant prayer of protection for President Obama and his wife and children has agreement with him.

    It was indeed a blessing for me to read this report. THANK YOU

    Pastor Omar
    http://www.lacommunitychurch.org

  55. [...] pastor, on his conversation about prayer with President Obama. You can read the whole article here (and I highly recommend it) but the following caught my attention: I shared with President Obama [...]

  56. Jimbo says:

    With all due respect, your desire to influence policies which affect people, is hampered by your lack of party affiliation. Party membership allows you to have a voice in platforms and candidates long before they come to the public eye. With an inclusive Christian orientation you would likely be a Democrat and agree with the party most of the time, but membership does not prevent you from supporting issues from the Republican side if you are so inclined. But you short change yourself and impressionable readers with a “Not a Republican or Democrat” message. I am not an active Democrat, but my wife is, and I am constantly amazed at socical and even spiritual efforts by those who work within the party organizations.

  57. Mick says:

    I agree that we should so much support our president, and he says he is a Christian so we should take him at his word,

    But Eugene I have a problem with your editorial . For one you leave out the very nasty and religious manilipation the religious left promotes . Also as seen here some negativity from the right , is seen just as easy from the left . In fact i would argue it appears to be because the religious left and secular left appear closer togeher then the church does to the religious left . Politically and spirtually .

    As a Christian I don’t understand why we mandate laws to make others provide the killing of the unborn , make laws that provide a deemphasis of the importance of moms and dads . That appear not only to go against the plans and ways God wants us to live for our own good and safety . So i try hard at times t understand our President , why the left so loves him so and his policies . How when things said like Jesus would want us to raise taxes we are all not concerned about using Christ as a political pawn ?

    Just don’t get your sudden tolerance when it someone on the left , and zero tolerance when it comes from the other side . Sojouners is a very nasty blog , it de humanized Evangelicals unless you believe Government provided hope and the should be the hands of Jesus . That may be your opinion , but it is not Bibically supported and in fact i would say takes many eyes away from God as their source of Hope .

    Anyway the church should be concerned about the physical , spiritual and social conditions of all believers and seek to provide that for the unsaved world . Government can do the physical , but usually not without loosing much of the spiritual and social aspects of Cghristianity . I believe the current culture proves that some what ?

  58. [...] Eugene Cho on his brief conversation with the president about prayer [...]

  59. [...] a World Without Povertyeugene cho [...]

  60. TeaParty Patriot says:

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!

  61. Terry Lu says:

    Thanks Eugene for this post. At the end of the day, we are all broken and a mess, whether it’s the president of the US or the convict in a jail cell. But we are also fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters. We all need to pray and need prayers. It’s sad so many are quick to point fingers at the president. When president bush was in office, many in the conservative church shouted for the “left” to respect those God puts in office, but when a president is in office “we” dont like, we have been even harsher in our criticism than the left ever were. I dont agree with many of his policies, but then again, I am sure he doesnt agree with many of mine :) He is just a man trying to do his best at what’s been put in his lap. He has made mistakes and will continue to. Let’s pray for wisdom, and let’s BE the church and change the world from where we are at!

  62. [...] Pastor Terry Jones crossed that line in burning the Koran and making a global media spectacle. Pastor Wiley Drake crossed that line in suggesting that he was praying for the death of President [...]

  63. [...] Breaking News: The other candidate is not an evil person. So, join me in praying for the President and Governor Romney. [...]

  64. [...] Breaking News: The “other” candidate is not an evil person. So, join me in praying for Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney. [...]

  65. evangelistmatt says:

    Read this a while back, and just read it again. Still love it :)

  66. Allen says:

    I read this wondering how many of these posters reverently prayed for W as they proclaim for BHO. And now Louie bails on the prayer on BHO day…because he proclaimed homosexuality as sin, albeit 15 years ago. Shocking if BHO is such the Godly man, why not defend Louie G’s views as Louie’s….and that he is entitled to them. Maybe it was to squeamish for both Barry and Louie.

  67. [...] a conversation about prayer with president barack obama (eugenecho.com) [...]

  68. […] a conversation about prayer with president barack obama (eugenecho.com) […]

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