Members of Congress spoke about power of prayer at National Prayer Breakfast.

President Barack Obama spoke about the need to surmount fear through faith at National Prayer Breakfast. He gave the speech one day after visiting a Baltimore mosque where he spoke about religious inclusiveness. His speech touched upon the politics of the day when he mentioned that fear may compel individuals to lash against different people or could encourage a sinister “other” within control. He mentioned that fear could also lead people to succumb to cynicism or despair or paralysis. Obama added that fear can contribute to selfish impulses and can also cause attrition of community bonding.

Obama mentioned that he fears that his children are growing swiftly. He had a tinge of regret when he said that they were leaving. Malia, the oldest daughter of the Obama Family, is starting college in fall. The president praised faith groups in respect of the work done by them on a number of issues. These range from welcoming and caring for refugees to stopping human trafficking. He celebrated Pastor Saeed Abedini’s return after being released from a prison in Iran. Obama said that they prayed for the pastor’s return in 2015 and now thank the almighty for his safe return home.

The president said that his faith needs him to see best in all individuals. He said that every person shares a common belief that all American people wants good for the United States and the future. Obama said that the American people can draw strength from the heroism which occurs every day. Incidentally, Obama came under flak for his refusal to term Islamic terrorist organizations like the Islamic state as “radical Islam.” He said that fear can be cured by faith.

Members of Congress co-chaired the prayer breakfast and the event offers an opportunity for individuals spread all across political spectrum to meet and talk about how faith influenced their lives. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, spoke about the growing impatience on the subject of prayer in American culture. He said that such impatience is seen all over the media and also on social media. When individuals say that they are praying for anything, the prevailing attitude in a number of quarters is that the person should really do something and not just pray. Ryan continued on to say that when people pray, they are actually doing something. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic Leader, read from the Gospel of John.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter