After winning re-election to the presidency of the United States, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech ended with the words, “Together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward.”
Monday, prior to Obama’s inauguration for a second term, God’s grace for the future is exactly what Bishop Randolph Gurley and Ask for America will be invoking during the sixth Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast at the Historical Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
A non-partisan strategic prayer network that brings together clergy and government officials to intercede for our president and the country, has hosted the prayer breakfast for the last six elections.
Gurley said the organization is following the instructions of 1 Timothy 2:1, which says, “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone … for kings and all of those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
“With everything that this nation is faced with, this prayer time is especially crucial,” said Gurley, co-chairman of Ask for America along with his wife, Dr. Manon Gurley. “On November 7, President Obama woke up still facing a $17 trillion deficit, a nuclear threat from Iran, Afghanistan, and large unemployment numbers.
“The justice system, healthcare, the media—there are a lot of things that are threatening the health of this nation. That’s why we are bringing together Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other to pray for the president and our government.”
Gurley said he expects about 1,500 to attend the prayer breakfast Monday.
While President Obama will understandably not be in attendance due to his stringent schedule on Inauguration Day, the prayer breakfast’s keynote speaker will be Suzan Johnson Cook, who Obama appointed as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in May 2011. Cook is the principal advisor to both the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for religious freedom globally and is both the first African American and female to hold the position.
“Suzan will address issues of tolerance, unity, faith and the religious freedoms that are at risk at this time,” Gurley said. “She is very close to the president as an advisor, and she is an awesome lady.
“Our basic theme this year is unity. A lot of people may not agree with the president’s policies, and congress has its lowest approval rate in history. The main reason is division. The church is a big part of that because we’re divided on so many issues. We in the church have got to break that spirit of disharmony. That’s why we’re coming together in unity to pray for the president and the government.”
The prayer initiatives for Monday’s breakfast are: the president, his family and staff; the executive branch of the government; the legislative branch; the judicial branch; the military; the nation’s business industry; the media; our nation’s capitol; our nation’s youth; and our nation’s revival, a Great Awakening.