Pray For Barack Obama is a non-denominational ministry dedicated to lifting up President Barack H. Obama, his family, his cabinet and staffs in Prayer as they serve the USA (and the world).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Open Letter: Barack Obama Writes To Malia & Sasha

Obama's letter to his daughters was published in PARADE Magazine two days prior to the inauguration. Then-President-Elect explains why he ran for the highest office in the land:

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation. [...]

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House. Read more>

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation

In his first official act since taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation, calling on Americans to serve one another and our common purpose on this National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. Check it out below, or read it on the proclamations page.


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As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of America is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven.

On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright -- it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.

So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

God Bless You: President Barack H. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia & Sacha O. (Inauguration Day + First couple dance-- Photos/Videos)

Last updated: Jan 25, 2009

Thanks to fellow blogger 'The Face of AfriKa' for sharing the photos and videos below:

First Dance: President Barack Obama And First Lady Michelle Obama

Above-- Video Essay: A Look Back At The Inauguration

Video Essay: 'The Moment' of Presidency

First Day At Work
All photos credit: AP/CBS

President Obama (Photos & Videos)

Thank you to fellow blogger The Face of AfriKa for allowing me to reproduce posts about Obama here (I've been very busy lately).

By Cathleen Decker
9:06 AM PST, January 20, 2009

Reporting from Los Angeles -- Barack Hussein Obama was sworn into office as the nation's 44th president today, assuming leadership of a nation riven by war and economic despair but embracing the improbable ascension of a first-term Illinois senator as the nation's first black chief executive.

With his hand on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln more than a century ago, Obama repeated the 35-word oath before a rapturous and massive crowd, supplemented across the country with separate, if just as boisterous, celebrations. Obama sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol and in sight of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King once proclaimed "I have a dream". On the stand as Obama took the oath were members of the Supreme Court, Congress and family and friends of the incoming leaders.

After formally becoming president, Obama was due to deliver an inaugural address that will warn Americans of difficult days ahead and call for a new spirit of bipartisan sacrifice to solve the varied problems facing the country -- themes familiar from Obama's long trek to the White House.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, and Biden and his wife, Jill, began their day by attending services at St. John's Episcopal Church, the traditional destination for an incoming president, located across Lafayette Park from the White House. Read more>
Barack Obama Sworn In as the 44th President of the United States
The new President's priorities include banning the use of harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, a go-ahead for stem cell research and the introduction of new healthcare programs for children from poor families.

Mr Obama is also expected to declare a goal of closing Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, a promise he has made before but which takes greater significance after today's inauguration.

One of his most anticipated foreign policy moves in the first few months will be his commitment to travel to a large Muslim country to deliver a speech in which he will make a diplomatic push to engage Islamic nations.

Americans poured into their capital to celebrate the inauguration of the nation's first black President with parades and parties. More than two million people were expected to witness the event. Read More>

Obama's inauguration speech

Obama's inauguration speech transcript

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace.

Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.

At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.

Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered.

Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less.

It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.

They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.

Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished.

But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short.

For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.

Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations.

We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains.

They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.

And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new.

But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned.

The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words.

With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.

Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

The Obamas' farewell the Bushes

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama Inaugural Concert In Washington DC

I haven't posted anything here for a while... the inauguration kicks off in few hours!!!!! Wow, time flies. In the meantime, below is the recap of Sunday's inaugural concert.

AFP and MTV report:
Music legends joined Sunday with hundreds of thousands of people at Washington's Lincoln Memorial in a vast emotional celebration of Barack Obama's upcoming inauguration as the first black US president.
Obama and his family sang to the music along with a massive crowd who braved biting cold to witness mega-stars: Mary J. Blige sang "Lean on Me," which was followed up by Jon Bon Jovi's duet with Bettye LaVette on Sam Cooke's civil-rights anthem " Change Is Gonna Come". James Taylor and John Legend got together for Taylor's hit "Shower the People." Then John Mellencamp got onstage for his song "Ain't That America."
The celebrity sightings didn't end there. Sheryl Crow and Will.I.Am collaborated on Bob Marley's "One Love," while Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder joined up for "Higher Ground."
The big performances of the night came at the end. U2 performed two of their hits, , "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and the Obama-approved "City of Blinding Lights," noting that the whole world is ready for Obama's presidency.
Barack and Michelle Obama arrive at concert
photos credit NYT

Obama sings at inaugural concert

President-Elect Obama inaugural concert speech

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bill Gates: Opened To A Role In The Obama Administration

As we all know, President-elect Obama has been choosing members of his administration. On December 2nd among other appointments, he 'officially' named rival Clinton secretary of state. I guess the best place to obtain fresh news about the Obama-Biden Transition including the President-elect's weekly address is on, the Office of the President-elect.

Today I was surprised to read that Bill Gates would love to join the the Obama Administration. According to Philip Rucker, Bill Gates said: " If there was some committee or pretty focused task where I could contribute, I'd be glad to consider that, and I hope that the things we've learned about education -- including the mistakes we've made -- I hope we do get a strong dialogue and I'm very optimistic we'll have that with these people."

Gates met with Vice President-elect Joe Biden at Obama's Washington transition headquarters in the beginning of the month. Biden and Gates discussed "a wide range of issues, including global health and development, as well as the need to improve resources for secondary education, particularly for community colleges."

Photo (top-left): U. S. President-elect Barack Obama speaks with Senator Hillary Clinton after announcing her selection to the secretary of state post Monday in Chicago. - Photograph by : John Gress, Reuters

Photo (Above): Bill Gates

Sunday, November 30, 2008

77 Days of Prayer for the New President: Day 25-26

For wisdom for the President- and Vice President-Elect as they make decisions regarding their families and the move to the White House and the Vice President’s residence in Washington, D. C.
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
—Proverbs 14:8

Holy God, thank You for being a loving, reaching God who longs for fellowship and intimacy with us. Thank You for the blessing and privilege of prayer so we may speak with You about all our needs and concerns, not matter how large or small they are.

Lord, work now in the lives of the families of the President- and Vice President-Elect, so that they may make the transition to Washington, D.C. with ease. Help those impacted by these moves, Lord, to be open and eager to be in a new place, develop new relationships and face new challenges. Give newly-elected Barack Obama and Vice President insight to do what is best for their families, particularly in the choice of schools. We give You glory, in the name of Christ, for hearing our prayer, amen.

By the Presidential Prayer Team

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected president in 1932.