Barack Obama, while setting an ecumenical tone at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, none-the-less professed that Jesus is a source of strength for him.
Shortly into his remarks, the president stated that he has been reflecting on the verse 2 Timothy 1:7 recently.
“On this occasion, I always enjoy reflecting on a piece of scripture that’s been meaningful to me or otherwise sustained me throughout the year, and lately, I’ve been thinking and praying on a verse from 2 Timothy: ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,’ he said.
Obama observed there is much to be fearful about in our current times, but noted in times gone by there has been too, including wars, famine, economic depressions.
“Fear does funny things,” he said. “Fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different or lead us to try to get some sinister other under control. Alternatively, fear can lead us to succumb to despair or paralysis or cynicism.”
The president said there is a remedy for fear, and that is faith.
“For me, and I know for so many of you, faith is the great cure for fear. Jesus is a good cure for fear [emphasis added]. God gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind required to conquer any fear, and what more important moment for that faith than right now?” Obama asked.
“What better time than these changing, tumultuous times to have Jesus standing beside us, steadying our minds, cleansing our hearts, pointing us towards what matters,” he said, drawing applause from the audience.
Earlier in the program, House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed those in attendance saying, “I want to welcome all of you to Washington. You could not have come for a better reason. This breakfast is a national tradition because prayer is a part of our national heritage. It all goes back to the Declaration of Independence. We believe our rights come from God, and our job, as officeholders, is to protect those rights. So it is only natural we should ask for His guidance as we seek to do His will.”
Our rights come from God. So it is only natural we should ask for His guidance as we seek to do His will.https://t.co/T7P6RESdO6
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) February 4, 2016
The audience was also treated to a moving rendition of Amazing Grace by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 4, 2016