Major campaign sees value in prayer
Super-pastor Kibryjon Caldwell of Houston presided over Jenna Bush's wedding and has counseled her father. Dallas preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes stood beside President Bush in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and has something in common with Caldwell, the Rev. Gerald Durley of Atlanta, the Rev. Cynthia Hale, Jewish educator Sharon Spivak of Nashua, N.H., and the Rev Chuck Currie, a Protestant minister from Portland, N.H., the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the civil rights leader who helped organize the Montogomery bus boycott, and Shaun Casey, a professor at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
What's the common thread?
They all take 15 minutes, at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time each Friday, to take part in a telephone conference to pray for Sen. Barack Obama, who does not take part.
The prayers tend toward safety for the candidate -- soft landings and alert Secret Service officers, according to Newsweek magazine -- rather than partisan petitions.
Joshua DuBois, the campaign's religious-affairs director, oversees one of the most organized prayer efforts ever associated with a modern political campaign.
Obama has been hurt by some of his religious associations, and is certainly not the darling of the religious right.
But it's interesting that those in his campaign, like millions of participants in successful 12-step programs, has acknowledged dependence on a power greater than themselves.