The audience, who packed a ballroom at the Washington Hilton, laughed as Obama observed that “I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten…. You'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short. But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it's like we didn’t pray."
Speaking of faith, the president said it is “something that must be cultivated. Faith is not a possession. Faith is a process.”
At his inauguration in January, Obama took the oath of office with his hand on Bibles owned by Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “I thought about their humility, and how we don’t seem to live that out the way we should, every day, even when we give lip service to it,” he said.
In debates about “how we’re going to reduce our deficit, what kind of tax plans we’re going to have,” he argued, it is important to cultivate humility. “My hope is that humility, that that carries over every day, every moment. While God may reveal His plan to us in portions, the expanse of His plan is for God, and God alone, to understand.”
Searching the Scriptures helps in carrying out the burdens of his office, Obama said. “As president, sometimes I have to search for the words to console the inconsolable. Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a president and as a husband and as a father."