On January 20, 2009, Rev. Rick Warren, senior pastor of the Saddleback Church in California, USA, prayed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. There was opposition from other religious groups and especially liberal Protestants who noted that pastor Warren had spoken out against gay marriages and homosexual practice.
However, Warren is considered typical of a new generation of Evangelical pastor leaders. Barack Obama and John McCain, the two presidential candidates, accepted the invitation to come to his Church for a political debate. It was the only private debate in which both candidates appeared. The candidates publically profess to be Christians but they hold to opposing views on ethical issues concerning life and death.
Pastor Warren asked several difficult questions, including “What about the 40 million abortions after Roe and Wade?” McCain affirmed the pro-life position that life begins at conception and ends with natural death and he said he opposed abortion. Obama presented his pro-choice position that the mother has the right to chose for abortion.
Despite the political debate and protest, Warren, a popular author and pastor of a mega church, was invited to pray at the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.
Almighty God, our Father:
Everything we see, and everything we can’t see, exists because of you alone.
It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory.
History is your story.
The Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States.
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where a son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama,
the wisdom to lead us with humility,
the courage to lead us with integrity,
the compassion to lead us with generosity.
Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans–united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you–forgive us.
When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone–forgive us.
When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve–forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.
And may we never forget that one day, all nations–and all people–will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life—Yeshua, ‘Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus—who taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
 President Obama repeated at Notre Dame (May 17, 09) that he was a professing Christian.