Dear Lord, every time my enemy fires a curse, help me to fire a blessing. Let me respond always in grace, and thereby overcome. Amen.
“The president has political advisors, domestic policy advisors; lots of advisors,” DuBois told me this week. “But I wondered who was thinking about his soul.”
DuBois, 31,Obama’s longtime spiritual advisor, has channeled this powerful reflection into an insightful and poignant book called “The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama.”
The book consists of 365 selected devotionals that DuBois sent to Obama every day, dating back to 2008. DuBois also includes essays about his personal experiences at the White House and also provides a rare glimpse of how the president’s faith shapes his life and his vision for leading the nation.
“President Obama is a committed to Christianity and his faith is a very important part of his life,” said DuBois, a soft-spoken man who is known for his wisdom and thoughtfulness. “He spends time in prayer and his faith has sustained him in tough times and given him joy in good times.”
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)
After saying personal prayers for Obama during the 2008 campaign, DuBois sent Obama a reflection on Psalm 23 from the Old Testament– a scripture that DuBois hoped would offer Obama encouragement during his race for the White House.
Obama was inspired.
“He asked me to send them every morning,” DuBois recalled.
I asked DuBois – who TIME Magazine called the president’s “Pastor-in-Chief” – what he’s learned about the president’s walk with faith.
“The president is compassionate,” he said without hesitation. “And he can be very personal. The president also walked me through a difficult time when my father passed away.”
DuBois said President Obama also “gave me sound advice about my marriage and encouraged me in my marriage,” reminding him that during long hours on the job, that DuBois should always put his personal life before work.
“There was the day we gathered in the Oval Office with more than a dozen faith leaders. I was director of the White House faith-based initiative at that time, when President Obama interrupted the meeting to ask, ‘You engaged yet?,’ ” DuBois wrote in his book.
“And the president interrupted me again. “Listen, Joshua. Do you love her? Do you think you all are supposed to be together?”