By: Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Though he's kept his religion away from the public eye, President Barack Obama has used Christianity to help him through his toughest days, according to the Associated Press
“President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man,” the AP reported. “But away from the public eye, advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable.”
Every year on his birthday, Aug. 4, Obama gathers a group of pastors by phone, and they all offer him prayers for the coming year, according to the AP. During difficult days in office, Obama organizes a prayer circle of himself and religious leaders, including megachurch pastor Joel Hunter
and the Rev. Joseph Lowery
, the AP reported.
And every morning for the past five years, Obama reads a devotional sent to his BlackBerry, “weaving together Scripture with reflections from literary figures such as Maya Angelou and C.S. Lewis,” the AP reported.
The Huffington Post
shared the AP's list of some of these devotionals in an article today. Joshua DuBois, a spiritual adviser to the president, has provided a list of these devotionals in his upcoming book, “The President's Devotional,”
according to the article. DuBois' book will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Obama's religious affiliation has been in the headlines before, according to the AP. "Obama had to distance himself from his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, when his anti-American rantings threatened Obama's 2008 presidential campaign," the AP reported. Obama had also previously been accused of being a Muslim, the AP said, and these claims have followed him all the way through his second term.
But it's the Christian devotionals, sent to him by DuBois, that keep him moving every day, according to Time
. DuBois told the AP he has certainly seen Obama's faith grow since he started sending the devotionals to him.
"The president is a Christian, a committed Christian, and so am I," Dubois explained to Time. "The purpose was to help him grow closer to God and cultivate his relationship with Christ."
Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.