WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he prays regularly and that he and his wife, Michelle, aren't bothered when they "hear our faith questioned from time to time."
Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Obama said, "Christian tradition teaches that the world one day will be turned right side up."
But he said that, until that happens, the poor and the struggling remain in his prayers.
Obama cited the globe's most inflammatory situation today and said, "We pray that the violence in Egypt will end, and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized, and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world."
He said he has prayed for God's intervention on any number or occasions, not always on the weighty issues such as the Mideast crisis.
For example, the president said, he has prayed, "Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance, where there will be boys. Lord, let her skirt get longer as she travels to that place." Twelve-year-old Malia is the older of his two daughters. Sasha is 9.
He reflected on his family history as he discussed the issue of faith, describing his father as a "nonbeliever"he met just once. Even though his mother was skeptical about organized religion and rarely took him to church, he said, she "was also one of the most spiritual people that I ever knew."
"She was somebody who was instinctively guided by the golden rule and who nagged me constantly about the homespun values of her Kansas upbringing, values like honesty and hard work, and kindness and fair play," he said. "And it's because of her that I came to understand the equal worth of all men and all women, and the imperatives of an ethical life, and the necessity to act on your beliefs."