A few years ago, I read a book by Larry King (yes–the one you are familiar with), called Powerful Prayers. It is one of my favorite books! Larry discusses prayer with politicians, actors, athletes, atheists, theologians, and celebrities. There are some fascinating insights from many people. Two people I really were fascinated with were President Jimmy Carter, and Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition.
I really enjoyed hearing President Carter discuss prayer during the peace negotiations between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. From page 70,
When we went to Camp David on September 5, 1978, Begin, Sadat, and I all wanted to pray. But before our first talks, I spent several hours negotiating the text of the prayer. I got a proposed draft from a prayer group in Washington and I made some edits. Sadat approved it, Begin made some changes, and we issued the prayer the first day….
While we were at Camp David those thirteen days, Begin and Sadat were almost totally incompatible. They didn’t like each other and kept resurrecting ancient grievances. So after the third day I wouldn’t let them see each other again.[Larry King] There are stories the talks almost ended without a resolution a number of times. [Carter] I remember one day, maybe the tenth, Sadat told Moshe Dayan he would make no more concessions in the negotiating text that I was carrying back and forth. Sadat told his people at Camp David to pack, and he told National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to arrange a helicopter to take them back to Washington.
I was in my cabin talking to Secretary of Defense Harold Brown and others about budget matters. I was in jeans and a T-shirt. I remember changing into a suit and going to Sadat’s cabin, where I had a very sharp exchange with him. I accused him of breaking promises he had made. Then I went outside to a quiet place by myself and prayed.[Larry King] The Camp David peace accords were signed three days later, on September 17, in a ceremony at the White House.
“Pray for your enemies” has an interesting meaning when looking at the Egypt-Israeli peace treaty. Do you pray for you enemies?
I also enjoyed Larry’s exchange with Ralph Reed. From page 184, Reed said,
One of the things the Bible teaches us to do is pray for our leaders. It doesn’t say pray for the leaders of the political party with which you are affiliated. It doesn’t say pray for Ronald Reagan but not Bill Clinton. that’s something we have to rediscover.[Larry King] Do you include Bill Clinton in your prayers?
Yes. I pray for our national leaders, that they will be wise and that they will be fair and judicious. I hope that liberals said the same prayer when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. On the day Reagan was shot, I think every American prayed for his health and his protection. Maybe there were some who didn’t, but I think most did.
The book was published in 1998, so I’ll update question: do you pray for President Obama, Harry Reid, and Mitt Romney, John McCain and (fill in your favorite/least favorite politician here)?