(Photo: REUTERS/Philip Andrews)
President Barack Obama won a second term as president after sweeping nearly all the battleground states, including Ohio, Tuesday night. Christian leaders who firmly oppose his stance on abortion and gay marriage have called on believers to pray for him as he leads the country for another four years.
"The Election is finally over and the votes have been cast. President Barack Obama has been reelected as the President of the United States of America," said Southern California evangelist Greg Laurie. "Now is the time to Pray for our President for the great challenges that he will face in the days ahead."
Results of the election quickly came in Tuesday night, state by state, with GOP candidate Mitt Romney winning the South and Obama carrying the Northeast. By the end of the night, Obama surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed as he won the swing states of Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. Results from Florida are expected Wednesday afternoon. In total, Obama had 303 electoral votes and Romney, 206.
Obama also won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes, 50 percent to 48 percent.
"Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. I want to thank every American who participated in this election," said Obama in his victory speech.
He said he plans to sit down with Romney to talk about how they can work together to "move this country forward."
Romney called the president to congratulate him on his second victory. Thanking his supporters, he said in his concession speech, "I so wish – I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation."
Pro-life leaders, who deem Obama the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history, were disappointed in Obama's re-election, but they expressed their resolve to continue to fight for the unborn under the Obama administration.
"We need prayer now more than ever for our unborn brothers and sisters around the world facing death due to the policies of the Obama administration, and for those facing persecution for daring to spread the Gospel of Life," said Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet, in a statement. "May Our Lord Jesus Christ give us the strength to run the race and win the fight for life."
Echoing that sentiment, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, stated, "[W]e will continue the cultural progress that is so clearly on the side of life, as more minds and hearts embrace the unborn, as more abortion mills close, and as more women and men speak up about how abortion harmed them."
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a preeminent evangelical, expressed deep concern, knowing where Obama stands on marriage and abortion.
"The election returns and voting data indicate that President Obama's 'evolution' on the issue of same-sex marriage cost him nothing. That probably surprised both sides in that controversy," he stated. Obama announced in May that he supports same-sex couples marrying, marking a reverse from his previous support for traditional marriage.
"We must pray that God will change President Obama's heart on a host of issues, ranging from the sanctity of unborn life to the integrity of marriage," Mohler exhorted. "We must push back against his contraception mandate that tramples upon religious liberty. Given the trajectory of his first term in office, we are urgently concerned about a second term, knowing that the President will never again face the electorate."
The Southern Baptist further called on Christians to pray that Obama will lead in a spirit of national unity and mutual respect.
"He has won a second term, now he must rightly lead."
Well-known pastor and author Max Lucado, meanwhile, reminded Christians of God's sovereignty.
"Let others lose sleep over the election. Let others grow bitter from party or petty rivalries. Let others cast their hope with the people of the elephant or the donkey. Not followers of Jesus. We place our trust in the work of God," he wrote in his blog.
"How many kings has he seen come and go? How many nations has he seen stand and fall? He is above them all. And he oversees them all. So, while others get anxious, we don't. Here is what we do: we pray."