UNDATED (AP) _ Churches have responded to the election of Barack Obama with prayer and praise. At Sunday services, Christian clergy asked God to give the president-elect the wisdom and strength to lead the country out of what many consider a wilderness of despair and gloom. Black churches across the nation erupted in joy over the election of the first black president. The congregation at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church gave a sustained cheer when their pastor invited them to stand up "and give God praise for the election.''

A pastor in Virginia who recalled past segregation said, "My eyes have seen the glory.'' The mood was more subdued at Houston's First Baptist Church, where the pastor urged his mostly white congregation to "lift up President-elect Obama'' in prayer, even if he wasn't their choice on Tuesday.