http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ - click to view more info about 'Barack and Michelle Obama on election night' or find free 'obama' pictures via Wylio" href="http://blog.sojo.net/2011/07/20/breaking-obama-meets-with-faith-leaders-on-budget-crisis/">Today, I, alongside other faith leaders, met with President Obama about the critical budget debate. We are grateful and hopeful leaving this meeting. Please pray for us as the conversation continues.
Since early this spring, Sojourners, with your invaluable help, has strongly advocated with the president and Congress, asking for a responsible plan to reduce our nation's deficit -- a plan that protects the poorest and most vulnerable. We have asked, "What Would Jesus Cut?" We have prayed and fasted, and now thousands of you have signed on to the Circle of Protection : a statement on why we need to protect programs for the poor.
The president and Congress are engaged in an intense debate over the national budget -- with an upcoming vote on raising our national debt ceiling being used as a tool in a political and ideological battle. The result? Programs for the poor and vulnerable are caught in the middle. But risking our social safety net for political advantage isn't just irresponsible -- it's immoral.
It is important to magnify our message to the president with thousands of citizens across the country. Our political leaders need to hear from those who will be affected by these proposed spending cuts -- real people who are struggling, some of whom are poor; families, children, and the elderly.
The budget's deadline is approaching, and the president needs to hear from all of us. Help us reach 10,000 more Circle of Protection signers , so we can create the most persuasive petition possible.
Thank you for your hard work and activism these past few weeks; please share the Circle of Protection with your friends and family and stay tuned to Sojourners via our blog , Facebook , and Twitter  for updates.
Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery , and CEO of Sojourners . He blogs at www.godspolitics.com . Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis .