WASHINGTON (BP)–President Bush said in his final National Prayer Breakfast as the country’s chief executive he was grateful for, and had been helped by, the prayers of Americans.
The president Feb. 7 told members of Congress and his administration, as well as religious leaders and foreign dignitaries, he believes “in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life.”
“Prayer has strengthened me in times of personal challenge,” Bush said to an audience of about 3,000 crowded into a Washington hotel ballroom. “It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas.”
After thanking the participants and other Americans for their prayers, Bush asked them to continue praying during his final year in the White House.
“We have so much work to do for our country, and with the help of the Almighty, we will build a freer world –- and a safer, more hopeful, more noble America,” he said.
During his eight-minute speech, the president said prayer helps those who participate in it grow in various virtues: (1) “gratitude and thanksgiving;” (2) “meekness and humility;” (3) “boldness and courage,” and (4) “mercy and compassion.”
The National Prayer Breakfast, which is sponsored by an evangelical Christian organization, began in 1953 during President Eisenhower’s first administration.
The full text of Bush’s comments may be accessed online at www.whitehouse.gov.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.