Bush: Personal Prayer Has Helped Me

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President Bush said the power of prayer has helped him cope with the stresses of leading the nation.

"I believe in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life," Bush said during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday. "It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas."

Click the video player to watch President Bush's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The non-government funded breakfast is sponsored annually by the Fellowship Foundation, an evangelical Christian group. About 2,800 people crowded into the Hilton Washington's International Ballroom for this year's event.

A Loving Father

Bush also spoke of the denominational differences that are bridged by prayer.

"The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him," he told the audience.

"Through the miracle of prayer, we believe He listens -- if we listen to His voice and seek His presence in our lives, our hearts will change. And in so doing, in seeking God, we grow in ways that we could never imagine."

The President also pointed to a special relationship that Christians have with God that "the more time we spend with God, the more we see that He is not a distant king, but a loving Father."

Bush reminded the audience that "when we answer God's call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man -- and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father."

Bush Praised for Fighting AIDS in Africa

Edward "Ward" Brehm, chairman of the United States African Development Foundation and the event's main speaker, praised Bush for his administration's attention to Africa.

"Due to his commitment, and the resulting partnership with Congress, there has been an absolutely historic fourfold increase in American assistance to fight poverty and AIDS in Africa," Brehm said to a standing ovation.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were also in attendance at the breakfast.

Several foreign leaders attended, including: President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, President Tony Saca of El Salvador, President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Emanuel Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia, and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of Samoa.

Lawmakers in the audience also included Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., who sat front and center with McCain, R-Ariz.; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., seated with Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, at the end of the front row of tables.

Sources: The Associated Press, The White House  

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