Obama Prays for Egypt, Giffords, Malia's First Dance

Mark Kelly, Chilean miner in attendance at National Prayer Breakfast
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2011 10:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama said his faith has deepened during his two years in the White House, and directly addressed questions about his religion, saying his Christianity has been a "sustaining force" during times when he and his family's faith has been questioned. More highlights from today's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington:

  • "We are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul," Obama said of Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly.
  • Kelly, who was in attendance, said "I hadn't been a big believer in faith until just recently," and that he hopes "this event, horrible and tragic, was not merely random, that maybe something good can come from this."
  • Looking east, Obama said, "We pray that violence in Egypt will end, and the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized."

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  • And as for civility in Congress, Obama prayed that God "will open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view, that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal a way forward that we can travel together."
  • Speaking through a translator, Chilean mine survivor Jose Enriquez said the miners realized that "we really had only one alternative, and that was God himself." He said that some miners taught others how to pray, and said that "as we prayed, we began to know the presence and blessing of God with us down in the mine."
  • It wasn't all serious. At one point, the president said he has prayed, "Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance, where there will be boys. Lord, let her skirt get longer as she travels to that place."
(Read more National Prayer Breakfast stories.)

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