President Bush Attends National Prayer Breakfast

Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, D.C.

9:16 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Gracias, mi amigo. Thank you, friend. Laura and I are honored to join you all here for the 56th National Prayer Breakfast. A lot of reasons to pray, and one of course, is to strengthen us against temptation, particularly this morning — from temptation to stay in bed. (Laughter.) Obviously there’s a lot of prayerful people here. And I appreciate your warm welcome.

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President George W. Bush smiles as Mrs. Laura Bush is introduced Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian We have a lot of distinguished guests here today — members of Congress, military leaders, captains of industry. Yet at this annual gathering, we are reminded of an eternal truth: When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in His sight. We’re all equally precious; we’re all equally dependent on His grace. It’s fitting that we gather each year to approach our Creator in fellowship — and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our families and our nation. It is fitting that we gather in prayer, because we recognize a prayerful nation is a stronger nation. (Applause.)

I want to appreciate — I appreciate Senator Salazar and Enzi. Thank you for putting this deal on. Madam Speaker, Leader Hoyer, Leader Blunt, thank you all for being here. Welcome the members of Congress. I appreciate the heads of state who are here. Welcome to America, again. I thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who have joined us. Appreciate the distinguished dignitaries, all the members of my Cabinet — don’t linger, get back to work. (Laughter.)

Admiral, thank you for your leadership. Always proud to be with the members of the United States military. I thank the state and local officials. Ward, thanks for your remarks. Those were awesome. I guess that’s a presidential word. (Laughter.) Proud to be here with Michael W. and Debbie. They’re longtime friends of our family. Thank you for lending your beautiful voice. Judge, I’m not going to hold the Texas thing against you. (Laughter.)

Every President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast — and I am really proud to carry on that tradition. It’s an important tradition, and I’m confident Presidents who follow me will do the same. 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. That’s what we believe; otherwise, why come? Through the miracle of prayer, we believe he listens — if we listen to his voice and seek our presence — 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.

In prayer, we grow in gratitude and thanksgiving. When we spend time with the Almighty, we realize how much He has bestowed upon us — and our hearts are filled with joy. We give thanks for our families, we give thanks for the parents who raised us, we give thanks for the patient souls who married us, and the children who make us proud each day. We give thanks for our liberty — and the universal desire for freedom that He has written into every human heart. We give thanks for the God who made us in His image — and redeemed us in His love.

President George W. Bush acknowledges the applause as he attends the 56th National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Feb. 8, 2008, at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Said the President, “Every President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast — and I am really proud to carry on that tradition. It’s an important tradition, and I’m confident Presidents who follow me will do the same. 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.” White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian In prayer, we grow in meekness and humility. By approaching our Maker on bended knee, we acknowledge our complete dependence on Him. We recognize that we have nothing to offer God that He does not already have — except our love. So we offer Him that love, and ask for the grace to discern His will. We ask Him to remain near to us at all times. We ask Him to help us lead lives that are pleasing to Him. We discover that by surrendering our lives to the Almighty, we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.

In prayer, we also grow in boldness and courage. The more time we spend with God, the more we see that He is not a distant king, but a loving Father. Inspired by this confidence, we approach Him with bold requests: We ask Him to heal the sick, and comfort the dying, and sustain those who care for them. We ask Him to bring solace to the victims of tragedy, and help to those suffering from addiction and adversity. We ask him to strengthen our families, and to protect the innocent and vulnerable in our country. We ask Him to protect our nation from those who wish us harm — and watch over all who stepped forward to defend us. We ask Him to bring about the day when His peace shall reign across the world — and every tear shall be wiped away.

In prayer, we grow in mercy and compassion. We are reminded in prayer that we are all fallen creatures in need of mercy. And in seeking God’s mercy, we grow in mercy ourselves. Experiencing the presence of God transforms our hearts — and the more we seek His presence, the more we feel the tug at our souls to reach out to the poor, and the hungry, the elderly, and the infirm. 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.

I believe in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life. Prayer has strengthened me in times of personal challenge. It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas. And so at this final prayer breakfast as your President, I thank you for your prayers, and I thank our people all across America for their prayers. And I ask you not to stop in the year ahead. 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.


God bless. (Applause.)

END 9:24 A.M. EST

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Nicolas Sarkozy

Why the Senate and House Were Right to Give French President Nicolas Sarkozy a Standing Ovation.

I believe that truly it is the Spirit of God that speak through French President Nicolas Sarkozy about America. This is truly a holiday gift for American People. Happy New Year 2008 !!!

They are well worth an entire reading.

America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who-with their hands, their intelligence and their heart-built the greatest nation in the world: “Come, and everything will be given to you.” She said: “Come, and the only limits to what you’ll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.” America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike, know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned…America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it. And she fought for this freedom whenever she felt it to be threatened somewhere in the world. It was by watching America grow that men and women understood that freedom was possible. What made America great was her ability to transform her own dream into hope for all mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, the men and women of my generation heard their grandparents talk about how in 1917, America saved France at a time when it had reached the final limits of its strength, which it had exhausted in the most absurd and bloodiest of wars. The men and women of my generation heard their parents talk about how in 1944, America returned to free Europe from the horrifying tyranny that threatened to enslave it.

Fathers took their sons to see the vast cemeteries where, under thousands of white crosses so far from home, thousands of young American soldiers lay who had fallen not to defend their own freedom but the freedom of all others, not to defend their own families, their own homeland, but to defend humanity as a whole.

Fathers took their sons to the beaches where the young men of America had so heroically landed. They read them the admirable letters of farewell that those 20-year-old soldiers had written to their families before the battle to tell them: “We don’t consider ourselves heroes. We want this war to be over. But however much dread we may feel, you can count on us.”

Before they landed, Eisenhower told them: “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

And as they listened to their fathers, watched movies, read history books and the letters of soldiers who died on the beaches of Normandy and Provence, as they visited the cemeteries where the star-spangled banner flies, the children of my generation understood that these young Americans, 20 years old, were true heroes to whom they owed the fact that they were free people and not slaves. France will never forget the sacrifice of your children.

To those 20-year-old heroes who gave us everything, to the families of those who never returned, to the children who mourned fathers they barely got a chance to know, I want to express France’s eternal gratitude.

On behalf of my generation, which did not experience war but knows how much it owes to their courage and their sacrifice; on behalf of our children, who must never forget; to all the veterans who are here today and, notably the seven I had the honor to decorate yesterday evening, one of whom, Senator Inouye, belongs to your Congress, I want to express the deep, sincere gratitude of the French people.

I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France. I think of them and I am sad, as one is sad to lose a member of one’s family.

Ladies and gentlemen, the men and women of my generation remember the Marshall Plan that allowed their fathers to rebuild a devastated Europe. They remember the Cold War, during which America again stood as the bulwark of the Free World against the threat of new tyranny.

I remember the Berlin crisis and Kennedy who unhesitatingly risked engaging the United States in the most destructive of wars so that Europe could preserve the freedom for which the American people had already sacrificed so much. No one has the right to forget. Forgetting, for a person of my generation, would be tantamount to self-denial.

What was so extraordinary for us was that through her literature, her cinema and her music, America always seemed to emerge from adversity even greater and stronger; that instead of causing America to doubt herself, such ordeals only strengthened her belief in her values.

America’s strength is not only a material strength, it is first and foremost a spiritual and moral strength. No one expressed this better than a black pastor who asked just one thing of America: that she be true to the ideal in whose name he – the grandson of a slave-felt so deeply American. His name was Martin Luther King. He made America a universal role model.

The world still remembers his words-words of love, dignity and justice. America heard those words and America changed. And the men and women who had doubted America because they no longer recognized her began loving her again.

Together we must fight against terrorism. On September 11, 2001, all of France-petrified with horror-rallied to the side of the American people. The front-page headline of one of our major dailies read: “We are all American.” And on that day, when you were mourning for so many dead, never had America appeared to us as so great, so dignified, so strong.

The terrorists had thought they would weaken you. They made you greater. The entire world felt admiration for the courage of the American people…For me, failure is not an option. Terrorism will not win because democracies are not weak, because we are not afraid of this barbarism. America can count on France.

Hallelujah !!! God Bless France and America … and also my nation Indonesia … Thank You America for your faithfulness … Jesus Love U All …