President Trump Speaks at 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

U.S. Rep. Val Demings had the rare honor of giving the closing prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

Trump took some heat during his first prayer breakfast past year when he mocked Arnold Schwarzenegger over his struggles as host of The Apprentice, the president's old television game show. "Stand up, Mark. You deserve it - even though you come from Hollywood".

President Donald Trump has declared that the United States of America will be a great nation provided its citizens remain open to the grace of God.

Trump's words about religion and following God's teachings came a day after his White House struggled to react to a report that his staff secretary, Rob Porter, physically and otherwise abused his two ex-wives.

"She replied, 'If you're only going to talk about what I can't do, I don't want to hear about it".

This year Trump's address to the gathering was much more standard National Prayer Breakfast fare.

Last year, Trump kicked off his National Prayer Breakfast address thanking Celebrity Apprentice creator/executive producer Burnett, who had introduced him.

Such actions are powered by prayer, he said. "Our founders invoked the creator four times in the Declaration of Independence".

He concluded: 'As long as we open our eyes to God's grace and open our hearts to God's love, then America will forever be the land of the free and the home of the fearless and a light to all nations'.

"Let us seek to build a more just and peaceful world where every child can grow up without violence, worship without fear, and reach their God-given potential", he said. Trump said he was proof that "with God all things are possible".

"In every city and town, we see God's grace all around us ... through acts of generosity and kindness", said the president, who just a year ago spoke more often about "American carnage" in inner cities among gang members and criminals.

He again spoke of the coalition "to defeat ISIS that has liberated nearly 100% of the territory just recently held by those killers in Iraq and all throughout Syria".

The National Prayer Breakfast is held every year, and is attended by senior US politicians and foreign guests.

President Trump delivered a brief, uncharacteristically subdued message of faith and American values to religious leaders as a fresh crisis swirled in his White House, declaring on Thursday morning "we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American".

"We know that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes", Trump said. The majority of them were doctors, lawyers and business leaders.

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