Bush: I feel the power of prayers

The president says the prayers of the people make his load "not heavy."

By Tim Grieve
Published December 5, 2006 7:15PM (EST)

George W. Bush says he doesn't take policy advice from his father --"I am the commander in chief," he told Brit Hume over the weekend -- and he seems to view all advice about Iraq with a sort of dismissive lack of discrimination. Bush told Hume that he's getting "a lot of advice documents," and that it's "very hard for me to, you know, prejudice one report over another."

So what does speak to the president? If the Hume interview is any indication, he's impressed by three things: The fact that terrorists haven't succeeded in launching another major attack in the United States since 9/11, the fact that presidents' legacies can change over time, and the fact that people are forever telling him that they're praying for him.

"Laura and I are sustained by the prayers of millions of people," Bush told Hume. "Now that's hard for some to -- I guess chew on."

Hume asked Bush if he "senses" the power of prayers sent his way.

"Absolutely," Bush said. "I feel it ... Because the load is not heavy, I guess is the best way to describe it. Look, somebody said to me, 'Prove it.' I said, 'You can't prove it. All I can tell you is I feel it.' And it's a remarkable country when millions pray for me and Laura. So therefore I am able to say to people that this is a joyful experience. Not a painful experience. And yeah it's tough, but that's OK. It's tough times. And there's a lot of big issues ...

"I know that my relationship with an almighty provides comfort and strength during difficult times, just like it provides comfort and strength during difficult times for others, as well. And so prayer matters to me. And the prayers of others matter a lot in my life and so to those who worry about me, I say: 'Don't worry about me.'"

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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