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Prayer for Unity, Civility, and Progress

President Obama speaks about American unity at the National Prayer Breakfast.

At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama reflected that it is often during the times when others are in great need that bring Americans together, as the nation united in its efforts to help the people of Haiti.

It's inspiring. This is what we do, as Americans, in times of trouble.  We unite, recognizing that such crises call on all of us to act, recognizing that there but for the grace of God go I, recognizing that life's most sacred responsibility -- one affirmed, as Hillary said, by all of the world's great religions -- is to sacrifice something of ourselves for a person in need.

And on his hopes for progress and civility in the face of difficulty:

Progress comes when we open our hearts, when we extend our hands, when we recognize our common humanity.  Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God.  That we might do so - that we will do so all the time, not just some of the time - is my fervent prayer for our nation and the world.

President at National Prayer Breakfast

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Feb. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) February 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)