The following is excerpted from George W. Bush's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday:
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.
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.
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.
And now, here, with a response to the President's words, is Jesus of Nazareth:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, even while for a pretence ye make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive greater condemnation.Red-letter quotes, all.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves.
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor.
Ye fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that hath sanctified the gold?
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.
Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full from extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
—Matthew 23:14-17, 23-28.