Ben Carson, President Donald Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development, is widely known for being outspoken about his Christian faith. It seems fitting, then, that Trump asked Carson to pray at the beginning of a Monday cabinet meeting.
The secretary’s prayer was captured on video and published by a variety of outlets, including CNS News.
Trump opens the meeting by asking Carson to say “grace.”
“If you would, Ben, please do the honors.”
Carson’s subsequent prayer included a message of thanks and a series of requests.
He began by acknowledging God and his goodness to the United States.
“Our kind Father in Heaven, we’re so thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us in this country, and we’re thankful for the people of courage who have been here before us, who have fought hard for the rights of our country,” he said.
Watch Carson’s full prayer below.
Next, the former neurosurgeon thanked God for Trump’s service and courage, alluding to the barrage of negative coverage the president has received in the establishment media and asking God to guide him as he leads the country.
“And we thank you for President Donald Trump,” Carson said, “who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism.”
“And we ask that you would give him strength to endure and the wisdom to lead, and to recognize you as the sovereign of the universe with the solution to everything.”
The secretary then broadened his prayer to include himself and other members of the Trump administration.
“And the people around the president — the vice president, the cabinet, the advisers — give us all an understanding heart and a compassionate heart. Those are the things that will keep America great.”
Carson also prayed that Americans would remember that “separation of church and state” does not require the government to abandon Christian virtues.
“Help us all to recognize as a nation that separation of church and state means that the church does not dominate the state, and it means the state does not dominate the church.”
“It doesn’t mean that they cannot work together to promote godly principles of loving your fellow man, of caring about your neighbor, of developing your God-given talents to the utmost so that you become valuable to the people around you and having values and principles that govern your life.”
Carson ended his prayer with optimism.
“And if we do those things, then we will always be successful,” he said. “And we thank you for hearing our prayer. In your Holy name, amen.”