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Obama And Rep. Giffords' Husband Highlight National Prayer Breakfast

The National Prayer Breakfast was held in Washington this morning. President Obama and astronaut Mark Kelly (husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) were among those who spoke.

We updated this post with highlights.

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. Mark Kelly, Husband Of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

Astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), leads the closing prayer. His wife is recovering from the severe injuries she received in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage at an event she was holding in Tucson.

"What allowed me to be here today, I think, is Gabby's condition," Kelly says. "It continues to improve. Every day, she gets a little bit better and the neurosurgeons and neurologists tell me that's a great sign."

Of the tragedy in Tucson, Kelly says, it's logical to ask "why?"

"We can't ever know the answers to these questions," he says, "but thankfully, miraculously, Gabby survives."

"I hadn't been a big believer in fate until recently," Kelly continues. "I can only hope, and I told Gabby the other night ... that maybe something good can come out of all this."

He offers a prayer that Giffords' rabbi said over her hospital bed on the day she was shot.

"In the name of God, our God of Israel:

"May Michael, God's angel messenger of compassion watch over your right side.

"May Gabriel, God's angel messenger of strength and courage, be on your left.

"And before you, guiding your path, Uriel, God's angel of light.

"And behind you, supporting you, stands Raphael, God's angel of healing.

"And over your head, surrounding you, is the presence of the divine."

Update at 9:25 a.m. ET: As he concludes his remarks, the president says that when Americans hear of deaths in war or tragedies such as the shooting rampage in Tucson, many pray to God. He prays today, that we "seek His face not only in those moments, but each and every day. ... [That] we might every so often rise above the here and now and kneel before the eternal."

Update at 9:21 a.m. ET:And he prays, Obama says, that he will "walk closer with God and make that walk my first and most important task."

Update at 9:19 a.m. ET: He prays for humility, the president says. And at a time when "debates have become so polarized," he find it helpful to consult Scriptures and be reminded that "none of us has all the answers."

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET:"Despite being one very imperfect man," says Obama, his faith reminds him that he can still do whatever he can to help others.

Update at 9:12 a.m. ET:"My Christian faith has been ... a sustaining force for me over these last few years," Obama says. When some question his faith and that of the first lady, he reminds himself that "ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us, but whether we're being true to our conscience."

Update at 9:10 a.m. ET:Most of his days, Obama says, start "with meditation and scripture."

Update at 9:07 a.m. ET:But over the years, the president says, "I came to know Jesus Christ ... and embrace him as my lord and savior."

Update at 9:05 a.m. ET: Though he did not grow up in a religious household, the president says, his mother "lived by the Golden Rule."

"And it's because of her," he says, "that I came to understand the equal worth of all men and women."

Update at 9:01 a.m. ET:The president is about to speak.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.