President Donald Trump asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to offer “grace” at the opening of the cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday.
“We’ll have a few questions after grace,” the president said, then turned to Carson and added, “If you would, Ben, do the honors.”
During his prayer, Carson observed 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.”
“Our kind Father in Heaven, we’re so thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us in this country,” Carson began, “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.”
The secretary continued:
And we thank you for President Donald Trump, who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism. And we ask that you would give him strength to endure and the wisdom lead, and to recognize you as the sovereigns of the universe with the solution to everything. And the people around the president — the vice president, the cabinet, the advisors — give us all an understanding heart and a compassionate heart. Those are the things that will keep America great.
And 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.
“And if we do those things, then we will always be successful,” Carson prayed. “And we thank you for hearing our prayer, in your Holy name. Amen.”