Rick Perry’s prayer rally

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For people who pray, there’s never a bad time to step it up. But over the past weekend, the need has been particularly clear.

We just came off a bruising and tiresome debt standoff in Washington, and got downgraded anyway by Standard & Poor’s because of the nastiness of it all.

A US helicopter carrying elite special forces on a rescue mission got shot down, making it the deadliest day of the protracted Afghan war.

Is this a good time for Gov. Rick Perry’s prayer rally?

It was billed as a day of prayer and fasting to halt America’s national decline, and about 30,000 answered the call, flooding into Houston’s Reliant stadium for a seven-hour marathon which blended Christian revivalism with hard-headed electoral campaigning.

Perry, 61, who is in his third full term as governor, has still not officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination. But whenever he does – he is expected to declare his intentions this month – he will likely become the frontrunner for the nomination to take on Barack Obama next year.

Here’s a snip from the prayer Perry led at the service:

“Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government, and as a nation we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that we cry out for your forgiveness,” Perry said.

Some have invoked Abraham Lincoln’s appeal to the Almighty at a time of great division in America. There are great historical differences, and similarities. I’d like to hear what you think.

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