President Bush says the United States is a prayerful nation, which he says he believes makes the nation strong.

He made the remark at a White House event Thursday for the National Day of Prayer, which is observed on the first Thursday of May.

Those in attendance included members of the military, religious leaders, lawmakers, cabinet officials, and Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Mr. Bush says Americans have answered the call for prayer since the founding of the nation more than two centuries ago.

He says the greatest gift someone can give is the gift of prayer, saying it has the power to change lives and the course of history.