The Washington Times - February 3, 2011, 11:04AM

Saying his Christian faith has been a “sustaining force” over the past two years, President Obama on Thursday prayed for the Egyptian people as bloody clashes continue in Cairo.

“We pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized, and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world,” Mr. Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

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The president also offered a prayer for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman recovering from a gunshot wound.

He said his time in the White House has “deepened” his faith, even as he confessed that his failures have sometimes caused him to question God’s plans for him.

Mr. Obama also said he tries not to mind when people question his faith — polls have shown that a small contingent of Americans still believe he is a Muslim even though he’s a Christian — saying, “What matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God.”

Mr. Obama said he’s grateful for those across the country who pray for him, and said his own prayers are usually pleas that he be given the strength to meet the challenges of being president.

But he joked that sometimes those prayers are more specific: “Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance, where there will be boys,” he said of his 12-year-old daughter. “Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance.”