"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," Obama told Washington's annual National Prayer Breakfast hosted by members of Congress and organized by the Fellowship Foundation, a Christian network also known as The Family.
He also told Mark Kelly his wife -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., shot in the head at point-blank range Jan. 8 as she greeted constituents outside a Tuscon supermarket -- was in his prayers and those of first lady Michelle Obama, and that "we are with them."
Obama told the audience that in the middle of strife, "it's useful to go back to Scripture to remind ourselves that none of us has all the answers -- none of us, no matter what our political party or station in life. The full breadth of human knowledge is like a grain of sand in God's hands, and there are some mysteries in this world we cannot fully comprehend."
Obama said that following "failures and disappointments," he questioned "what God had in store for me" only to be "reminded that God's plans for us may not always match our own short-sided desires."
Speaking of his background, Obama said he "did not come from a particularly religious family." His father, who he barely knew, was a "non-believer" and his mother was skeptical of organized religion, he said.
But his mother "was also one of the most spiritual people that I ever knew," he said, nagging him about values and helping him "to understand the equal worth of all men and all women, and the imperatives of an ethical life, and the necessity to act on your beliefs."