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Bush Most `Surprised' by Prayers of Americans

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The thing that most surprised former President George W. Bush was not international crises like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, nor the resilience of the Iraqi insurgency, but rather the impact of prayers from the American people, he said.

"The biggest surprise of the presidency was the calming effect of prayer by total strangers," Bush told about 700 college students and business leaders during a private appearance last Friday (March 12) at Southeastern University, an Assemblies of God-affiliated school in

central Florida.

Bush said he was shocked and humbled by how many people prayed for him. "Imagine being a president of the United States and innumerable people would come up to you on a rope line and they're not going to say `I want a bridge' or `I want something special.' They come up to you and say, `I'm here to tell you, Mr. President, that I pray for you.' You gain strength as a leader by recognizing you need help."

Both the president and former first lady Laura Bush spoke at the university's ...

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