President Donald Trump had a simple yet touching response Friday when a young Ethiopian woman led the Young Black Leadership Summit in prayer at the White House.
After Trump delivered his remarks to the summit in the East Room of the White House, a woman in the audience could be heard asking, “Mr. President, can we pray?”
Trump could have ignored her or acted like he didn’t hear. After all, there were plenty of people who wanted to shake his hand, and as president, of course, Trump is a busy man.
Instead, he motioned for the woman to come up to the podium and pray.
The young woman’s name, we later learned, was Mahalet. Originally from Ethiopia, she was abandoned by her mother and father but later adopted by a Christian family in America when she was 11 years old, according to Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA, the group that helped organize the meeting.
And Mahalet had a powerful message for the entire summit.
Watch below, starting at around the 43:30 mark:
“I just want to say thank you, Mr. President,” she began. “I know we have a political warfare right now but I strongly believe that it is a spiritual one as well.”
“I know that Americans are going to wake up and we’re going to get back to looking to God instead of social media,” she said, garnering some cheers from those assembled in the room. “We’re going to go back to Jesus because Jesus saves, and this country was founded upon — the Constitution was built on godly principles, and we’re going to fight for that.”
She then highlighted the importance of regular prayer.
“I just want to encourage you guys to pray every single day for this nation,” Mahalet said as Trump nodded in agreement and gave a thumbs-up to the audience. “I want you guys to pray and pray and pray. I’m from Ethiopia. I [now] live in a very beautiful city named Valparaiso, Indiana.”
“Strong, strong people were able to raise me, and I love God and I want to pray real quick.”
Mahalet then launched into a moving prayer. And for what seemed like the duration of her prayer, the president couldn’t help but beam.
“Dear God, I’m not really good at this, but I just want to say thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to be in the White House, thank you for giving us a great leader like Trump — Mr. Donald Trump,” she said.
“And I would like to thank you for waking up our nation.”
“God protect us,” she added. “God protect our president as he’s going through so much now, so much scrutiny. God, I believe that you gave him to us and I believe that he’s going to accomplish so much more. I know you have more for us, Jesus, I ask you to protect us and walk with us.”
The conclusion of Mahalet’s prayer was met with cheers from those in attendance. She also received hugs from both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
It was an inspiring moment all around — from Mahalet’s passionate prayer for her country and president, to the audience’s response, to Trump’s visible appreciation for her words.
Prayer is a beautiful thing, and this young woman just demonstrated why.
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