Belief Beat

NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, delivered the closing prayer at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast. From CNN’s coverage:

At one point during his wife’s hospitalization in Tucson, Mark Kelly said he visited an impromptu memorial set up in her honor outside the hospital. There was no wind, he said, and amid hundreds of burning candles, “it was like stepping into a church, a place with heaven itself as its ceiling.

It reminded him, he said, that a church or a mosque or a temple or an altar is not needed to pray. “You pray where you are. You pray when God is there in your heart.” And prayer, Mark Kelly said, is not just asking of God – it is listening for answers and expressing gratitude – “which I’ve done a lot lately.”

As a closing prayer, Mark Kelly offered a prayer given over Giffords’ hospital bed just after the shooting by the rabbi who married the couple in 2007 – that the angel Michael watch over the right side, the angel Gabriel over the left, the angel Uriel – God’s angel of light – guiding the path and the angel Raphael – the angel of healing – be behind, and overhead the presence of the Divine.

He asked participants to keep thoughts and prayers for Giffords in their hearts. “It really is helping,” he said.

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