(ABC News) — President Trump jokingly requested prayer for Arnold Schwarzenegger as he addressed attendees at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast.
“They hired a big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out,” Trump said at the top of his remarks.
He continued, “The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. And Mark [Burnett] will never, ever bet against Trump again, and I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.”
Schwarzenegger, a former governor of California who earned fame for his action movie roles, was hired to replace Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” The president is listed as executive producer of the show.
During his speech, Trump pointed out the various religions represented in the room, citing “unity” and “equality” in the eyes of God.
“The people in this room come from many, many backgrounds. You represent so many religions and so many views. But we are all united by our faith, in our creator and our firm knowledge that we are all equal in His eyes. We are not just flesh and bone and blood, we are human beings with souls. Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God,” Trump declared.
“But most importantly, today I wanna thank the American people. Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times. All around America, I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength. What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart, that’s ‘I am praying for you.’ I hear it so often, I am praying for you, Mr. President.”
Trump also vowed to repeal an IRS rule that states that pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status.
“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution,” Trump noted during his remarks.
According to Scripture, true unity in faith only comes through Jesus Christ for “[t]here is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), which Jesus Christ made clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)