May 31, 2018
Good morning. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here once again this year.
I think, as you know, it is a long tradition for the United States to gather for prayer breakfasts as a moment to share our many faiths, and as a time to reflect upon the support and guidance our religious communities contribute to society.
And I know that many of you here have participated in our congressional prayer breakfasts in Washington. For many of us, it is from faith that we draw strength and hope for the future.
So, I would like to read you a piece of scripture, one that has inspired my own hope during my time here in Ukraine. It is written in the Book of Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Ukraine is at a historic moment. I don’t have to tell you how much this country has changed and progressed since the Revolution of Dignity, or of the challenges that remain. All of you are living this. There is much to do to build an inclusive, strong, peaceful, and prosperous Ukraine, and I am reassured and inspired by so much that I see around me.
For it is in so many of my interactions with civil society, government officials, and the religious communities represented here today that I am reminded that the Ukrainian people do not have a spirit of fear, but rather the gifts of power, of love, and of sound mind, as the Book of Matthew reminds us.
And so, I am hopeful about Ukraine’s promising future.
I pray for Ukraine’s leaders, all of you here, and the rising generations in Ukraine, that they may continue to have the strength, the wisdom, the integrity to guide their communities towards justice and peace.
And as we strive together towards a peaceful, prosperous, and just future, I hope that we can each draw on our faith and all other sources of encouragement to continue to inspire hope for the future.
So I want to thank you, again, for including our delegation at this breakfast, and I would like to say God bless America, and God bless Ukraine.