President Prays For Peace

Before members of Congress and other prominent leaders, President Clinton joined the 47th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday, calling it an occasion when politics are set aside in the spirit of good will.

"I ask you to pray for peace," Mr. Clinton said. "I ask you to pray for the peacemakers."

Mr. Clinton said that often in the past, going back to the Crusades and the Old Testament, people turned to God to help them in war and conflict.

"I do believe that even though Adolf Hitler preached a perverted form of Christianity, God did not want him to prevail," he said. "But I also know that when we take up arms or words against one another, we must be very careful in invoking the name of our Lord."

An audience of several thousand people attended the breakfast, including members of Congress, the courts, the administration, the diplomatic corps and the leaders of several countries. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat attended, causing a few lawmakers to stay away in protest.

Several in the audience approached Arafat, seated at a front table with Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., with greetings and handshakes.

Although the president made no mention of his impeachment trial, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., urged the audience to keep Mr. Clinton in their thoughts.

"And, Lord, may I say a special prayer at this time of difficulty for the president; that you hear his prayer, that you help him with the work he is doing with his family and his clergy, that you accept his atonement," Lieberman said.