Edwards Prays With Black Caucus

The nation has faced innumerable challenges in its history — social, medical and political — but the American spirit always bounces back, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (search) said Saturday.

"If we put a man on the moon, if we conquered diseases like polio, if we can live through a terrible day like Sept. 11th, then we can build the Lord's house in every heart and home across this land," Edwards said during the annual prayer breakfast of the Congressional Black Caucus (search).

In remarks that sounded more like a sermon than a campaign speech, the North Carolina senator quoted Scripture and repeatedly asked the hundreds in the audience to "walk with me through this day" as he talked of hardships faced by Americans and memorials for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks three years ago.

The attacks brought an unprecedented unity that the nation should again strive to achieve, Edwards said.

In times like these, if we can work together, comfort together, and help communities rebuild together, then let's do that for all of the challenges that exist right now and build one America," he said.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (search), D-Md., chairman of the black caucus, promised his group's support for the Democratic ticket. "We realize you have a difficult path ahead, but always know you have some prayer warriors in the House," Cummings told Edwards.

The two-hour breakfast kept a religious tone but found a few moments for politics.

"We are not heard from in any minority. One party ignores us, the other takes us for granted, but we ain't going down like that," Walter Scott Thomas, a Baltimore pastor, said during his sermon.