WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a God-and-country infused speech Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, appealing to Americans who believe in Christian nationalism – the belief that God has a uniquely Christian purpose for the United States.

“We can all be heroes to everybody and they can be heroes to us,” Trump said, “as long as we open our hearts to God’s grace, America will be free, the land of the free, the home of the brave and the light to all nations.”

The National Prayer Breakfast is a massive ecumenical gathering put on annually by a group of Christians who want to focus on a shared admiration of Jesus. Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended the event, which draws several thousand people from around the world, especially evangelicals, who have proved strong supporters of Trump.

At last year’s breakfast, Trump vowed to end the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the tax code that prevents nonprofit organizations such as churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. It would take an act of Congress to repeal the measure, but attempts by Republican leaders to do so last year were unsuccessful.

This year Trump made no policy promises at the Washington Hilton gathering. His speech was also much more scripted than last year’s, in which he joked about how the ratings of Trump’s former reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” had fallen with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Trump critic, as host.

This speech followed the line of previous presidents who highlighted faith as a part of America’s history and tradition, but Trump spent the bulk of his speech telling stories of Americans who sacrificed for others.

“America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer,” Trump said.

Trump noted that God is mentioned four times by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence. Our currency declares “In God We Trust,” he pointed out, and our Pledge of Allegiance states, “We are one nation, under God.”

The words “praise be to God” are etched on top of the Washington Monument, Trump noted, “and those same words are etched in the hearts of people.”

“Our rights are not given to us by men, our rights are given to us from our creator,” he said. “No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away.”

“We see the Lord’s grace,” Trump said, through acts of generosity and service from teachers, police and others who do good deeds. When Americans are able to live by their convictions to speak openly of faith, Trump said, “our nation can achieve anything at all.”

Trump’s message focused on the inspiring stories of people who have gone through struggle but held onto hope and faith. Trump highlighted the Islamic State’s torture of Christians, Jews, religious minorities and “countless Muslims.” He also noted the story of North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho, who was badly injured and recently attended Trump’s State of the Union address. Trump said Seong-ho would recite the Lord’s Prayer to keep from losing hope.

“Let us resolve to find the best within ourselves,” Trump said.