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Perry doesn't disappoint crowd of 25,000-plus

HOUSTON -- If Texas Gov. Rick Perry runs for president, the type of crowd that attends a seven-hour prayer rally in a football stadium would not be disappointed.

Held in the venue where the Houston Texans play, more than 25,000 people here attended "The Response," an event that was part prayer service, part Christian rock concert, and part marathon pep rally for Jesus Christ.

When Perry stepped onto the stage, the broadly smiling governor was received with a standing ovation

But Perry, a Republican who is widely considered to be planning a 2012 run, steered away from politics during his 10-minute remarks and scripture reading, even chuckling that God is "wise enough not to be affiliated with any political party."

Speaking of "a personal God," Perry said: "His agenda is not a political agenda, his agenda is a salvation agenda."

After reading several verses of scripture, Perry laid out his concerns about the state of the country. "Our heart breaks for America," he said. "We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government."

Perry added a prayer for the special forces members who were killed in last night's helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

And the Texas governor asked the thousands in attendance to pray for the man he might hope to replace in the White House: President Obama. "In these difficult times, father, we pray for our president, that you would impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family."