(NEWS.YAHOO) — BANGKOK, Thailand – Taking a break from deficit negotiations for a whirlwind tour of southeast Asia, President Obama joked this afternoon as he toured a sacred Buddhist temple that he could use some prayer to help reach a budget deal.

“We’re working on this budget, we’re going to need a lot of prayer for that,” the president told a monk at the Wat Pho Royal Monastery.

The president later explained the quip at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. “I always believe in prayer,” he said. “If a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I’m going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home.”

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