updated 8/25/2007 12:16:38 AM ET 2007-08-25T04:16:38

President Bush on Friday called evangelist Billy Graham, who has been hospitalized in western North Carolina for nearly a week due to intestinal bleeding.

Bush expressed his prayers for a prompt recovery, officials at the hospital said.

“They had a very good conversation and we can report that the Reverend Graham is resting comfortably,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

The 88-year-old Graham, a close confidant to Bush and several past presidents, was in fair condition and under close observation at Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville. He’s on a liquid-only diet as he recovers from three episodes of intestinal bleeding and a colonoscopy performed Wednesday to treat the condition.

Doctors believe the bleeding may have been caused by small pouches that can form in the lower intestine, known as diverticuli. A diverticular bleed, common among the elderly, often begins suddenly and may stop on its own.

Graham, who suffers from a variety of ailments including Parkinson’s disease and age-related macular degeneration, has been largely confined to his western North Carolina home in recent years.

His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June following a lengthy illness.

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