Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer, a day which encourages Americans to pray for our country, its people and its leaders.
The day first began in 1775. The Second Continental Congress set aside a day for Americans to pray as they began the struggle for independence. It continued on various dates each year and in 1952 Congress and Truman established it as a yearly event.
This is President Ronald Regan's declaration in 1981 (in 1988 he amended the declaration to designate the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer.)
Proclamation 4826 - National Day of Prayer, 1981
Our Nation's motto "In God We Trust"—was not chosen lightly. It reflects a basic recognition that there is a divine authority in the universe to which this Nation owes homage.
Throughout our history Americans have put their faith in God and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since.
It was the hard work of our people, the freedom they enjoyed and their faith in God that built this country and made it the envy of the world. In all of our great cities and towns evidence of the faith of our people is found: houses of worship of every denomination are among the oldest structures.
While never willing to bow to a tyrant, our forefathers were always willing to get to their knees before God. When catastrophe threatened, they turned to God for deliverance. When the harvest was bountiful the first thought was thanksgiving to God.
Prayer is today as powerful a force in our Nation as it has ever been. We as a Nation should never forget this source of strength. And while recognizing that the freedom to choose a Godly path is the essence of liberty, as a Nation we cannot but hope that more of our citizens would, through prayer, come into a closer relationship with their Maker.
Recognizing our great heritage, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved April 17, 1952 ( 36 U.S.C. 169h; 66 Stat. 64), has called upon the President to set aside a suitable day each year as a National Day of. Prayer.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, May 7, 1981, National Day of Prayer. On that day I ask all who believe to join with me in giving thanks to Almighty God for the blessings He has bestowed on this land and the protection He affords us as a people. Let us as a Nation join together before God, fully aware of the trials that lie ahead and the need, yes, the necessity, for divine guidance. With unshakeable faith in God and the liberty which is heritage, we as a free Nation will surely survive and prosper.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of March, in year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:33 a.m., March 20, 1981]
But here's this from the Washington Times:
"President Obama is distancing himself from the National Day of Prayer by nixing a formal early morning service and not attending a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning.
"All Mr. Obama will do for the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, is sign a proclamation honoring the day, which originated in 1952 when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for the observance.
"For the past eight years, President George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he typically would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers."
It's my humble opinion but I think a little prayer would do us all some good. Our nation is in trouble. I don't care what side of the political fence you're on, we're in trouble. And all those that would scream "separation of church and state" and bellow about bringing God into politics would do well to sit back and read Reagan's words. George W. Bush was excoriated for using his faith to make decisions, but I think a little more faith in the God that got us here, so to speak, would be a good thing. As my mother used to say, "Dance with the one who 'brung' youOur nation needs help right now because we are sliding down more than one slippery slope. So remember, it's National Day of Prayer, and a prayer might be a good idea.