President Joe Biden’s Thursday
National Day of Prayer proclamation omitted any mention of God.
It did, however, discuss racial justice and climate change.
What are the details?
Biden’s proclamation, issued on Thursday, addressed the power of prayer.
“Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance,” the proclamation began. “Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans. Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed.”
The president pointed out that the First Amendment protects “the rights of free speech and religious liberty,” thus protecting the right of all Americans to pray.
“These freedoms have helped us to create and sustain a Nation of remarkable religious vitality and diversity across the generations,” the proclamation added.
Lauding the “healing balm of prayer,” Biden added, “As we continue to confront the crises and challenges of our time — from a deadly pandemic, to the loss of lives and livelihoods in its wake, to a reckoning on racial justice, to the existential threat of climate change — Americans of faith can call upon the power of prayer to provide hope and uplift us for the work ahead.”
- A portion of former President Donald Trump’s 2018 proclamation read, “On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.”
- A portion of former President Barack Obama’s 2015 proclamation read, “Through prayer we find the strength to do God’s work.” A portion of his 2010 proclamation read, “On this day, let us give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our Nation.”
- A portion of former President George W. Bush’s 2003 proclamation read, “We come together to thank God for our Nation’s many blessings, to acknowledge our need for His wisdom and grace, and to ask Him to continue to watch over our country in the days ahead.”
- A portion of former President Bill Clinton’s 1995 proclamation read, “Let us not forget those painful lessons of our past, but continue to seek the guidance of God in all the affairs of our Nation.”
- A portion of former President George H.W. Bush’s 1991 proclamation read, “As one Nation under God, we Americans are deeply mindful of both our dependence on the Almighty and our obligations as a people He has richly blessed.”
- A portion of former President Ronald Reagan’s 1987 proclamation suggested Americans “turn our faces and our hearts to God not only at moments of personal danger and civil strife, but in the full flower of the liberty, peace, and abundance that He has showered upon us.”
- A portion of former President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 proclamation read, “We endure and remain a land of hope because of the basic goodness and strength of our people and because the God of us all has shown us His favor.”
- A portion of former President Gerald Ford’s 1976 proclamation, issued during the nation’s bicentennial celebration, read, “Let us also reflect on the profound faith in God which inspired the founding fathers.”
- A portion of former President Richard Nixon’s 1973 proclamation read, “America is a nation under God.”
- A portion of former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1967 proclamation read, “Let each of us pray that God will endow us with the constancy to prevail in defense of freedom, and with the courage and resolution to preserve and extend His blessings of liberty.”
- A portion of former President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 proclamation read, “May we especially ask God’s blessing upon our homes, that this integral unit of society may nurture our youth and give to them the needed faith in God, in our Nation, and in their future.”
- A portion of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1959 proclamation read, “Let us remember that our God is the God of all men, that only as all men are free can liberty be secure for any, and that only as all prosper can any be content in their good fortune.”
- A portion of former President Harry Truman’s 1952 proclamation suggested Americans “beseech God to grant us wisdom to know the course which we should follow.”