National Day of Prayer – Franklin D. Roosevelt

National Day of Prayer – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D Roosevelt prayer

Statement on the Prayer for Peace.
September 29, 1939

In the last week the White House has received many hundreds of telegrams from churchmen, clergy, and, in general, from the religious homes of America asking the President to proclaim and set aside a Day of Prayer.

The President asks the press to say in reply that he does not want to proclaim a Day of Prayer but that he hopes on this coming Sunday that the people of the United States will offer a prayer during the day for continued peace of the world. He would like the people throughout the country to join with him and his family in such a prayer.

Proclamation 2418 – Day of Prayer
August 7, 1940

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The American heritage of individual freedom and of Government deriving its powers from the consent of the governed has from the time of the Fathers of our Republic been proudly transmitted to each succeeding generation, and to us of this generation has fallen the task of preserving it and transmitting it to the future. We are now engaged in a mighty effort to fortify that heritage.

Mindful of our duties in the family of nations we have endeavored to prevent the outbreak and the spread of war, and we have raised our voices against international injustice. As Americans and as lovers of freedom we are humbly sympathetic with those who are facing tribulation in lands across the seas. When every succeeding day brings sad news of suffering and disaster abroad we are especially conscious of the Divine Power and of our dependence upon God’s merciful guidance. With this consciousness in our hearts it is seemly that we should, at a time like this, pray to Almighty God for His blessing on our country and for the establishment of a just and permanent peace among all the nations of the world.

Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Sunday, September 8, 1940, as a day of prayer; and I urge the people of the United States, of all creeds and denominations, to pray on that day, in their churches or at their homes, on the high seas or wherever they may be, beseeching the Ruler of the Universe to bless our Republic, to make us reverently grateful for our heritage and firm in its defense, and to grant to this land and to the troubled world a righteous, enduring peace.

Prayer on D-Day
June 6, 1944

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.




National Day of Prayer

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