National Day of Prayer – John F. Kennedy

National Day of Prayer – John F. Kennedy

John F Kennedy prayer

Proclamation 3409 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1961
April 24, 1961

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the high courage and the supreme sacrifice of Americans who gave their lives in battle have made it possible for our land to flourish under freedom and justice; and

Whereas the ideals and patriotism of those who answered the call to service stand as an inspiration to every new generation of Americans; and

Whereas the same principles and revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought and died are still at issue in the world and the challenge against them can be met only through the same qualities of courage, strength, and unflinching determination shown by our noble dead; and

Whereas Memorial Day each year provides a fitting occasion upon which our people may not only commemorate the Nation’s heroic dead but also unite in prayer for the preservation of liberty and peace free from the threat of war; and

Whereas to this end the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, do hereby urge the people of the United States to observe Tuesday, May 30, 1961, Memorial Day, by invoking the blessing of God on those who have died in defense of our country, and by praying for a new world of law where peace and justice shall prevail and a life of opportunity shall be assured for all; and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as the time to unite in such prayer.

I also urge the press, radio, television, and all other media of information to cooperate in this observance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 24th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-fifth.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

By the President:
DEAN RUSK,
Secretary of State.

 

Proclamation 3436 – National Day of Prayer, 1961
September 28, 1961
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Our founding fathers came to these shores trusting in God, and in reliance upon His grace. They charted the course of free institutions under a government deriving its powers from the consent of the people. In the General Congress assembled they appealed the rectitude of their intentions to the Supreme Judge of the world, and “with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” they mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their most sacred honor.

During the deliberations in the Constitutional Convention they were called to daily prayers, with the reminder in sacred Scripture it is written that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build It,” and they were warned that without the concurring aid of Providence they would succeed in the political building “no better than the builders of Babel.”

In every succeeding generation the people of this country have emulated their fathers in defending their liberties with their fortunes and their lives.

Conscious of our continuing need to bring our actions under the searching light of Divine Judgment, the Congress of the United States by joint resolution approved on the seventeenth day of April 1952 provided that “The President shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

Now, Therefore, I, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States, do set aside and proclaim Wednesday, the fourth day of October 1961, as the National Day of Prayer.

Let us all pray, inviting as many as may be visitors in our country to join us in our prayers, each according to his own custom and faith, for our Nation and for all peoples everywhere in the world; and most especially—

For Divine guidance in our efforts to lead our children in the ways of truth; that they may have the best opportunities we can provide as an environment in which to grow in body, mind and spirit, and to the end they may be at their best in their day as the responsible trustees of the great heritage which has come to us from those who went before us;

For a spirit of wisdom and understanding, as we move toward new frontiers of cooperation and brotherhood to overcome the curse of hunger, of ignorance, of superstition and of disease, by harnessing scientific knowledge to moral purpose;

For willing hands and a spirit of dedication, that, in awareness that this Nation under God has achieved its great service to mankind through the toil and sacrifices and subordination of personal desires to common welfare, we may move forward in the unconquerable spirit of a free people, making whatever sacrifices that need be made to neutralize the evil designs of evil men, and to work for goals of human betterment that lie beyond our span of years;

For peace in our time with freedom and justice and dignity for all mankind; and

Recognizing our own shortcomings may we be granted forgiveness and cleansing, that God shall bless us and be gracious unto us, and cause His face to shine upon us as we stand everyone of us on this day in His Presence.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-eighth day of September in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.

 

Proclamation 3477 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1962
May 18, 1962

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the supreme and selfless sacrifice of those who gave their lives on the field of honor have made it possible for succeeding American generations to remain free and enjoy the spiritual and material blessings of our free society; and

Whereas the courage and ideals of our noble dead have contributed to the advancement of the cause of world freedom and stand as an inspiration to us all; and

Whereas in our time we face a challenge which demands of us the same virtues of loyalty, courage, and devotion to country that characterized our fallen heroes; and

Whereas Memorial Day each year provides a fitting occasion upon which Americans may not only pay tribute to our honored dead but also unite in prayer for success in our search for a just and lasting peace; and

Whereas to this end the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day, Wednesday, May 30, 1962, by invoking the blessing of God on those who have died in defense of our country, and by praying for a new world of law where peace and justice shall be assured for all; and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as the time to unite in such prayer.

I also urge the press, radio, television, and all other media of information to cooperate in this observance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this Eighteenth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

By the President:
DEAN RUSK,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3501 – National Day of Prayer, 1962
October 11, 1962
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas faith in Almighty God was a dominant power in the lives of our Founding Fathers; and

Whereas they expressed this faith in prayer, and in this posture members of the Continental Congress mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor; and

Whereas each succeeding generation has shared that faith; and

Whereas in full recognition of our dependence upon Almighty God and for our continuing need of His great blessings, the Congress of the United States by joint resolution approved on the seventeenth day of April 1952 a provision that “The President shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals”:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, do set aside and proclaim Wednesday, the seventeenth day of October 1962, as the National Day of Prayer.

On this day, let us all pray, each following the practices of his own faith. Let us pray for our Nation and for other nations of the world. Alay 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;

Our citizens, that they may increase in the desire to promote mercy and justice, peace and freedom, good will and brotherhood; that they may open new frontiers in helping to alleviate hunger, ignorance and disease;

Our Nation, that each new achievement may add to our heritage of faith;

And our world, that this generation may experience the fruits of peace and may know the real meaning of brotherhood under God.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 11th day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.

Proclamation 3536 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1963
April 26, 1963

 

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas Memorial Day provides a fitting occasion for the American people to pause and realize that our Nation has survived recurring crises which have tried the souls of men; and

Whereas we recognize that the maintenance of our freedom has required constant vigilance, unified strength, and the willingness of our people to make all necessary sacrifices; and

Whereas we are accustomed to join together on Memorial Day each year in grateful tribute to our forebears and to our fellow citizens who have given their lives on the field of battle; and

Whereas in memory of their sacrifices in this noble cause we should keep faith with our heroic dead by humbly and devoutly supplicating Almighty God for guidance in our efforts to achieve a peaceful world; and

Whereas to this end the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Thursday, May 30, 1963, as a day of prayer for lasting peace, and I urge all citizens on that day to invoke God’s blessing on those who have died in defense of our country and to pray for a world of freedom with peace and justice. I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as the time to unite in such prayer.

I also urge the press, radio, television, and all other media of information to cooperate in this observance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-sixth day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and eighty-seventh.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

By the President:
DEAN RUSK,
Secretary of State

 

Proclamation 3559 – National Day of Prayer, 1963
October 8, 1963
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Our forefathers declared the independence of our Nation “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” In that reliance, they set forth the conviction that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

More than a century and three-quarters after our Nation was dedicated to that proposition, it may truly be reaffirmed that “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Conscious of the religious character of our people, the Congress of the United States by a joint resolution of April 17, 1952, provided that “The President shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation, at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do set aside and proclaim Wednesday, the sixteenth day of October 1963, as the National Day of Prayer.

On this day, let us acknowledge anew our reliance upon the divine Providence which guided our founding fathers. Let each of us, according to his own custom and his own faith, give thanks to his Creator for the divine assistance which has nurtured the noble ideals in which this Nation was conceived.

Most especially, let us humbly acknowledge that we have not yet succeeded in obtaining for all of our people the blessings of liberty to which all are entitled. On this day, in this year, as we concede these shortcomings, let each of us pray that through our failures we may derive the wisdom, the courage, and the strength to secure for every one of, our citizens the full measure of dignity, freedom, and brotherhood for which all men are qualified by their common fatherhood under God.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America, to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and eighty-eighth.

 

 

National Day of Prayer

 

 

Prayer Breakfasts – John F. Kennedy

blessing 4

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