National Day of Prayer – Lyndon B. Johnson

National Day of Prayer – Lyndon B. Johnson

 

Lyndon B Johnson prayer

Proclamation 3585 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1964
April 23, 1964

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas on Memorial Day of each year it has long been the custom of this Nation to honor its forefathers and compatriots who have laid down their lives that we might live in freedom; and

Whereas we are eternally grateful to them for their supreme and selfless sacrifice on the field of battle; and

Whereas the same revolutionary beliefs and ideals for which our forebears fought and died are still at issue in the world and the challenge against them can be met only through the same qualities of bravery, fortitude, and unyielding determination shown by our noble dead; and

Whereas Memorial Day each year provides a fitting occasion upon which our citizens may commemorate departed loved ones and offer prayers for the preservation of liberty and peace free from the threat of war; and

Whereas for this purpose 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Saturday, May 30, 1964, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I call upon all the people of the Nation to invoke God’s blessing on those who have died in defense of our country and to pray for a world of law and order. 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 information media 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 23rd day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-eighth.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:

Dean Rusk,
Secretary of State.

Proclamation 3617 – National Day of Prayer, 1964
September 22, 1964
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the Congress of the United States, by a joint resolution approved 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do set aside and proclaim Wednesday, the twenty-first of October, as the National Day of Prayer in the year 1964.

Under our laws,

–every man has the right to pray;

–no man can be told how he must pray;

–each man prays as his own conscience dictates.

I call upon all of our citizens, therefore, to observe the National Day of Prayer in accordance with our custom-each in his own way and in his own faith.

I urge that each of us turn to God on that day

–acknowledging that our country continues, as it was founded, “with a firm reliance upon the protection of divine Providence”;

–thanking Him for the blessings of mind and spirit which He has heaped upon us in a land of vast bounty;

–begging His forgiveness for our shortcomings;

–asking for the patience, the wisdom, the understanding, and the courage we need to carry on His work.

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-second day of September in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-ninth.

 

Proclamation 3657 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1965
May 15, 1965

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

On this Memorial Day, May 30, we will pay homage to our honored dead who gave their lives that this county might live in peace and freedom. Their numbers are legion, their deeds valorous, their memories hallowed.

They fought in the valleys of Pennsylvania, in the trenches at Verdun, and in the foxholes at Guadalcanal. Now America’s sons are again making the highest sacrifice to protect for this and future generations the liberty won in past struggles.

Man possesses now the capacity to end war and preserve peace. We are able to eliminate poverty and share abundance, to overcome disease and illiteracy, and to bring to all our fellow citizens the fulfillment of their dream of a better life. We have the means to achieve these victories; now we need only the will.

We are a people with an abiding faith in a merciful God and in His goodness. It is not only fitting but necessary that we seek His guidance and help in the pursuit of these tasks.

For this purpose 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Sunday, May 30, 1965, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I call upon the people of the Nation to pray for a lasting peace in which all mankind may reap the fruits of His blessing.

I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as the time for all Americans to join in 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 fifteenth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-ninth.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:

GEORGE W. BALL,
Acting Secretary of State.

Proclamation 3680 – National Day of Prayer, 1965
October 7, 1965
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Even as they deliberated the conception of this Nation, our forefathers, mindful of the frailties of mortal men, turned for guidance to Almighty God.

Their humble and sincere prayer, delivered in their belief that all good things are the gift of God, established a reliance that remains unbroken.

As did our founding fathers, our people continue to place their trust in God.

Time and time again we have turned to Him for succor, and time and time again He has answered with manifestations of abundance.

In our own times, the Congress 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 20, 1965, as National Day of Prayer, 1965.

Few nations have been so favored by Almighty God, and it is altogether fitting that a day be set aside for this purpose.

Thus it is in the same spirit of humility and conviction demonstrated by our forefathers that I urge each citizen, according to his own conscience to pause on that day to acknowledge our dependence upon God.

In these days of peril and uncertainty, I urge that each of us plead for wisdom, strength and courage.

I urge that we pray for God-given vision and determination to make the sacrifices demanded by our responsibilities to our fellow men in our own Nation and in other lands of this world.

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 seventh day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

Remarks Upon Signing Proclamation “National Day of Prayer, 1965”
October 7, 1965
Distinguished clergy, ladies and gentlemen:

Today I am signing a proclamation, setting aside Wednesday, October 20, as the National Day of Prayer of 1965. In so doing, I remind all Americans of the line from “The Star-Spangled Banner”: “In God is our trust.”

Those are not just ringing words of poetry. They reflect the very soul of our great Nation: our purpose as well as our source of greatness.

In putting my name to this paper, I cannot proclaim that all Americans will pray on October 20th. Nor would I do so even if I could. But I do hope by this action that we will remind our citizens of the blessings that God has bestowed upon them. I do ask them to remember that our reliance upon Divine Providence is a far greater force for freedom in the world than all of our wealth combined.

And in remembering, let each man pray, according to the dictates of his own conscience, that we may continue to be worthy of God’s blessings. And let us remember those words from our own great, late, beloved President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “Here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

[At this point the President signed the proclamation. He then resumed speaking.]

Now I will read the proclamation that I have just signed.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 1965 By the President of the United States of America a Proclamation
Even as they deliberated the conception of this Nation, our forefathers, mindful of the frailties of mortal men, turned for guidance to Almighty God.

Their humble and sincere prayer, delivered in their belief that all good things are the gift of God, established a reliance that remains unbroken.

As did our founding fathers, our people continue to place their trust in God.

Time and time again we have turned to Him for succor, and time and time again He has answered with manifestations of abundance.

In our own times, the Congress 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, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 20, 1965, as National Day of Prayer, 1965.

Few nations have been so favored by Almighty God, and it is altogether fitting that a day be set aside for this purpose.

Thus it is in the same spirit of humility and conviction demonstrated by our forefathers that I urge each citizen, according to his own conscience to pause on that day to acknowledge our dependence upon God.

In these days of peril and uncertainty, I urge that each of us plead for wisdom, strength and courage.

I urge that we pray for God-given vision and determination to make the sacrifices demanded by our responsibilities to our fellow men in our own Nation and in other lands of this world.

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 seventh day of October in the year Of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

Proclamation 3686 – Designating a Day of Dedication and Prayer for Those Risking Their Lives for Peace in Viet-Nam
November 6, 1965

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas, in assisting the people of South Viet-Nam to resist unprovoked aggression, the United States and other nations are carrying on the honored tradition of defending a people’s right to freedom; and

Whereas the purpose of the United States in Viet-Nam is to help to open the way for social justice in place of unprovoked aggression and peace instead of war; and

Whereas there can be no social justice or economic progress without security from external attack and from terror in the night; and

Whereas the Government of the United States remains ready without condition for the international discussions that can lead to lasting peace; and

Whereas it is the sense of the Congress in S. Res. 159 and H. Res. 626 that it would be fitting for the President to set aside a national day of remembrance dedicated to those Americans who are committing their lives, blood and energies in the defense of world peace.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Sunday, November 28, 1965, as a day of dedication and prayer, honoring the men and women of South Viet-Nam, of the United States, and of all other countries, who are risking their lives to bring about a just peace in South Viet-Nam.

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 sixth day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:

DEAN RUSK
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3727 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1966
May 26, 1966

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Americans will be fighting and dying in Vietnam this Memorial Day, 1966, in fulfillment of our commitment to freedom. Their sacrifice is part of an ancient legacy that begins with man’s first act of transcendent courage, and that contains all that is noble and selfless in human character.

Our own liberty was won in struggle against tyranny. In two world wars and in Korea, brave Americans and their allies gave their lives that men might live and prosper in freedom.

We shall not forsake their sacrifice. We shall–because we must–persevere.

We are totally committed to defeat this aggression.

This nation has never left the field of battle in abject surrender of a cause for which it has fought.

We shall not do so now.

We shall see this through.

Yet as we protect freedom by courage in arms, we shall every day continue the search for an honorable peace.

It is tragic that young lives must be sacrificed, that great sums must be spent for the instruments of war, when the work of peace awaits man’s accomplishment in every land. America today–as in past years–is prepared to join in that work with any nation whose devotion is to peace with its neighbors, and a better life for its people. Let the guns of aggression be silent, we say, that the sounds of the builders, of the planters, of the teachers, may be heard.

On this Memorial Day, as we honor the memory of brave men who have borne our colors in war, we pray to God for His mercy. We pray for the wisdom to find a way to end this struggle of nation against nation, of brother against brother. We pray that soon we may begin to build the only true memorial to man’s valor in war–a sane and hopeful environment for the generations to Come.

The Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has 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 and designating a period during each such day when the people of the United States might unite in such supplication:

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 1966, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in such prayer.

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

I also urge all of the people of this Nation to join me in prayer to the Almighty for the safety of our Nation’s sons and daughters in Vietnam, for His blessing on those who have sacrificed their lives for this Nation in this and all other struggles, and for His aid in building a world where freedom and justice prevail, and where all men live in friendship, understanding, and peace.

By House Concurrent Resolution 587, the Eighty-ninth Congress has officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years ago in Waterloo, New York. In conformity with the request contained in that concurrent resolution, it is my privilege to call attention to the centennial observance of Memorial Day in Waterloo, New York, on May 30, 1966.

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 May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:
DEAN RUSK,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3750 – National Day of Prayer, 1966
October 1, 1966
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln spoke these words in 1865:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Now, once again, we are engaged in a struggle that demands our courage, that tests our will, that asks us to persevere through a time of hostile uncertainty.

We pray for an end to that struggle, for a time of healing, in which we and all other nations may turn our hands to the work of building and planting, of teaching and caring.

We pray for God’s guidance through the storm of conflict, for His wisdom in the search for peace, for His mercy and forgiveness toward all men, friend and foe.

Congress has provided that the President shall set aside a day each year 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 19, 1966, as a National Day of Prayer.

On that day, each according to his own custom and in his own faith, let us

—Recognize our dependence upon Almighty God.

—Express thanksgiving for the blessings He has bestowed upon us.

—Examine our hearts in the light of His word; end the brutal divisions between His children.

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 first day October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.

Proclamation 3796 – National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation
July 27, 1967
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

From its earliest day, our nation has been dedicated to justice, to equality—and to order.

We are a people committed to the rule of law, believing that it holds the greatest hope for human progress and well-being. We must never abandon that commitment.

Today our people reaffirm their faith in law; their faith in progress; their faith in human brotherhood.

It is right to pray that strife will not bring down what we have built, nor threaten all the things we hope to build.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Sunday, July 30, 1967, as a National Day of Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation.

I call on every Governor, every Mayor, every family in the land to join in this observance. I call on all our citizens to go into their churches on this Sunday, and to pray for peace in the land we love.

We deplore the few who rely upon words and works of terror.

We mourn the many who have suffered from violence in the cities. We dedicate ourselves once more to the rule of law, in whose absence anarchy is loosed and tragedy is born.

We pray to Almighty God, the Author of our liberty, for hearts free from hate, so that our Nation can be free from bitterness.

We pray for strength to build together so that disorder may cease, progress steadily continue, and justice prosper.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-second.

Proclamation 3785 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1967
May 22, 1967

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

In reverent tribute on this Memorial Day 1967 we salute the gallant men of our country who have served us and still serve us so nobly and selflessly in defense of freedom.

We can never repay their sacrifices. Our honored dead sleep in hallowed ground on five continents. The debt we owe them, and that our children will owe for generations to come, is beyond measure.

Today, our young men are fighting and dying in Vietnam so that other young men may stand as they have stood–proudly independent, free to determine their own destiny. Before their common sacrifice and dedication the barriers of race, color, or creed crumble. The heroism of a just cause makes all men brothers against tyranny.

Every President in time of armed conflict must act in the deep conviction that the cause for which our young men suffer and die transcends their sacrifices.

A century ago President Lincoln expressed his grief over the terrible losses of the war between the States. He pointed out that all deprecated war, all sought to avoid it, but as there were those who would make war, so there must be those who could accept war.

We have had to accept the war in Vietnam to redeem our pledge to those who have accepted in good faith our commitment to protect their right of free choice. Only in this way can we preserve our own right to act in freedom.

So we shall continue to resist the aggressor in Vietnam, as we must. But we continue to hold open the door to an honorable peace, as we must.

On this hallowed day, on behalf of the American people–indeed, on behalf of all of the people in the world–I repeat to the leaders of those whom we fight: Let us end this tragic waste; let us sit down together to chart the simple course to peace; let us together lead our peoples out of this bloody impasse.

And I ask you, my fellow Americans, to join me in prayer that the voice of reason and humanity will be heeded, that this tragic struggle can soon be brought to an end.

The Congress in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has 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 and designating a period during such day when the people of the United States might unite in such supplication:

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 30, 1967, as a day of prayer for permanent peace and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in such prayer.

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

I also urge all of the people of this Nation to join me in prayer to the Almighty for the safety of our Nation’s sons and daughters around the world, for His blessing on those who have sacrificed their lives for this Nation in this and all other struggles, and for His aid in building a world where freedom and justice prevail, and where all men live in friendship, understanding, and peace.

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-second day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:
DEAN Rusk
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3812 – National Day of Prayer, 1967
October 6, 1967
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln, leaving his beloved Illinois to assume the office of President, told his friends in farewell:

“I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”

At every moment of crisis, in every hour of trial, our people have prayed for guidance and strength from their Creator. On that day when Americans first declared themselves to be free, they appealed to “the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”

Today, favored as we have been as a land and people, we have not forgotten the ultimate source of every power for good. In churches, in homes, or, as St. Paul said, “In sighs too deep for words,” we pray that “in the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness. And in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail.”

Sensible of our people’s faith, the Congress, 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 18, 1967, as National Day of Prayer, 1967.

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.

Let us ask God to enlighten the minds of all our people so that we may work together to remove the inequalities that are among us. Let us pray that the Supreme Lawgiver will inspire all Americans to take the law into our hearts, not into our hands, and teach us all a respect for the rights of our fellowmen.

Let us all thank God for His bounty, praying as we do that He will make America worthy of its continuance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-second.
Proclamation 3877 – National Day of Prayer, 1968
October 10, 1968
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The twentieth century is rightly regarded as the era of science and technology. Scientific achievements and technological advances have radically altered the conditions of life for most men on our planet. Relations between men, and between man and his environment, have been permanently changed by events that began in the scientific laboratory.

As a result of this revolution in knowledge, it has become possible for all men to be adequately fed, clothed, and sheltered; for new energy resources to be committed to man’s use; for information to be spread broadly and instantaneously to the remotest regions of the earth.

It has also become possible for man to destroy himself; for local aggression to be converted into global catastrophe; for misinformation and demagoguery to reach millions, and to shape their political destinies.

The scientific and technological revolution offers man unparalleled opportunities to liberate—or to enslave—his spirit. He can gain his freedom from physical want, and lose his identity in the prosperous streets of great cities. He can move his family to a healthier and more spacious environment, and lose the sense of community with his fellow men. He can free more hours for leisure activity, and find those hours empty and purposeless.

Thus his spirit lives in a state of crisis. In the midst of that crisis—as in days long ago, before “science and technology” were common words to his tongue—man cries out for meaning, for guidance, for assurance that his spirit is of value. In the midst of baffling change, he longs for enduring values. In the impersonal rush of his days, he seeks a sign that he is known, and accepted, as a unique person.

In this era of science and technology, we have set aside a day of prayer. Let us use it to thank God for the blessings of human industry and ingenuity, and to seek His strength, His love, and His guidance in the crisis of our spirit.

The Congress, by 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, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 16, 1968, as National Day of Prayer, 1968.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-third.

 

 

National Day of Prayer

 

Prayer Breakfasts – Lyndon B. Johnson

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