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Lincoln's Prayer Rings True as U.S. Pauses to Mourn

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, September 13, 2001

Lincoln's Prayer Rings True as U.S. Pauses to Mourn

President Bush has designated today as a day of remembrance and prayer for those who died in the terror attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Perhaps among the things to consider is this excerpt from Abraham Lincoln's proclamation for a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer in 1863.

Lincoln said, "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all of these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace; too proud to pray to the God who made us."

Then Lincoln wrote of the need to humble ourselves before God and to pray for national clemency and forgiveness. Such a proclamation is as relevant for today as it was in 1863.