President Biden is calling on people of faith to pray for God’s blessings on America, saying in his annual National Day of Prayer Proclamation that prayer “can move mountains” and has “empowered” the nation’s moral movements.
“In periods of peace and prosperity and in times of struggle and strife, countless Americans turn to prayer to seek guidance, bolster our faith, and brace our spirits when we need it most,” Biden said in the proclamation. “... On this National Day of Prayer, we recognize the profound power of prayer, grounded in deep humility and hope.”
Federal law requires every president to issue a proclamation commemorating the National Day of Prayer, which fell on May 4 this year.
The right to pray, Biden said, is “enshrined in our Constitution and stamped firmly in the American tradition.”
“The belief that prayer can move mountains is, at its core, a belief in making the impossible possible,” Biden said. “There is nothing more American than believing in the endless possibilities of what we can do when we do it together.”
Prayer has “empowered moral movements and fueled efforts to strengthen our democracy,” the president said.
“It was deeply rooted in the fight to abolish slavery and the expansion of voting rights and voter access,” Biden said. “And it continues to compel us to uphold our founding creed that all of us are created equal, are made in the image of God, and deserve to be treated with dignity and equality throughout our lives.”
Prayer has influenced American life in multiple ways, such as by “bringing comfort to service members on the battlefield, grounding the spirits of astronauts in space, guiding the healing hands of medical professionals tending to our loved ones, and fortifying the faiths of millions of worshippers in every corner of our Nation,” Biden said.
Biden said he is praying that Americans can unite and remember that there is “so much more” that “unites us than divides us.”
“Today,” he said, “I pray that we can see each other as we should: not as enemies but as neighbors, and not as adversaries but as fellow Americans and human beings. Only when we see ourselves in each other will justice, as scripture tells us, ‘roll down like waters,’ righteousness become ‘a mighty stream,’ and America fulfill its true promise as a land of liberty and justice for all.
“... I call upon the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faith and conscience, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Rick Loomis/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.