The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 and is a call for American’s to “turn to God in prayer and meditation”. It’s held on the first Thursday of every May, and every sitting president has celebrated the national holiday since it’s inception. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence, hosted a special Rose Garden event last Thursday for the event.

“On this National Day of Prayer, America is engaged in a fierce battle against a terrible disease,” Trump said in a speech at the ceremony. “In times of challenge, our people have always called upon the gift of faith, the power of prayer, and the eternal glory of God. I ask all Americans to join their voices on their hearts in spiritual union as we ask our Lord in heaven for strength and solace, for courage and comfort, for hope and healing, for recovery and renewal.”

“In recent days and weeks, our country has endured great, great hardship,” the President continued. “We pray for every family stricken with grief and devastated with loss. We pray for the scientists and researchers pioneering treatments that they find therapies and vaccines and that they find them soon. We pray for the frontline workers keeping our nation fed.”

The world has been shattered by the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken over 283,000 deaths worldwide. The First Lady dedicated the day to those who have been the most affected.

“On this National Day of Prayer, let us take a moment to express our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19,” the first lady said. “Let us pray for the ill, the ones who are suffering, and those who are serving on the front lines.”

“When evil darkens our world, give us light,” Mrs. Trump prayed. “When despair numbs our souls, give us hope. When we stumble and fall, lift us up. When doubt assails us, give us faith. When nothing seems sure, give us trust. When ideals fade, give us vision. When we lose our way, be our guide. That we may find serenity in your presence and purpose in doing your will. Amen.”

Trump continued, saying that by the grace of God we as a country could be saved.

“We have seen the grace of God through the love and devotion of our fellow citizens as scripture assures us the Lord our God is a mighty one who will save,” Trump said. “And I think it’s so true. Think of that. The Lord your God is in your midst. A mighty one who will save.”

Mike Pence and his wife opened the ceremony and discussed how prayer has become an integral part of their family life.

“For our family, prayer has always been an important part of our lives,” Pence said. “Just as it has for millions of Americans. Karen and I will both attest the sweetest words we ever hear are from the people who take a moment, walk up and say ‘I’m praying for you,’ and you know they mean it from their hearts, and we hear it all the time.”

“And as we gather here, I know we feel that it is especially fitting that we do so this year during this time,” the vice president continued. “In these times of heartache for tens of thousands of American families and hardship for tens of millions. Now more than ever, it’s important that we take time to pause and to pray for America.”

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