This morning at the White House, President Bush commemorated the National Day of Prayer. He called upon Americans to remember that their nation is one founded upon a tradition of prayer and that prayer has greater power than is often recognized.
The President began by noting that, “We're a prayerful nation. I believe that makes us a strong nation.” Harking back to President George Washington, Bush recalled that, “It's the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and to humbly implore his protection and favor.”
President Bush also offered his reflections on the reasons that Americans pray. We pray for many reasons. First, we pray to give thanks for the blessings the Almighty has bestowed upon us. Second, we pray for the strength to follow God's will in our lives, and for forgiveness when we fail to do so. Third, we pray to acknowledge God's sovereignty in our lives and our complete dependence on Him. This is probably the toughest prayer of all, particularly for those of us in politics. In the humility of prayer we recognize the limits of human strength and human wisdom. Finally, we pray to offer petitions, because our Father in heaven knows our cares and our needs.
The President concluded by emphasizing the power of prayer. “The greatest gift we can offer anyone is the gift of our prayers, because our prayers have power beyond our imagining. The English poet Tennyson wrote, ‘More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.’ Prayer has the power to change lives and to change the course of history. So on this National Day of Prayer, let us seek the Almighty with confidence and trust, because our Eternal Father inclines his ear to the voice of his children, and answers our needs with love.”