The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance in the United States of America. Every year, it is held on the first Thursday of May. The day was designated by the United States Congress when people are asked: “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Each year, the President of the USA is required by law to sign a proclamation to pray on this day. For generations, Presidents of both parties have issued proclamations calling for a National Day of Prayer, releasing the proclamations throughout the year. Over the years of celebration, the proclamations for National Day of Prayer have been well documented and at times revisited. As we observe the National Day of Prayer 2020, here we bring you nine quotes and speeches delivered by the American Presidents to mark the annual observance. National Day of Prayer 2020 in US Date: Know History And Significance of the Day When People Come Together to Pray. 

The ongoing situation around the world is quite stressful. The novel coronavirus cases are spreading significantly, causing COVID-19 among humans. The deadly virus has created a panic. Many countries, severely affected by the virus are under lockdown. During this difficult time, it is essential to keep our hopes high, and pray to regain our faith that this too shall pass. In the midst of the health crisis, the National Day of Prayer 2020 observance broadcast will be virtual. While we mark the day, here we look at nine quotes, speeches and proclamations delivered by the US Presidents over the years to observe the National Day of Prayer.

October 1955 Proclamation: "… all of those whom we have revered as leaders throughout our history have been wont to turn to Almighty God in thanks for His providence and in suppliance for His guidance; and … it is fitting that we of this generation, who are the heirs of their handiwork, should emulate those inspired builders of our Nation and should turn our hearts and minds to things spiritual." President Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 1962 Proclamation: "Let us pray for our Nation and for other nations of the world. Alay we especially ask God’s blessing upon — Our homes, that this integral unit of society may nurture our youth and give to them the needed faith in God, in our Nation, and in their future; our citizens, that they may increase in the desire to promote mercy and justice, peace and freedom, good will and brotherhood; that they may open new frontiers in helping to alleviate hunger, ignorance and disease; our Nation, that each new achievement may add to our heritage of faith; and our world, that this generation may experience the fruits of peace and may know the real meaning of brotherhood under God." President John F. Kennedy

September 1964 Proclamation: "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." President Lyndon B. Johnson

October 1972 Proclamation: "In all our concerns and all our affairs as a nation, both at home and abroad, prayer should be not merely an embellishment, but an essential: both the prayer of affirmation that our God is great and good, that He made us and not we ourselves, and the prayer of petition that He may guide and protect us every one." President Richard Nixon

March 1976 Proclamation: "In this Bicentennial year, we will often reflect on the events of 200 yens ago. As we recall the crises of those early days, let us also reflect on the profound faith in God which inspired the founding fathers. I call upon all Americans to pray that day, each in his or her own way, for the strength to meet the challenges of the future with the same courage and dedication Americans showed the world two centuries ago." President Gerald Ford

January 1983 Proclamation: "From General Washington's struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future." President Ronald Reagan

April 1991 Proclamation: "As we seek to chart a proper course in a world that is changing by the hour, our observance of a National Day of Prayer reminds us that we can always place our trust in the steady, unfailing light that is the love of God. Time and again, Scripture tells us of the constancy of the Almighty. Indeed, His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, wrote the Psalmist, and His dominion endures throughout all generations." President George H.W. Bush

March 1995 Proclamation: "Our Nation was built on the steadfast foundation of the prayers of our ancestors. In times of blessing and crisis, stability and change, thanksgiving and repentance, appeals for Divine direction have helped the citizens of the United States to remain faithful to our long-standing commitment to life, liberty, and justice for all." President Bill Clinton

May 2009 Proclamation: "Let us also use this day to come together in a moment of peace and goodwill. Our world grows smaller by the day, and our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife; and to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. As we observe this day of prayer, we remember the one law that binds all great religions together: the Golden Rule, and its call to love one another; to understand one another; and to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth." President Barack Obama

While we continue to battle the health crisis, the above proclamation and speeches delivered by US Presidents in the past remind us of the importance of prayers and the power faith has. Pray for those who are battling the virus, pray for frontline warriors, pray for those who lost their near ones and pray so that we all overcome this situation soon. Happy National Day of Prayer, everyone!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 07, 2020 03:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website