Today the White House Press Secretary released a transcript of a President Barack Obama's 2013 National Day of Prayer proclamation:
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2013
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
Americans have long turned to prayer both in times of joy
and times of sorrow. On their voyage to the New World, the
earliest settlers prayed that they would "rejoice together,
mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before
our eyes our commission and community in the work." From that
day forward, Americans have prayed as a means of uniting,
guiding, and healing. In times of hardship and tragedy, and
in periods of peace and prosperity, prayer has provided
reassurance, sustenance, and affirmation of common purpose.
Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring
of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of
violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving
families and a suffering community that they are not alone.
Their pain is a shared pain, and their hope a shared hope.
Regardless of religion or creed, Americans reflect on the
sacredness of life and express their sympathy for the wounded,
offering comfort and holding up a light in an hour of darkness.
All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths
openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly
so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses
of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in
neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for
the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether
individually or in fellowship.
On this day, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers
all those affected by recent events, such as the Boston Marathon
bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the explosion
in West, Texas. Let us pray for the police officers,
firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in
harm's way to protect their fellow Americans. Let us also pray
for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their
families who serve and sacrifice for our country. Let us come
together to pray for peace and goodwill today and in the days
ahead as we work to meet the great challenges of our time.
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called
on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating
the first Thursday in May as a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested
in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States,
do hereby proclaim May 2, 2013, as a National Day of Prayer.
I join the citizens of our Nation in giving thanks, in
accordance with our own faiths and consciences, for our many
freedoms and blessings, and in asking for God's continued
guidance, mercy, and protection.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and thirty-seventh.