WASHINGTON — President Trump has proclaimed Sunday as a National Day of Prayer for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, calling upon “Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds” to pray individually and corporately in their houses of worship.
“From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God’s blessings and guidance,” he wrote in a proclamation issued on Friday. “This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the nation’s first presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God’s protection and favor.”
The president noted that Hurricane Harvey caused much damage and destruction in both Texas and Louisiana, injuring a number of residents and even claiming lives. Trump likewise acknowledged that there have been many seeking to help those adversely affected by the storm, from first responders to churches to everyday Americans who provided food and shelter.
“As response and recovery efforts continue, and as Americans provide much needed relief to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are reminded of Scripture’s promise that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,'” he said. “We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members or friends, and for those who are suffering in this time of crisis.”
Therefore, Trump declared Sept. 3 as a national day of prayer for those affected by the storm, as well as for the national response efforts in the aftermath. He asked those of all religions to “call upon our God for strength and comfort.”
“I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts,” the proclamation reads.
“Each of us, in our own way, may call upon our God for strength and comfort during this difficult time,” it continues. “I call on all Americans and houses of worship throughout the nation to join in one voice of prayer, as we seek to uplift one another and assist those suffering from the consequences of this terrible storm.”
Trump was joined by a number of religious leaders in issuing the proclamation, including Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas; Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida; Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville, Georgia; Ralph Reed, former director of the Christian Coalition; and Gary Bauer, president of American Values.