Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 4112—National Day of Prayer

February 17, 1972

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

In times of national need, this Nation has turned always to God. The earliest memories of our national experience include a vision of George Washington kneeling on a frozen hill at Valley Forge; they include the stirring words of Benjamin Franklin as he asked the Continental Congress to begin its daily work with a prayer for, as Franklin asked "if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

From those beginnings, throughout our history, we have turned to God in need, in challenge, and in gratitude. We remember at the most recent days of our history when this Nation and the world listened in a moment of human triumph as a small space vehicle circled the moon and Frank Borman read from Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth . . . ."

Today America is moving toward the objective we have pursued throughout our history, toward a dream as old as man, toward a world at peace with itself. We have no false illusions about the possibilities of achieving such a world. But history will not forgive us if we fail to try, nor will posterity.

All nations must share in the creation of such a peace. Each nation must seek the source of strength upon which its faith in the future is founded, and upon which its hope for peace is anchored. Let this Nation turn again to God. Let this Nation turn again to prayer as the world strives to move from a time of war to a time of peace forever.

As America stretches forth the hand that holds the olive branch, we know that other hands must reach out to take it. But until the deed is done and the peace is won, we must be patient and strong. Therefore, let each man, woman and child in this land recall the ancient wisdom of the scriptures: "Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." Let us seek that help in prayer.

We remember that our enterprise must find favor in the eyes of God, for the scriptures tell us that "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it . . . ." As we pursue peace, let this people pray our search will find favor in the eyes of God and that we labor not in vain.

In recognition of the desire for peace among nations that the American people share with all the peoples of the world, the Congress by a concurrent resolution approved February 16, 1972, has requested that the President designate Sunday, February 20, 1972 as a National Day of Prayer for the cause of world peace.

Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, February 20, 1972, as a National Day of Prayer.

I invite all Americans to join in the quest for peace, both by uniting in their places of worship, and by pursuing privately the purposes of peace through prayer.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.

Signature of Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon, Proclamation 4112—National Day of Prayer Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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