The Father of our Country, George Washington, said on the occasion of the ninth of July, 1776 "The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, but especially so in times of public distress and danger."

Today is the 58th celebration of our National Day of Prayer. It is the day that Americans from coast to coast will set aside time to pray for this nation, our soldiers, public safety officials and public servants from the President of the United States to the city council.

Since the first call to prayer in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom forming the nation, prayer has been at the center of our national life; From President Lincoln's famous proclamation for "humility, fasting and prayer" in 1863, through 1952, when President Truman signed a joint resolution of Congress creating this day.

It is said in The Old Book that "the effective and fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much;" what is true of man, I would say, is also true of nations.

During this National Day of Prayer, during these challenging times, let it be said again: "we are a nation of prayer."