A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Declaration of a Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
The moral foundations of America were forged by the Pilgrims and embraced in 1776 by the Declaration of Independence, upon the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” Our founders understood the laws of Nature to be created within the conscience of every individual, whether they had religious faith or none at all. The laws of Nature’s God were those revealed in the Holy Scriptures, not as Judeo-Christian doctrine, but because they contained the most complete revelation of God’s law.
Created by this appeal of the Declaration of Independence to the laws of God and a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” America bound herself in covenant to its terms as had ancient Israel. The Bible records in Deuteronomy 28 a declaration by all the tribes of Israel on Mt. Gerizim of national blessings for obedience and, on Mt. Ebal, curses for its disobedience. A nation abiding by the laws of God would be blessed with international respect, economic prosperity as a lender nation, good health, and victory in its just wars. Violation of these laws brought international contempt, economic distress and debt, sickness and disease, subversion from foreigners within, invasion, defeat in war, foreign captivity, and ultimate destruction.
Twelve times in its history, when confronted with a great national crisis, Israel sought to return to God in a solemn assembly called by its King wherein the entire nation sought reconciliation and forgiveness for its disobedience and a return to God to restore His blessings. Invoking these spiritual roots of America in that practice of Israel, President John Quincy Adams declared in a to Discourse to the New York Historical Society on April 30, 1839 that “there is not a curse pronounced against the people, upon Mount Ebal, not a blessing promised them upon Mount Gerizim, which your posterity may not suffer or enjoy, from your and their adherence to, or departure from, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, practically interwoven in the Constitution of the United States.”
A national legacy and precedent for the means to restore the right standing of America under the laws of God was set in recurring historic calls by either the President or Congress for days of “Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.” The Congress issued eight such calls during the America Revolution from 1776 to 1783. President James Madison issued three such calls during the War of 1812 from 1812-1814. By 1815, there had been 794 separate calls for days of fasting, humiliation, and prayer issued by colonial, State and Federal governments. All such days of prayer and humility sought to restore a covenantal blessing of victory in war leading to restored peace that were the rewards of following the laws of God.
America’s leaders built upon that tradition in later times of crisis to restore the blessings of God and reverse the curse of sickness. President John Tyler called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer on May 14, 1841 after the “great public calamity” of President Henry Harrison’s death from pneumonia one month into his Presidency. In response to a cholera epidemic, President Zachary Taylor declared such a call on August 3, 1849.
When a cultural war over slavery led to a secession of seven states threatening America’s Union under God in the Declaration of Independence, President James Buchanan issued a call on January 4, 1860. Only months later after the federal loss at the battle of Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for Humiliation, Fasting, & Prayer on September 26, 1861 and two others during the Civil War in 1863 and 1864. After the assassination of President Lincoln, a call for a day of national prayer and humiliation was issued by President Andrew Johnson for May 25, 1865.
Near the end of World War I, the Congress passed a resolution asking the President to declare a day of prayer and humility acknowledging “a duty peculiarly incumbent in a time of war humbly and devoutly to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God and to implore His aid and protection…”. In response, President Woodrow Wilson called for such a day on May 30, 1918 at which his “fellow-citizens of all faiths and creeds [were called] to assemble … in their several places of worship and there, as well as in their homes, to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins and shortcomings as a people… and beseeching Him that He will give victory to our armies as they fight for freedom, wisdom to those who take counsel on our behalf in these days of dark struggle and perplexity,… bringing us at last the peace in which men’s hearts can be at rest because it is founded upon mercy, justice and good will.” Since that day in 1918, however, no Presidential call to the nation for a turning back to God has been issued.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush called for a Day of Prayer & Remembrance on September 13, 2001. Congress itself called for a “Day of Reconciliation” on December 4, 2001. Sponsored by numerous congressmen including Rep. Tom DeLay, and Senators Sam Brownback and Hillary Clinton, and led by the Chaplains of the House and Senate, the leadership and two thirds of the Congress from both sides of the aisle met privately in the Rotunda for several hours of prayer and humility seeking reconciliation with God and unity with each other.
In 2002 and 2003, American troops were deployed for engagement in a war on terrorism in the Middle East. Their objective was to deny to any terrorist group the national resources and base from which to attack America. Despite short-term victories and peace, the conflict has endured over fifteen years without end. US troops still seek a lasting peace in the Middle East. The world is also beset today by increasing threats of war from nations on the verge of attaining nuclear weapons capable of mass destruction. The economies of the world teeter with staggering debt, and natural disasters, hurricanes and wildfires with historic intensity threaten our safety and stability.
All over our land, people have responded to this rising tide of threats to America from within and without in a heart cry of prayer for her return to the laws of God and His protection. The nation has seen prayer gatherings lingering for not just days, but around the clock, with some lasting for weeks are a unified voice that the laws of nature in the conscience of America call for a return to the laws of God. As those prayers were heard and heeded, we have seen a defeat for ISIS in Syria, and the prospects of revival of our economy. Much more such prayer will be needed to achieve the unity of purpose under God that will bring revival and restoration to America. As Rev. Billy Graham said; “We as a nation have turned our back on God who blessed our country because its fundamental principles were grounded in the Word of God.” May this first call since 1918 to remember and restore an American legacy for a day of national fasting, humility and prayer be its inspiration and beginning.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the United States and by the Constitution to see that those laws are faithfully executed do hereby proclaim _________________ as a Day of “Fasting, Prayer, and Humiliation” to be dedicated by Americans of all faith united in their belief in God. May we all be called in assemblies in our homes, our places of worship, or other public settings to a ministry of prayer and forgiveness that will revive this great legacy in order to restore the blessings and protection of God. May His Spirit of reconciliation and unity of purpose ignite and sustain our prayers. Only in such a reconciliation with our Creator and each other can America find, in words from our Declaration of Independence, the continuing protections of Divine Providence for life, liberty, and a pursuit of happiness.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this____ day of__________, in the year of our Lord two thousand__________, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-_________.
DONALD J. TRUMP