President Donald Trump called for Americans to continue to pray amid the COVID-19 crisis Thursday, as clergy of several faiths prayed for the nation’s recovery in the Rose Garden of the White House.
“As Scripture assures us, ‘The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.’ I think it’s so true,” Trump said, quoting Zephaniah 3:17 during the ceremony marking the National Day of Prayer.
“We are being reminded once again that God has blessed our land with heroes of faith,” the president said.
Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu leaders said prayers at the event, which ended with a gospel choir singing “God Bless America” and then an a cappella worship song as an encore at Trump’s request.
“On this National Day of Prayer, America is engaged in a fierce battle against a very terrible disease,” the president said, adding:
Throughout our history and times of challenge, our people have always called upon the gift of faith, the blessing of belief, the power of prayer, and the eternal glory of God. I ask all Americans to join their voices and their hearts in spiritual union as we ask our Lord in heaven for strength and solace, for courage and comfort, for hope and healing, for recovery and for renewal.
In recent days and weeks, our country has endured a grave hardship. We pray for every family stricken by grief and devastated with a tragic loss. We pray for the doctors and nurses and first responders waging war against the invisible enemy. We pray for the scientists and researchers who pioneer treatments, that they find therapies and vaccines and that they find them soon. We pray for the front-line workers keeping our nation fed, nourished, keeping our nation safe and secure. May God watch over them all.
Before the president spoke, first lady Melania Trump prayed as the invited members of the audience sat 6 feet apart, as suggested by the government’s coronavirus guidelines.
“On this National Day of Prayer, let us take a moment to extend our deepest sympathy to those who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19,” the first lady prayed, adding:
Let us pray for the ill, the ones who are suffering, and those who are serving on the front lines. When evil darkens our world, give us light. When despair numbs our souls, give us hope. When we stumble and fall, lift us up. When doubts assail us, give us faith.
When nothing seems sure, give us trust. When ideas fade, give us vision. When we lose our way, be our guide that we may find serenity in your presence and purpose in doing your will. Amen.