Is the prayer that united us really a “distraction?”

By Tom Quiner

President Roosevelt leads a nation in prayer

What did the President of the United States do when we launched our biggest military assault in history?

He prayed.

Even more, he prayed aloud on radio to an entire country with a prayer that was probably heard by more human beings than any other prayer in history up to that time.

Franklin Roosevelt’s “Let Our Hearts Be Stout” prayer is legendary. This President, a Democrat, united our country by invoking God Almighty on one of the most historic days in American history, D-Day.

Take a minute. Read the prayer below. It was spoken boldly to an attentive nation on June 6th, 1944. I’m sure it’s not taught in public schools any more:

“My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


A bill before Congress calls for this prayer to be added to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. It has bi-partisan support.

The President opposes it. His administration will fight it tooth and nail, although spokesperson,Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, couches his reasons with lofty rhetoric:

“It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial’s central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors.”

If I understand what he and the President are trying to express, THE prayer that rallied this nation in a dark hour will make the monument less moving, less educational, and less inspirational.

THE prayer that launched us to victory is somehow inelegant.

What dishonesty.

This is anti-Christian political correctness run amuck.

The man who proudly prayed those words in 1944 has been succeeded by another who wishes to suppress those same words.

I’m fed up with President Obama’s embarrassment that the United States of America was built on Judeo-Christian values.

What is it with the President’s apparent anti Christian bias?  When he spoke at Georgetown, a Jesuit University, he ordered all religious symbols removed or covered up. The president said these symbols of God would be distracting to his message.

President Roosevelt said that God WAS the message.

President Obama suggests that God is a distraction. What do you think? Is President Obama right? Or is President Roosevelt?


  1. maxine bechtel on November 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for publishing that beautiful bit of history. Obviously in today’s anti-God climate among the current Administration (and Big Media) there will be no other source to learn of FDR’s historic call for God’s Help! God’s Hand of protection and blessing was evident, in that victory was ultimately achieved! Oh for a similar mindset and dependence upon God in today’s economy and situation! It behooves every Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to earnestly call upon God for help, especially for next year’s election!

  2. Lisa Bourne on November 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Reason number one-thousand-and-one why we need to pray him out of office.