President Dwight Eisenhower Prays Before Giving His First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953
On the day preceding his first presidential inauguration, President-Elect Dwight Eisenhower sat alone in the quietness of a hotel room. Apparently feeling the weight of the job before him, America’s future leader composed a prayer to serve as the beginning of the inaugural speech.
The strength of the acclaimed WWII hero’s petition emanates from its candor and humility. At its core, the prayer sought divine assistance in upholding the duties of the office of President of the United States.
Juxtapose this scene of humble supplication before God to Eisenhower’s activities only 8 years earlier. As WWII Supreme Commander in Europe, General Eisenhower led the massive Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Germany on D-Day, June 6, 1944. On this historic day, more than 150,000 Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in an unprecedented enemy attack.
Less than a year later, on May 8, 1945, Eisenhower once again led the allies in the acceptance of Germany’s unconditional surrender, marking the end of WWII in Europe, a day still celebrated as V-E Day.
These distinguished and celebrated days in WWII history far exceed any victorious success necessary to provide a lifetime of acclaim and confidence.
Nonetheless, here is the WWII Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, one of history’s few 5-star generals, alone in a Washington D.C. hotel room, in complete submission to the eternal Commander-In-Chief.
President Dwight Eisenhower’s Prays Before Giving His Inaugural Address
President Eisenhower’s Prayer
My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads:
Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.
Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.
May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory.
President Eisenhower’s Complete Inaugural Address
On the morning of January 20, 1953, President-Elect Dwight Eisenhower attended a private church service. About 181 people were in attendance including the members of his cabinet.
Eisenhower’s complete inaugural address from January 20, 1953, highlighted by it invocation, is replete with references to the nation’s gratitude, hope, and reliance on Divine Providence.
This photo appears to have been taken during the prayer. Many have their heads bowed and/or their eyes closed. Most who are wide-eyed appear to be Secret Service (?) or photographers.
By all accounts, President Eisenhower had the reputation for being an extremely peaceable man, never disparaging his opponents or critics. This makes the above quote all the more remarkable, since he definitely had his finger on the pulse of the Democrat Party. And that well over 70 years ago.
Richard Nixon, who gave the eulogy at President’s Eisenhower’s funeral, shared this anecdote. Republican Presidents have had to deal with fake news and hostile establishment reporters since the time of America’s first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. Ironically, Nixon would be the next Republican on the receiving end of the Democrat Party propagandists’ increasingly aggressive vitriol and character assault.
A Note About The Humility And Candor Of Eisenhower’s Prayer
Notably, Eisenhower doesn’t pray to be well-liked, famous, or powerful. Nor does he ask to be a President whose pants’ creases are the envy of celebrities everywhere. Instead, he submits to God and asks to be used as an instrument in the Lord’s hand.
Eisenhower obviously understood the gravity of his impending responsibility, one that would prove to be as important as his WWII responsibility. Therefore, he sought guidance for leading the country with righteousness and justice.
With an economical use of words, Eisenhower brings a comprehensive catalog of items before the throne of God. Items crucial for any U.S. President who is genuinely interested in the good of the American Republic and her citizens, and in faithfully upholding the Constitution.
- Loyalty to the people of the U.S. in governance
- Discern right and wrong
- Uphold Constitution
- Maintain rule of law
- Govern justly
- America First
Can you imagine what America would be like today if we had had a President like Eisenhower between Reagan and Trump?
Only God knows.
Only God can restore our nation.
Only God can restore His Church and His people.
Guide and direct us on the path to Pray America Great Again!
Official presidential portrait.