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Obama Plans Proclamation, Not Event, for National Day of Prayer

The Obama administration says it will issue a proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, but appears to be moving away from the White House ceremonies hosted by former President George W. Bush.

"President Obama is a committed Christian and believes that we should be engaging Americans of faith in efforts to renew our country," a White House official said.

"He is following the tradition of Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and others by signing a proclamation honoring the National Day of Prayer, while continuing to work with communities of faith to improve our country."

During Bush's eight years in office, prominent evangelicals, including National Day of Prayer Task Force chairman Shirley Dobson, and her husband, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, gathered each year for an East Room ceremony on the first Thursday in May.

"We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration," Shirley Dobson said in a statement issued by the task force on Monday. ...

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January/February
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