This Friday, April 10, 2020, Alaskans across our great state will join together in a Day of Prayer and Hope. In a Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, issued on March 30, 1863, President Lincoln wrote that “[i]t is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, … and to recognize the sublime truth … that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” Over 150 years later, former President Barak Obama issued a similar Proclamation, urging the nation to join him on its knees and offering a beautiful reflection on the power of prayer to strengthen, comfort, heal, and unite:

For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith. ... Through prayer we find the strength to do God's work: to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife. In times of uncertainty or tragedy, Americans offer humble supplications for comfort for those who mourn, for healing for those who are sick, and for protection for those who are in harm's way. When we pray, we are reminded that we are not alone -- our hope is a common hope, our pain is shared, and we are all children of God.

There is power in prayer. Accordingly, pursuant to their respective faiths and consciences, Alaskans are invited to join the Governor and their fellow citizens in praying for our state on Friday, April 10. Pray with your family around the kitchen table; pray with your neighbors by phone; pray with your church, your synagogue, your mosque or your temple, using an online platform. Let us pray and hope together:

1. Pray for protection for our healthcare workers, our first responders, and for everyone who is putting themselves in harm’s way to care for the sick.
2. Pray for peace and unity in our families, in our communities, and in our local and state governments.
3. Pray for comfort for those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.
4. Pray for those who are sick with COVID-19 or with any other illness.
5. Pray for a speedy end to the COVID-19 pandemic in our state, our nation, and the world.
6. Pray for a swift and complete economic recovery for our state and our nation.
7. Pray for those who have lost jobs and are struggling to care for themselves and their families.
8. Pray for our leaders in government – that they would make wise decisions for the good of all Alaskans.
9. Pray for the resiliency of Alaska’s children – that they would continue to learn, grow, and thrive.
10. Pray for the homeless, the hungry and the poor, and for those who are caring for them.