When George Washington took the oath as first President of the United States on April 30, 1789, he added this four-word prayer of his own: "So help me God."
These words are still used in official oaths by Americans talking public office, in courts of justice, and in other legal proceedings. Washington's words show that he was a man who believed in asking God's help in every part of our private and public lives.
"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, freeman or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own .... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army .... Let us therefore rely on the goodness
of the cause and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions."
In his first Inaugural Address as President of the United States, Washington reverently acknowledged our country's dependence on Almighty God:
"It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe - who presides in the council of nations - and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes."