Prayer in the White House

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“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.” – John Adams, 1800

Prayer in the White House has been a continuous practice since John and Abigail Adams first occupied the Executive Mansion in 1800. The famous prayer of President Adams for the house and its future inhabitants was preserved in a letter to his wife Abigail. It was etched into the fireplace mantel of the State Dining Room in 1945.

Every president since Adams has engaged in private and public prayer inside and on the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Surrounding those prayers have been pastoral counsel for Chief Executives and their family members, weddings and funerals, church worship services, and other religious ceremonies.

Prayer has always been and likely always will be a staple feature of life in the White House.