Harry Truman's Prayer

by Midnight Freemasons contributor
Michael Shirley

Harry Truman was not an overtly religious man. He was a Baptist and read the Bible a good deal, but credited Freemasonry rather than his church for prompting him to do so. He was far more concerned with making his way in this world than with speculating on his place in the next. But he was a man of prayer, and of one prayer in particular, which he recorded in his diary on August 15, 1950:

"The prayer on this page has been said by me--by Harry S. Truman--from high school days, as a window washer, bottle duster, floor scrubber in an Independence, Mo., drugstore, as a timekeeper on a railroad contract gang, as an employee of a newspaper, as a bank clerk, as a farmer riding a gang plow behind four horses and mules, as a fraternity official learning to say nothing at all if good could not be said of a man, as public official judging the weaknesses and shortcomings of constituents, and as President of the United States of America."

Oh! Almighty and Everlasting God, Creator of Heaven, Earth and the Universe:

Help me to be, to think, to act what is right, because it is right; make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me. Give me the ability to be charitable, forgiving and patient with my fellowmen - help me to understand their motives and their shortcomings -- even as Thou understandest mine!

Amen, Amen, Amen

And Amen.


W.B. Michael H. Shirley is Past Master of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and Leadership Development Chairman for the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He's also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. He's also a member of the newly-chartered, Illini High Twelve No. 768 in Urbana-Champaign. The author of several articles on British history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

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