Religion: A People at Prayer

"Somewhere in every man there is the capacity for worship and prayer, for the apprehension of God and the love of him," wrote Manhattan's famed Preacher Harry Emerson Fosdick. "Praying is a practice like breathing or eating." From Pentecostal ministers roaring hallelujahs to Greek Orthodox choirs chanting the Divine Liturgy in four-part harmony, from a widow silently mourning her dead husband to a child asking for a wanted toy, the nation last week was praying.

Some of the open, worshipful recognition of God was visible in news stories across the U.S. In San Francisco,...

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