Praying for the National Day of Prayer

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A federal judge in Wisconsin just dropped a shocker, making headlines from coast-to-coast, the judge ruling the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. Reverend Franklin Graham is the honorary chairman of the year's National Day of Prayer. I guess -- reverend, first of all, always nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend, I imagine this is grim news for you to have this judge do this. What is your thought?

GRAHAM: Greta, I don't know what was behind it, but we see judges like this making rulings from the bench. And it is unfortunate. It hurts all Americans.

The National Day of Prayer started in 1775 with the Continental Congress, where they asked the 13 original colonies to pray as they put together the constitution for our country. And from that day until today our government has participated with churches and people of faith across the country to pray for its elected leaders.

Now, Harry Truman is the one who set aside this particular -- made it into law. In 1988, it was President Reagan who set aside the first Thursday in May as the day for the National Day of Prayer.

I just don't understand where this lady is coming from. Why it is unconstitutional to ask people pray. This is people of all faiths, Greta. This is for Jews, Christians, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, anybody can pray.

It is for coming together and uniting all of us to support our president. As a Christian the bible tells me to pray for those that are in authority over me. I'm commanded by God himself to pray for those that are in authority. And so regardless of what this woman says, I'm still going to pray.

VAN SUSTEREN: Two thoughts. I think in some sort of perverse way that this is going to be good for the National Day of Prayer because I think it draws much more attention to it. I think in some perverse way it is going to be a good thing.

But it is not going to stop people from praying, too. If someone declares the day unconstitutional it is not going to stop anybody. But I'm curious, has the White House, has the president responded? I don't think he's pulling back, is he?

GRAHAM: No. I wrote the president tonight. I hope he got the letter this evening asking him to support the National Day of Prayer and to appeal this ruling. I think this judge is unjust and it should be turned back.

What this does is this is eroding our Christian heritage. It's these types of judges are trying to whittle away our Christian heritage and Christian foundation.

As a Christian, my goal in life is to let everybody know that God loves them and that Jesus Christ is God's son who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave. He can come into a heart and he can change a heart.

And Greta, our country needs a heart transplant. It has become so divided, so bitter. We need to pray for our country. We need pray for our elected leaders. We need pray that would god would intervene and bring healing to this nation.

Greta, we have taken god out of our country, out of our government, out of our schools. And look at the mess we are in. We need not less of god, we need more of God, more prayer. I just don't understand how come this judge doesn't see that.

VAN SUSTEREN: But back to my point, in sort of a perverse way it advances the National Day of Prayer, because but for her making this an issue we wouldn't have this discussion tonight. In some sort of odd way it raises the debated and puts the spotlight on it. Maybe you disagree with me on that?

GRAHAM: I agree, Greta. And this judge, I pray for her. And I pray that God would get a hold of her heart and she would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way as her Savior and her Lord. That would be my prayer for her and for everyone watching tonight.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend, thank you. And I'm sure you will be here on the Day of Prayer and we'll see you then, thank you, Reverend.

GRAHAM: Thank you, God bless you, Greta.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.