(CNN) -- For the past eight years, the White House recognized the National Day of Prayer with a service in the East Room, but this year, President Obama decided against holding a public ceremony.
"Prayer is something that the president does everyday," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday, noting that Obama will sign a proclamation to recognize the day, as many administrations in the past have done.
Asked if Obama thought his predecessor's ceremonies were politicized, Gibbs said, "No, I'm not going to get into that again.
"I think the president understands, in his own life and in his family's life, the role that prayer plays."
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance for people of all faiths.
Bravo Mr. Obama. Prayer by public officials should always be a private matter. Even the appearance of promoting a particular religion or religion in general is a tacit violation of the separation of church and state.