My colleague, Tim Mitchinson, has another great blog. This one, “Praying for our troops,” is perfect for Memorial Day ~ and every day. Tim reminds us that “acknowledgement of the omnipotence of God can help all of us in the ‘battles’ we face every day.” This blog was first published in the Evanston Patch on May 22, 2017.
Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to remember those who have served this country in the armed forces and those who are currently serving. While many of us fly our flags and have tears in our eyes when soldiers come home to their families, have we considered the importance of praying for the safety of our troops each day?
Perhaps we don’t pray for our troops because we don’t think it will have much effect, but the Bible promises, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” (James 5: 16), and there is ample proof that this is true. There are so many accounts one can read of individuals who, in a time of great need, found God’s help right at hand.
For example, C.B. Morlock, a war correspondent during World War II, chronicled this amazing incident: “Sixty German aircraft strafed more than four hundred men who were pinned down on the sandy Dunkirk beaches without the benefit of any place to take cover. Although the men were repeatedly attacked by machine guns and bombed by enemy aircraft, not one single man was hit. Every man in that group left the beach without a scratch.”
What brought about such amazing protection? Morlock said he’d been personally told by Navy men who picked up those particular survivors from Dunkirk, that the men had shouted Psalm 91 at the top of their lungs!
But is prayer relevant today? During Operation Iraqi Freedom, United States Navy Chaplain Lieutenant Carey H. Cash said he “saw firsthand what happens when belief in Almighty God floods the hearts and souls of men and women rushing into battle.” He continued, “This supreme confidence in God is not foxhole religion or superficial faith. It is a life-changing decision to place oneself in the loving hands of Him who is greater than the battlefield.” And he concluded that such faith is vividly demonstrated in the words of Psalm 91.