We Honor Our Soldiers…
In the United States, today, we honor our veterans, our soldiers who are serving or have served, in armed conflicts. As Jesus told His disciples:
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13, NAB
Few young men and women in this country wake up wanting to be warriors. Instead, they become soldiers for very different reasons. In wars of the past, most of them were drafted into service – forced to fight whether they wanted to or not. They were called to serve and did so bravely.
Today, many of our young soldiers join for different reasons. As a veteran myself, I can tell you that most soldiers join the military looking for a fresh start. With the benefits offered for education and job training, many see the military as a path to a better life. I would not have earned my degree without it, and my life is what it is today because of my military journey.
Whichever path leads someone to the military, few join looking to be heroes. Some will never have to see any real action or danger, and I feel blessed to be a part of that category. Others were put in situations that seem almost unimaginable – called to make sacrifices on behalf of our freedom.
Our soldiers have been asked to lay down their lives in many ways. Of course, we immediately recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice: laying down their lives for their country. Others have been left with physical and emotional scars that will alter their lives forever.
Let us not forget our military families who deal with sacrifices of their own. Widows and widowers who are now left to raise their children alone. Parents who watch their sons and daughters go off to war, unsure if they will return. Children who lost a mother or father – one of life’s most important bonds.
On this day, I want to offer prayers for those who are serving today, and a heartfelt thanks to those who have already served. Without brave men and women to protect our country, we would not enjoy the freedoms we have today.
The USSCB offers a number of prayers for soldiers, as well as their spouses, parents, and families. There are even prayers for our political and military leaders, enemies, and the innocent caught in battle. Of these prayers, one caught my eye:
For Courage in the time of Battle
O Prince of peace, we humbly ask your protection
for all our men and women in military service.
Give them unflinching courage to defend
with honor, dignity and devotion,
the rights of all who are imperiled
by injustice and evil.
Be their rock, their shield, and their stronghold
and let them draw their strength from you.
For you are God, for ever and ever.
For more prayers like these from the USSCB, visit their Prayer for Troops page.