Effective Prayers for Our Soldiers

3 tips for praying for our service men and women when fear threatens to overwhelm us.

Posted in , Feb 6, 2015

Church steeple. Photo by steverts, Thinkstock.

The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. (Lamentations 3:22-23, NCV)

I’m sure most of you reading this blog have heard that old saying about war. There are no atheists in foxholes. I can’t personally attest to that, but I can tell you that if someone has a loved one serving in the military, they are most likely turning to God in prayer.

Church steeple. Photo by Edie Melson.A big part of having a loved one in the armed forces is learning how to pray. Praying for our soldier’s protection is one of the first things we do after enlistment or commissioning.

As a matter of fact, if you start a conversation with someone who has a loved one serving, the topic of prayer will come up. We all share one overwhelming priority, covering our loved ones in a blanket of prayer.

We agonize over the prayers we send up on our soldier’s behalf. Secretly we worry that if our prayers don’t measure up, God will choose not to listen.

Exposing that fear to the black and white of the written word exposes this belief for the lie it is. But there aren’t many of us who haven’t spent some sleepless nights pondering the power of prayer.

So how do we combat that fear and all the anxiety it causes? We do it by going back to the source, the Bible. God doesn’t extend protection to those we love based on the quality or quantity of our prayers. He does it because He loves us–all of us.

This doesn’t mean our prayers are worthless window-dressing. Far from it. As the mother of a former Marine, I can share story after story of when the prayers of someone have resulted in miraculous intervention for those in harm’s way.

Today I’d like to share three tips for praying for our service men and women when fear threatens to overwhelm us.

1.  Pray scripture.
This is one of my favorite ways to pray. It’s helped me so many times when I was tongue-tied and couldn’t come up with the words to express what was in my heart.

I especially love to pray through the Psalms. I pick out a section of scripture and insert my loved one’s name in place of the pronouns. A good Psalm to begin with is Psalm 91, also known as the soldier’s Psalm.

2.  Pray out loud.
The Bible tells us that God spoke the world into being, so we know the spoken word carries strength. Speaking our prayers out loud can encourage us and dispel the fear that often surrounds those with a loved one on deployment.

3.  Enlist others to join you in prayer.
There is strength and comfort in numbers, especially when those numbers are people in prayer. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your family, friends and faith community. Be specific when requesting prayer, and be sure to report on answered prayers.

These three things have seen me through many a sleepless night. I encourage you to try them yourself, and also to share the things that have helped you pray for your loved one.

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