Prayer of the Archdiocese for the Military Services
Almighty God and Father, look with love upon our men and women in uniform and protect them in their time of need. Give them health and stability and allow them to return to their loved ones whole and unshaken. Be with their families and sustain them in these uncertain times.
Grant strength and peace of mind to the Veterans who have given their best for the country they love. Support them in infirmity and in the fragility of old age. Teach us to remember their sacrifices and to express our gratitude.
Manifest your tender care to those in the Military Academies who prepare for future service and to those who serve our Nation far from home. Teach us to remember the sacrifices of those whose efforts contribute to ensuring our way of life.
Bless and multiply the priests who minister to the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Reward their generosity and keep them faithful.
Hear us as we present our prayers to You through Christ our Lord.
– Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio
Psalm 91 describes the security of the one who trusts in the Lord. Not only was it prayed by the psalmist thousands of years ago, but by countless men and women throughout history. For example, during World War I, the 91st Brigade of the Army prayed Psalm 91 together every day. Although they were engaged in three of the bloodiest battles in the war, these soldiers had no combat-related casualties. Not because the passage was a good luck charm or mantra, but because God’s word has power. When we pray His word, we are paving the way for His grace, power and protection to come in our lives and the lives of those we intercede for.
As Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and powerful”—powerful because all the power of God’s inherent nature stands behind His word.
Over and over during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, God has reminded soldiers and chaplains to pray Psalm 91. He has called families and friends back home to pray this psalm for our military troops.
Our men and women in uniform are in harm’s way constantly from combat, car bombings, and rocket-propelled grenade and mortar attacks. Our worst day in America is so much better than their best day. Extremes of cold & heat and uncomfortable conditions to say the least plague these soldiers. They are sacrificing time that could be spent with spouses and children. Yet they continue to faithfully and bravely serve.
Our son LT. Christopher Fuller, Battalion Surgeon for the 1/3 Marines who fought in the Battle of Fallujah and other combat operations in Iraq in the War on Terror, and his unit were deployed since early July, and have just returned to their families at Kanoehoe Bay Marine Base, Hawaii. We are so thankful and continue to pray for all our military troops.
Here are some ways to pray….
A daily prayer
Here’s how I am praying the living and powerful promises of Psalm 91 today:
- Lord, your Word says that whoever goes to you for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty can say to you, “You are my defender and protector, you are my God; in you I trust.” May my son or husband, friends in the military, and all our troops turn to you and find rest in the shadow of your wings.
Keep them safe from all hidden dangers and all deadly diseases. Shield and shelter them with your wings, and let your faithful promises be their armor and protection.
May they not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day or the disaster that strikes at mid-day. Though a thousand other people may fall at their side, though thousand are dying around them, protect our soldiers from harm.
As they make you, the Lord, their refuge and shelter, let no evil conquer them, no plague come near their tent or dwelling. Order your angels to protect them wherever they go.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.” May this be true of every man and woman in uniform! When they call on you, Father, answer them, be with them in trouble, rescue them and honor them. Satisfy them with a long life and give them your salvation. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Psalm 91 is what God has put on my heart to pray for our son and the troops. But He may lead you to pray something entirely different. The soldiers are doing their part to serve as medics, in the infantry, engineering, communications, etc. Each of us needs to do our part, and a good place to start is faithfully lifting them up in prayer. Ask God what He wants you to do or pray.
Other ways to pray for the our troops
As the violence in Iraq escalates, it is more important than ever to pray for our soldiers on a daily basis.
- Consider gathering a group at your church or home to pray for them. For example, a church in Washington state has a prayer time every month for military families to pray for their husbands, sons and daughters who are deployed, and 60-80 people show up monthly. These stateside families are deeply grateful that somebody cares enough to pray and help them carry the burden they feel for their loved one.
- Pray with your children for the soldiers in war zones.
- Another wonderful way to pray for a soldier is “five blessings”: Think of the word BLESS, and it will help you cover his or her life with prayer.
- The B stands for BODY. For example, you might pray for physical protection, safety and health.
- The L stands for LABOR, pray for them to do their job well, with skill and wisdom.
- The E stands for EMOTIONAL—pray for their emotional health.
- The S stands for SOCIAL—pray for their marriage, the parent-child relationship (deployments are hard on marriages & with parents away for months; the children can feel distant or abandoned and have trouble understanding why dad or mom isn’t there.) Pray for God to fill the gaps of the love needed with His love while the parent is away.
- And the last S stands for SPIRITUAL—pray for them to know God, put their trust in God, and experience His unfailing love for them even in the great difficulties they face in a war zone, for spiritual renewal for our troops, for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan—and for all of the soldiers to come home safely to their families.
Think what could happen if every family, every church in America prayed for our soldiers, for victory and peace in Iraq and for them to return safely to their families and jobs.
Even if you don’t entirely support the strategy or operation in Iraq, there is still thousands of servicemen and women who are daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, moms and dads—and they are all in need of encouragement, support and intercession.