Though it began as Armistice Day in 1919 (celebrating the end of World War I), November 11 has been celebrated as Veterans Day in the United States since 1954. Many people observe the day with ceremonies and parades that honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have served in the armed forces of the United States.
There may be no better way to honor a veteran than in prayer. Whether it is offered in a religious service, or privately, or silently as a parade passes by, or in a personal card or note, prayer can connect you, a veteran and God in a meaningful and productive way.
Here are five specific kinds of prayers you can pray for veterans (or, with a few small changes, for a specific veteran):
1) To Feel Honored
“God, please let every veteran of our nation’s armed forces feel truly and appropriately honored by the attention and appreciation of their fellow citizens. Let no one feel forgotten or neglected. Let every man and woman, young or old, feel the deep and enduring gratitude of our nation and its inhabitants.”
2) To Be Understood
“Father God, You know that it can be difficult for a person who has returned from battle or stressful military service to reintegrate into ‘normal’ everyday life. You know that veterans can feel isolated and alone even in the midst of their friends and families because there are few around who understand their experience. So I ask You to place in the path of our veterans those who do understand (or strive to), that they may feel less alone. Remind them often that while their fellow human beings may never fully comprehend, You see, You know and You identify with them in everything.”
3) To Be Healed
“Lord, You know how deep a warrior’s wounds go. You know the loss that many of our veterans in body and soul. You know the memories that haunt them and the scars that many of them continue to carry. Please bring healing to those veterans who still hurt. Please grant patience and wisdom to those around them who cannot understand but can sometimes help the healing process. Please apply both natural and supernatural medicine to their wounds.”
4) To Be Rewarded
“Father, please turn your gaze to those men and women who in their military service have sacrificed time, comfort, strength, ambition, health and prosperity for the peace and safety of family and friends and others they’ve never even known. Please reward them a hundredfold for all their sacrifice and service. Bless them far beyond all their expectations. Reward them richly for all they have given.”
5) To Know You
“Almighty God, You know every veteran by name. You know their deeds, their hard work, and their perseverance. You know their needs, both material and spiritual. Please draw each one closer to you and grant them all the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7), the peace of Christ to rule in their hearts (Colossians 3:15), and ‘joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand’ forevermore (Psalm 16:11).”
Freedom is powerful. It’s a gift. A treasure.
The most significant, important gifts in life are always worth fighting for. And often, they come with a great price. They are not free. Somewhere along the way, someone paid dearly for the liberties we enjoy so freely today. But sometimes, we forget. It’s easy to take them for granted. We enjoy freedom, but most of us alive today, have always had it. We may not even be fully aware of just how many men and women have paid dearly for the gifts we enjoy today. The price was paid through many long years.
On the heels of a heated Presidential race, this is a day to unite, to remember and pray, to show our gratitude for so many who have fought on behalf of our country.
For all those who have protected our nation, for the men and women in uniform, together, we say “Thank You.”
There’s great power and strength in the loyalty of your service, because of these things:
- There’s power in unity and standing strong together.
- There’s power in fighting on behalf of our nation, and for those who cannot fight for themselves.
- There’s power in rising up in courage, pursuing victory for what is right.
- There’s power in knowing that God Himself fights on our behalf.
- There’s power in prayer and in the One who sets us truly free.
Thank you for reminding us that there’s incredible love and sacrifice displayed, when one is willing to stand strong, and fight for freedom.
This service of love and sacrifice on behalf of all people, points us directly to the greatest love of all, the very gift and sacrifice of Christ. Our Savior was willing to pay the ultimate price, so that we can live free.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Cor. 9:15
Remembering today. And thankful that so many have been willing to pay a great price for our freedom. May God help us to live so bravely today…
Table of contents
11 Reminders of God’s Freedom and Protection:
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm…” Gal. 5:1
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;” Ps. 23:4
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Is. 61:1
For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deut. 20:4
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge…” Ps. 144:1-2
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.” Ps. 33:12
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zeph. 3:17
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’” Ps. 91:1-2
A Prayer for Veterans: for the Men and Women in Uniform
We thank you for the freedom you have given to us, and for the price that was paid by Christ so that we could live free. We remember today. The cost of it all. The great sacrifice for freedom.
We thank you for the brave who have fought, and continue to fight, so courageously for our nation. We ask for your covering and blessing over them and their families. We pray that you would be gracious and encircle them with your peace. We pray for your great favor and goodness to be evident in their lives.
Please be with the men and women in uniform, who serve our communities and nation every single day. We ask that you provide your protection, that you would be their guiding force who leads the way, and their rear guard who keeps them safe from behind. We ask that you would draw them to yourself amidst the dangers they face in a dark world, for you are the Truth, you are the Way, you are the Light.
When the voice of hate rises up against them, we ask that you would silence it. When the plans of the enemy rise up to cause them to stumble, we ask that you would thwart it. When the forces of evil rise up to strike them down, we ask that you would stop it. Lord, we know how powerful you are, all have heard of your Great Name, and we ask that you would indeed be the wind beneath their wings, the power behind their efforts, the heart behind their service, as they are on the front lines against evil in our world today.
Help them to walk wisely. To stay covered in your armor. Give them godly discernment. Make them constantly aware of what lurks close by. Help them to be men and women of prayer, realizing that this is where their greatest help comes from. Help them to stay united and strong, bold and resolute, determined and unwavering.
Lord bless all those who wear the uniform, who serve our cities, our nation, our people. Bless their families. Bless those they love. Give them your great favor, this day, and every day.
Thank you that in our nation today, we are free to worship. We are free to pray. We are free to read your Word. We are free to speak. We are free to share. For this, we are incredibly grateful. Yet, we understand how quickly these freedoms can be taken away. Give us an increased awareness of the spiritual battle we’re in. Help us to stand strong in you and for your purposes.
Thank you that as believers, we can be assured, you never leave us, and you are with us always, in this life, and the next.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus,
We honor you today Veterans, and all those who wear the uniform, as we pray…and give thanks…and remember.
The Lord bless you greatly for your service and sacrifice.
And may God bless America!
(This article also appeared here:
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
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Prayers for Veterans Day from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Pictured above, Marine’s receive the Eucharist in 1945 at the battle of Iwo Jima.)
Prayers for Veteran’s Day:
(After each prayer the response is: “Through the darkness bring us to light.”)
For our Commander-In-Chief, President Barack Obama and our political and military leaders that they may tirelessly seek peaceful settlements to international disputes; we pray to the Lord: That the Lord may preserve the members of our Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force from all harm; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That even in war, we may keep clearly before us the defense of all human rights, especially the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That the families, relatives and friends of our military members may be strengthened in this time of concern and anxiety; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That the Lord may help families with men and women in the armed forces to cope with daily challenges in the absence of their loved ones; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That our homeland will be preserved from violence and terrorism; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That the nations of the world will seek to work together in harmony and peace; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That the hearts of all men and women will be moved to pursue true peace and justice; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That violence may be overcome by peace; that weapons of destruction be transformed into tools of justice, and hate give way to true charity; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
That grateful for and inspired by those veterans who have given their lives for our country we may bravely face the challenges ahead; we pray to the Lord. R./ Through the darkness bring us to light.
Lord God, Almighty Father,
creator of mankind and author of peace,
as we are ever mindful of the cost paid for the liberty we possess,
we ask you to bless the members of our armed forces.
Give them courage, hope and strength.
May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing.
Be their power and protector, leading them from darkness to light.
To you be all glory, honor and praise, now and forever.