Wednesday, November 11, 2015
A VETERANS DAY PRAYER
We had a Veterans Day ceremony in our community this morning. There were many veterans of World War II, the Korean Way, and the Vietnam War in the gathering. I would like to share with all of my blog readers the prayer I offered for the occasion:
God of grace and God of Glory, we gather once again to honor the veterans, living and dead, of the many wars in which our nation has been involved. We honor their service, their sense of duty, their sacrifice, their patriotism, their bravery, their esprit de corps. We pray for those who bear the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of war, and for their families and all who have shared their pain. Forgive our nation for the scandalous reality that thousands of our veterans are homeless and forgotten, and thousands more have been unable to get the health care they need.
We lift up to you those for whom this day is a sad reminder of the terrible cost of war, and we pray that every member of our Armed Services may feel the gratitude and respect of all their fellow citizens, even of those who may have questioned the justification of any particular war.
God of all nations, what a privilege it is to live in a land where people of good character and conscience may differ in their assessments of our nation’s foreign policy with equal loyalty to their flag and equal love for the republic for which it stands. What a testimony to the allegiance of our service men and women that they are ready to lay down their lives for their country, even when some of them may not fully understand the reasons for the war they are fighting.
O Lord, as the rhetoric of the current presidential campaign heats up and the bitterness of the candidates and the electorate intensifies, we pray that you will help all of us to be more civil in our discourse, as we face the enormous challenges ahead. In your great mercy, heal the divisions in our land, and unite as a nation in our prayers for all who assume the risks of military service, and for those bear the weight of public office, regardless of their party affiliation. Give to every office holder, at whatever level of government, the humility to acknowledge their limitations, the wisdom to discern the best solutions to the world’s problems, the good will to work in a spirit of non-partisanship to solve those problems, the integrity to put principle above expediency, and the commitment to live up to their campaign promises. In so doing, may they learn the fine art of compromise for the sake of progress.
Most just and merciful God, we acknowledge that we honor our veterans best by doing our best for them on the home front and by giving them the support they need during and after their time in the service. Keep us faithful to that task.
“We are living, we are dwelling in a grand and awful time.” “Let there be light, Lord God of hosts! . . . Let there be wisdom on the earth! Let broad humanity have birth! Let there be deeds instead of boasts!” And if it be your will, O God, "let there be peace on earth,” for your kingdom’s sake.