Remembering Our Military
Those who serve our nation in the armed services should be among those we keep consistently in our prayers. Most of us who have never served in the military, have never been deployed to battle, and have no idea the stress and cost to these men and women and their families. You may have grown up in one place. You may have moved often, but were still close to other family. Likely, you chose where you moved to and why. None of that is the case for our service men and women.
Christmas can be a hard time of year emotionally for these families. Mom or dad may be far away. They may be in a dangerous situation, helping secure freedom for us or a nation we are in relationship with. The family may be together, but too far from extended family to go home for the holidays. Often, military families’ finances are snug. A single service member can be very lonely; far from home and all alone.
Let’s make a special effort to watch out for those in our churches and neighborhoods who might be associated with the military. Think of ways to help them or include them in addition to praying for them. If your community does not have this circumstance, at a minimum, pray for soldiers who are deployed. Pray for their families, as well as spouses, children, parents, siblings, and others they care deeply about.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 125:2; NIV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Pray for every member of the military you know that is currently actively deployed overseas, especially to a battle zone. Pray for their safety and security. Pray that they are able to accomplish the task they were sent to perform. Pray they will not feel abandoned or alone. Ask the Lord to help the Christians to gather together for prayer and Bible study.
Ask the Lord to make His Presence obvious to the deployed. Let them feel Him surrounding them. Let them see miracles.
Pray for their families at home, their parents, spouses and children, who are missing them at Christmas time. Ask the Lord to comfort them and help them connect with their deployed loved one in some way over Christmas.
Can you help in practical ways? Maybe you can help decorate their home, put up lights, or invite them to Christmas dinner.
Intercede for those you know who otherwise serve in the armed forces. Thank the Lord for the service they provide so that you and your family remain safe and free.
Many are far from home, even if their spouse and children are accompanying them on their current assignment. An “adopted family” right in their neighborhood might be very welcome through the holidays.
A prayer you can pray:
“Almighty God, Lord of Hosts, we call out to you as the One who is sovereign over all. Watch over and protect our nation’s military members and their families. Sustain them with your everlasting arms.
“Take into your most gracious protection our service members currently deployed. May you be their comfort and their guide as they live and walk in a foreign land. Give them reassurance that you are a shield around them, an ever-present help in time of need. Grant our service members courage so that in all things they may serve without reproach. Encourage them while they also encourage one another.
“As they serve around the world, we ask that you guard their families and loved ones back home. Provide them with peace and surround them with love as they mourn the absence of their loved one and long for their return. May they find hope and strength in you for the trials of each new day. Be with military children who endure the difficult burden of knowing their father or mother is in harm’s way for months on end. Guard these children’s hearts and minds despite the loneliness and uncertainty of having a parent deployed.
“Lord God, be with marriages in the military. Preserve the bonds of husband and wife despite the stress that military life brings, stress only compounded by the decade of war our nation is in. Help military chaplains in their efforts to equip military marriages with ways to stay connected and communicate effectively despite the challenge of frequent deployments. Give husbands and wives strength and resilience to endure separations, frequent moves, and all the uncertainty military life brings.
“Father God, we long for the day when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. We long for your peace, for your shalom. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.” (Prayer by Kristi Hofman, Operation We Are Here)
We bless those in the military, who serve to protect our freedom!
Prayer used with permission. Click here to learn more about Operation We Are Here.