Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


A Prayer for Veterans on Veterans Day 2009

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Wednesday (tomorrow) is Veterans Day, 2009. It’s fitting for us as a free people to publically and intentionally acknowledge, thank and bless those men and women who have paid a heavy price to insure our liberty. Freedom, as they say, is never free. To all the veterans, we thank you.

My wife’s father, Al, is 88 years old. He served in WWII in the South Pacific and endured unspeakable horrors, including, months of near hand to hand combat and a life and death battle with malaria. Few of us can comprehend the pain combat soldiers like Al have borne. We may not know; but we can express our gratitude.

The cost is not so distant as WWII. Every day vets of more immediate wars in the Middle East are returning to attempt to embrace a new destiny after their military service. To them and their families we also express our gratitude. The horrible events at Fr. Hood this week reminds us just how dangerous their lives are, and how fragile our peace remains.

For all our efforts to say “thanks” and all our commitment to help our vets recover their lives once they return (and God knows we must do all we can!) in the end we cannot do enough. No governmental service can repay all they’ve lost. No holiday in their honor can make up for the hours lost, the innocence lost, the loves, limbs and lives lost. We cannot do enough. “Thank you” is too easy and too slight a return.

But we can pray for our vets. We can ask God to make up the balance, to cover the debts we as a society (often ungrateful) can never make up. We can pray and ask for blessings beyond our human treasure. Join me, and together let’s bless our vets.

“God we thank you for commissioning men and women in the defense of freedom. We honor those who honor and protect us, in many cases laying down their lives that we might live free to pursue our own destiny. Every soldier takes their oath knowing they may be called upon to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Lord, we cannot repay this gift they give us. For those who have suffered as a result of their sacrifice, we ask for supernatural healing, favor, peace, and in some cases, forgetfulness. Lift from them the cares and burdens of violence. When they return home, give them opportunities to fulfill their own potentials and dreams. Open doors for them, even when some doors are closed. God, Bless our veterans. We pray this in Jesus.”

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  • Sandy Floyd

    My nephew, Gary W. Walters, Jr., died in Iraq on April 24, 2005. With your permission, I would like to post your prayer, with proper credit, on his Fallen Heroes website. It would be a comfort to his family and, I think, most especially to his daughter.

  • kw

    Hi, I work in an assisted living community and we have a handful of veterans here whom we’d like to acknowledge on Veteran’s Day. I will be reading this aloud to everyone tomorrow, including the prayer. Thank you so much for posting it, and I hope you can smile knowing a roomful of strangers will be saying your prayer above, with our own neighborhood veterans in mind, as well as those abroad. :)

  • Layla

    Hi, my name is Layla, and I just wanted to say thank you to not only all of the veterans that are serving for our country, but to their families as well. You all have been so strong and supportive. It’s people like you that truly inspire me, because I can only imagine what you all are going through.

  • http://www.usba.com/veteransday2009/ Karen

    Excellent post! Thought you might also enjoy this Veterans Day Video Tribute and if so, feel free to share or pass on to others. God bless, http://www.usba.com/veteransday2009/

  • Kathy Fries

    I took the liberty of posting this prayer in-full w/Mr. Herringshaw’s byline on my facebook account. As a veteran with many friends still deployed, this prayer really resonates with me. Thank you so much for sharing this article and prayer.

  • Gene

    I am a Vietnam Veteran and as part of a town prayer group gathering Thursday to pray for veterans I would be honored to use this prayer. Thank you

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marta Stafford

    Dear Mr. Harringshaw,
    Tomorrow I host the Marble Falls, TX community where I work, Riverbend Fine Art. Riverbend artist, Duke Sundt (who has been commissioned to create the Texas Vietnam War Monument) is a kind, generous and talented man. Through Duke I’ve been working with the veterans helping to raise awareness for this monument on our state capitol grounds. The replica is at the gallery for people to see. It is profound to watch the veteran gaze at the sculpture. There is a sense of recognition, relief and saddness.
    In an effort remind people of our cherished freedom and to have veterans know I have invited my neighbors to sign a book/journal …”With Gratitude to our Texas Vietnam Veteran” I came upon your prayer to the veteran and was so moved that I would like to share it with others. May I share?
    My kind regards,
    Marta Stafford
    rvrbnd@tstar.net

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