1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord for failing to pray for you.” Samuel was married and had a family. (1 Samuel 12:2) He had served as priest (1 Samuel 7) and Judge (1 Samuel 7:16; Acts 13:20) and he was a prophet. (Acts 3:24) He also got involved in directly praying for military situations, in calling a nation to repentance and in giving them directions on how to live.
Jesus said, there will be war until the end of time. (Matthew 24:16; Mark 13:7) The Lord, through our government (Romans 13:1) has set days and times throughout the year to recognize and appreciate our service men and women. God, in His Word has given us a powerful ministry, praying for our Armed Forces!
How should we pray for our service men and woman?
- Pray that the families, relatives and friends of our military members may be strengthened in this time of concern and anxiety.
- Pray 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.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters as they go forth with courage and determination to face the forces of violence, weapons of destruction and hearts filled with hate.
- Pray that in the midst of destruction, the Lord will guide our service men and women, that they may be reunited with families.
- Pray for faith, hope, and comfort for all who are waiting for their soldiers to come home.
- Pray that departing soldiers will come to Christ and that they may be faithful, daily as they trust Him in the land of danger.
- Pray that those who are married will seek the Lord for strength to be faithful to each other in this time of separation.
- Pray that the Lord will reveal His companionship, strength and wisdom to all serving our country.
Becoming a Soldier’s Shield
Pray for Our Veterans Works
1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord for failing to pray for you. Samuel was married and had a family. (1 Samuel 12:2) He had served as priest (1 Samuel 7) and Judge (1 Samuel 7:16; Acts 13:20) and he was a prophet. (Acts 3:24) He also got involved in directly praying for military situations, in calling a nation to repentance and in giving them directions on how to live.
In 1 Samuel 7 we read of Samuel a great man of prayer fulfilling his position as judge, prophet and priest. He tells the Israelite’s to meet in Mizpah. He gives them the great news that he is going to intercede for them. (1 Samuel 7:5) The Bible says Samuel cried out to God on Israel’s behalf. (1 Samuel 7:9) When the Philistines heard that the Hebrews gathered at Mizpah, the Philistine leaders decided to attack the Israelite’s. The Israelite’s became frightened and they went to the man of God and requested prayer saying, “Samuel, Do not stop crying out to God for us, [pray] that [God] may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:8) Listen to what the Bible says about God’s deliverance, in answer to Israel’s seeking after the Lord and Samuel’s prayer. “[When] the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. …that day the Lord thundered with a loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelite’s. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them…” (1 Samuel 7:10-11) 1 Samuel chapter 7 says, “Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:13) The Israelite’s had their land restored back to them, and they delivered their neighboring territory from the power of the Philistines and there was peace between the Israelite’s and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:14) In the lifetime of Samuel, the great prophet, priest, judge and prayer intercessor, the Philistines never invaded Israel territory again. (1 Samuel 7:13)
History records powerful truths of God’s intervention for armed forces as people take time to prayer for those in harm’s way. In May of 1940, Germany was on the move and it was unbelievable how much control Hitler got over Europe. Hitler had backed up nearly all the remaining Allied troops to the beach at Dunkirk, France. Our Allied troops were surrounded. Ten miles to their rear was the German army. In front of them the English channel. An evacuation by water was their only hope however, it would not be easy. The English Channel was known for her terrible tides and treacherous winds. She was full of German mines and down the beach was Nazi artillery. The only other direction to go held German U-boats. 400,000 Allied troops were at Dunkirk and one English General said, “Nothing but a miracle could save them.”
It was at this time the Holy Spirit of God moved upon Reece Howell and a group of 100 students in a Welsh Bible College to become intercessors for those who were in harm’s way of Hitler’s armed forces. For some time they prayed from 7:00 P.M. to 12:00 Midnight. While those Welsh Bible students prayed, the British Royal Navy rounded up practically everything that floated in England to go a rescue the troops. During the rescue attempt there were several miracles. First, Hitler, for some mysterious reason stopped the Panzer tanks just 10 miles away. If he had kept moving he could have done great damage to our Allied Forces or destroyed them completely. Second, for an unheard of 9 days, the English Channel was perfectly calm, smooth as glass. Old-timers said, “We have never seen it like this before.” Heavy fog sometimes moved in and at other times smoke from burning oil fields drifted calmly towards the beach, thus, keeping the German air-force from seeing anything from the air during the evacuation. When the evacuation off the beach was finished, 338,000 Allied troops were rescued. The other 62,000 soldiers gave their lives so their fellow soldiers could get off the beach. They fought the oncoming Nazi Armed Forces when they finally made their move to attack again.
It is because of that kind of sacrifice we take time to observe Veterans’ Day. It is because of God responding to the prayers of great intercessors that we enjoy the freedom that we have in America today.
Christians are to be faithful in praying for those who are in harm’s way.
A Soldier’s Shield
The Bible Calls us to Prayer for Veterans
1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord for failing to pray for you.
I would propose to you that when those whose lives are in danger ask for prayer, it would be a sin to fail to pray for them. Born again Christians can take their rightful place among such giants of intercession (The Expositors Bible Commentary) as Moses, (Exodus 32;30-32) Daniel, (Daniel 9:4-20) the apostle Paul (Romans 1:9-10) And Jesus. (Romans 8:34)
Just what are the benefits in praying for those in our armed forces?
God who called us to Christ sent His Holy Spirit to have the Apostle Paul write, “I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone…” (1 Timothy 2:1) Ephesians 6:18 tells us that Christians are to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers…” All Christians who come to understand and respond to their call to pray for others have the great opportunity to go before the “Throne of Grace” (Hebrews 4:16) and intercede for their fellowman. They have on many occasions seen the truth of what James wrote, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Christians must resist that temptation of omission in prayer because they become weary of the nation’s continued descent into sin. The prophet Samuel saw the sins of the people, yet committed to pray for them because he did not want to sin against the Lord. The most influential work done for the Hebrews was the teaching of God’s Word and the prayers that came from great intercessors such as Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and King David. These powerful intercessors did not just leave the people of God to their own course – to sow as they pleased and reap as they had sown. They did not withdraw from their responsibility, but interceded with all their hearts before a merciful God who could bring a people to repentance, protect them from their enemies and empower them to accomplish His perfect will.
Prayer is mightier than a king’s power of authority and more effective than a warrior’s sword. Wars are going to come and it is the responsibility of Christians to hold up their generation of soldiers in prayer which the Apostle Paul understood to be a weapon that has divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
As Christians prayerfully examine the whole of Scripture they are led of the Holy Spirit to intercession. They know in their hearts that failing to pray for those who are in harm’s way, whether in fighting the spiritual or earthly battles of the Lord, is to sin. Pleasing God involves interceding for all of His works and for the people He is using to get His will done. (Matthew Henry Commentary; The Bible Readers Companion; Commentary on the Old Testament; The New American Commentary; True the Bible Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary)
I can assure you that every soldier who is facing the onslaught of our enemies’ attack would love to know that there are people of God out there who say as the apostle Paul, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times…” (Romans 1:9-10)
Pray for Our Veterans!