How Should We Pray for America?
"Dear God: Help everyone on the hard math test. I love you, God, and in Jesus name I pray."
This prayer was offered by Mallory, 8, but it represents a sense of helplessness for all who are math challenged.
After the terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, we should all be praying like Garrett, 10: "Please help America to not be torn up by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other things. Please, Lord. Amen."
Would God answer a weather prayer? At least one American general thought so. In December of 1944, during one of Europe's coldest winters on record, the German army launched a major offensive campaign that became known as the Battle of the Bulge. General George S. Patton didn't like the bad weather that prevented Allied planes from providing air cover for his troops. He ordered the following prayer to be distributed among his troops:
"Almighty and most merciful God, we humbly beseech thee, of thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon thee that, armed with thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish thy justice among men and nations. Amen."
The murky weather broke. Allied air power helped defeat the last major German offensive of the war.
Another general named Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still. The Lord answered his prayer, and Joshua defeated the Amorites (Joshua 10:12-14).
Taylor, 9, remembers our troops when he prays: "I pray for American soldiers to fight bravely for our country. They will win for justice, and if they die, we will remember their bravery. We will not forget how much they loved us enough to protect us with all their hearts."
Mallory, 9, reminds us of our history with the following prayer of thanks: "Dear God: Thank you for telling George Washington that he could win the war for us to have freedom."
You have to wonder whether the British flag might still wave over America if George Washington had not persevered. Few military experts gave Washington's small, ill-equipped army any chance at all against the world's most powerful military. The founder of our country was a man who called upon God by keeping a prayer journal. Here is a partial quote from it:
"Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ. … "
This column ends with a prayer of thanksgiving from Steven, 9, for the greatest sacrifice ever made: "Dear God: Thank you for sending your one and only son to die for our sins so we don't have to suffer through what he went through."
"For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and the Mission Explorers Documentary at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAREY KINSOLVING
Publication date: July 4, 2014