On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. May the examples of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.
When our faith stands at the grave,
grieving for a stone that’s rolled away,
When our faith is short of understanding
though the truth is there to see,
When our faith, beset by doubt, sees no further
than an empty tomb today,
Bring to mind the cry of Mary,
‘I have seen the Lord!’
and grant us faith to believe!
What a delight it is each year to welcome the newness and freshness of springtime. Wherever you live, whatever the climate, spring is a reminder that resurrection is possible, and renewal is wonderful. It’s enough to make a person want to pray. And what better prayers can we offer at this time of year than a springtime prayer such as the following:
A Hymn of John Newton
Lord, afford a spring to me,
Let me feel like what I see;
Speak, and by your gracious voice,
Make my drooping soul rejoice.
On your garden deign to smile,
Raise the plants, enrich the soil;
Soon your presence will restore
Life to what seemed dead before.
(Adapted from A Hymn for Spring by John Newton)
Whether you welcome this new season with the above, or pen a paean of praise that is all your own, may a new season of prayer blossom in your heart and life.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia
No new message this month
Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials…Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:2,12, RSV
Lord our God, be with us. Touch us with your Spirit so that our hearts may receive something from you. Let us find joy even in a life of struggle and temptation. Let us find joy in every need we face, even in the agony of death. Protect us through your Word, and let it always be a light to us so that we can follow you and do your will. Be with us on all our ways. Guide everything with your hand until the goal for all humankind is reached and we may rejoice over all the trials and testing because in the end the glorious prize can be won. Amen.
As we observe Veterans Day this year, let’s pray for the safety of the almost 200,000 U.S. troops who are currently deployed overseas in 177 countries and for the countless veterans and civilians right here on our soil who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD affects an estimated 12 to 20 percent of non-injured veterans and 32 percent of veterans who have been in combat. It’s a debilitating illness that can result when a person lives through a traumatic event such as war. The condition is often either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and people who have no experience with it often don’t understand it. The slightest sound, smell, or movement can trigger flashbacks and cause a person with the condition to relive the trauma.
PTSD is associated with a high suicide risk and can be difficult to treat.
Veterans with PTSD often face additional difficulties that compound their suffering. For example, people who oppose the U.S. government’s military involvement may criticize or even attack veterans who served in conflicts. And there is still a stigma regarding behaviors that may be interpreted as mental illness. Soldiers on active duty often keep silent about their PTSD symptoms because they fear that they will be considered weak if they seek treatment.
This Veterans Day, and every day, you can contribute to the healing process by praying for friends and loved ones suffering from PTSD and by encouraging them to seek treatment and to reach out to the Lord for help. Proclaim the Good News — no, the Great News — that God’s grace can enable veterans and civilians alike to conquer PTSD and rebuild their lives.
A Soldier’s Prayer
Lord, bless the wives who grieve alone,
And comfort the mothers who mourns their own
Give solace to the fathers who lost their own
On foreign shores and in places unknown.
Lord, strengthen the resolve of we who remain
To see that they did not die in vain.
—Maj. Gen. James R. Middleton