Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our Country- Praying Together

"In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered...Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?" -Benjamin Franklin to the Constitutional Congress, 1787

If I had one wish for my country, it would be for us to unite in prayers for peace...Only when our backs are up against the wall will all of us rally together in prayer. This happened on December 7, 1941. It happened on September 11, 2001. But most of the time between and since, it seems as though we no longer need God's assistance. Benjamin Franklin realized this pattern just years after America won its independence.

My wish is simply for us to unite in prayer...Even if only half of us Americans would pray, that would still be 150 million prayers...

God has blessed our nation graciously since its inception in 1776. God has probably blessed us more than we deserve. Franklin asked, and I ask, "Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?" You see, I have been all over our amazing nation. I have seen the rich blessings that we sing about in songs such as "God Bless America". At a time when there is so much unrest in the world and when we have troops in harm's way in Afghanistan and Iraq, have we forgotten God's power? Have we forgotten God, who has answered our prayers in the past?

I pray for our country, that we return to our traditions, and that we remember the gracious mercy of God. God will hear our prayers and bless our nation if we repent and unite together. It has happened before; it can happen again. A nation praying together...is a mighty nation, our nation, America!

--- all of the above is an excerpt from 'No Atheists In Foxholes' by Chaplain Patrick McLaughlin, CDR, USN  (all pictures from Google Images)

My son Benjamin has many stories to tell of the things he went through on the way to receiving his Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the pin that US Marines wear with such pride. One thing he shared with me when he came home on Boot Leave, after surviving Boot Camp, was heartbreaking...While going through the struggles of Boot Camp, many of the young men turned to God in prayer for help and attended Chapel for spiritual aid. Bibles were passed out liberally, little pocket New Testaments with camoflage covers. Many of the young men "joined the Jesus Platoon" as they called it! Many were baptized by the Chaplain in the training swimming pool.  When the recruits made it through the Crucible and got to graduate as new Marines, they were so happy to see their families that had come to share the big day. Everyone was looking forward to their leave, getting all their gear together, not hardly able to wait to "get out of this place" for a short vacation before going on to the next level of training. In our hotel room, Ben was showing us different things he had packed up, and he had several of these little New Testaments. He said many of the young men were throwing them in the trash, saying, "I don't need God anymore; I survived Boot Camp!" This makes me want to cry even now, remembering... I'm sure many of them have changed their tune by now, realizing there is life after Boot Camp that they still need His help with! At least I fervently hope so...Some of the hazing incidents Ben can tell about that happened in SOI brought many of these tough new Marines almost to desperation and suicidal thoughts, Ben included in this group, although he was one that was still acknowledging God...I love Chaplain McLaughlin's book and have posted many little excerpts from it. May God use the Military Chaplains to help the ones that are in harm's way to a saving faith in Christ. Please pray for the Military.

(This is one of the New Testaments that Ben rescued from the trash)


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