By Sarah Frazer, Crosswalk.com
Did you know there are over sixteen million living veterans who have served in at least one war? Over two million of those veterans are women and nearly ten million of all veterans are over the age of 65. Can you imagine being a part of a group of men and women who are ready to defend our country from war? To be willing to leave family, friends, and comforts to keep us safe? It is only fitting we would have a special day to honor them.
For me, it’s very personal. Both of my grandfathers served in at least one war. My brother is in the Army and my cousin is in the Navy. It is not lost on me that they could be called upon to leave us and go overseas. Not until I was touched by the military in my own family did I fully grasp the depth of the sacrifice of veterans.
A veteran is a word that simply means someone who is experienced in a field. But in our country, we also call those men and women who serve (or have previously served) in our military and in any branch a veteran.
Most of us remember September 11, 2001. One of the most striking things about the days following were the men and women who stepped up to protect our country. Why? Because they saw the threat of evil in this world and wanted to shield others from danger.
No matter your political affiliation or stance on the War on Terror, we can all agree that the men and women who serve deserve our thanks. One beautiful way to say “Thank You” is to pray for them. They must certainly have their struggles, and we cannot know the depths of what they go through on a daily basis.
Prayer is a way for us to say thank you and let them know we have not forgotten them. As we pray for our veterans, maybe one of the following prayers will help you put into words what is on your heart.
1. A Prayer for those Who Have Lost Loved Ones in Service
For those who have lost loved ones because of war, prayer can bring healing to the family members who remain. Since 2006, over 16,000 U.S. soldiers have died while in active duty. That's over 16,000 families and loved ones still missing their son or daughter; wife or husband; brother or sister.
Heavenly Father who sees all of the hurt, comfort the hearts of those who have lost loved ones in the military. It might seem to us “unfair,” but You are the God who ordains our days. Let us remember those families are still grieving today. Remind them of Your love for them. Their loss provides for us a safe place to live and worship You. Keep those families close to Your heart today. Comfort them and let them know we do not forget their loved one’s sacrifice. Amen.
2. A Prayer for Veterans with Wartime Wounds
Over the years I’ve seen many statistics, but each number is in truth a person and a family. Can we spend a moment to pray for those who have served and now live with either the scars of war or the heartache of seeing their fellow soldiers die? There are men and women still hurting from wartime wounds.
O Great God, look down on those people today who are suffering. No one is immune to suffering, but today we want to pray for those still hurting from wartime wounds. They have seen heartache, held sorrow close to their heart, and now they suffer. Begin a new work in their life today. I pray for those men and women who have served. Let them feel your comfort. Help them seek the help they might need. And let them know we do not forget them or their service. Amen.
3. A Prayer for Veterans Who Have Lost Limbs
So many men and women have lost limbs because of war. Can you imagine a constant reminder of the pain and heartache of war? Let’s pray for them as they recover and live with what they lost in the war.
O Jesus, be with those who have lost limbs in the war. There is a constant reminder. It must be painful to remember all you’ve lost. Help them to heal both physically and mentally. We pray they will have strength to keep going and to keep pushing through to renewed hope. Give them Your power to regain their life again. Amen.
4. A Prayer for Veterans with Emotional Scars
Sometimes physical scars heal but emotional scars will linger. Many veterans suffer from depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), thoughts of suicide, substance use problems, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia. The mental toll of being in a high-stress environment is hard to recover from. Let’s say a prayer for those who are still suffering.
Dear Father, nothing is hidden from You. Even the silent sufferer You see. We lift up those with emotional scars who have served in our military. Those veterans are special to You and You love them. You see them. Strengthen them to seek help from friends or counselors. Give grace and patience to those who care for them. Give wisdom to the doctors who are treating them. We pray for peace for them and relief. Amen.
5. A Prayer of Gratitude for Our Veterans
As believers we owe our veterans a deep debt. It is because of their sacrifice we are free to worship God. You and I go to church, worship, have Bibles, and serve God without fear of being put into prison or put to death. It is in large part due to their sacrifice we have these freedoms.
So thank a veteran today and pray for them because they are one of the biggest reasons we are free to worship as we please.
O God, we give you praise for these people who have allowed us to serve and worship You in freedom. We do not take for granted that there are millions of Christians around the world afraid of prison or even death because of what they believe. Our veterans are a significant reason why we do not fear and we thank You for them. Amen.
Why is Praying for Veterans Significant to Christians?
Posting on social media is nice, but what if you really began to think about those in your life who are serving in the military? With so many, I’m sure we all know of at least one person. Prayer can help us thank them, but it can also help us remember they need support.
We might not be able to directly help with the trauma or the isolation they feel, but we can offer prayers of comfort to a God who can help them.
Christians have a different perspective because we know the power of prayer. God can change hearts and heal wounds in very unique ways. Although physical pain will linger and emotional pain might need outside help, praying for these men and women is a start. So let prayer help guide you and remind you of these amazing veterans.
Bible Verses to Honor Veterans
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. – Psalm 29:11
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. – Psalm 33:20-22
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. – Psalm 91:1-3
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.– John 14:27
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – Ephesians 6:11
This Veteran’s Day, Thank a Veteran by Praying for Them
It is more than just sending a message on your phone. It is really spending some time in prayer thanking God for their service, lifting up their heartaches to Him, and reaching out to families to let them know you haven’t forgotten.
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. – Mother Teresa
Many times those in our military feel forgotten. Let that not be so for those veterans in your life. Keep praying for them. Keep remembering them.
Sarah Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five. Although she serves in her local church, holds in-home Bible studies, and is preparing to be a full-time missionary to Honduras, her passion is to encourage women fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is also an author of several self-published resources for women. She share tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram and join her free prayer challenge at sarahefrazer.com/prayer
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