A SERVICE OF PRAYER FOR THE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, PILOTS, MARINES AND ALL OTHERS OF THE UNITED STATES FORCES IN IRAQ AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
[Editor's note: Emphasis and italics added by the editor. Those portions in bold italics are responses of the people or prayers said by all. This service may be modified by centurions of other nations and conlficts especially where indicated in italics. It is appropriate in times of conflict and for Remembrance (Armistice) - Veterans Day (more especially the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in remembrance of the end of the Great War on Nov 11, 1918) ]
Give thanks to the Lord, and call on his Name; tell all the people what great things he has done. [Psalm 105: 1]
Friends, while our country is in the midst of war, let us pray for the peace of our nation, the world, and Christ's Church, that it may please God to confirm and strengthen us in purity of faith, in holiness of life, and in perfectness of love, that in all things we may live according to God's will, serve him faithfully, and worship him acceptably.
Let us pray for the President of the United States, and for all that are in authority; that they all may serve faithfully in their offices, to the glory of God and the safety and well-being of the nation.
Then let us pray for the people of the United States, that they may live in the fear of God, and in harmony and unity with each other.
Finally, let us pray for all who serve and protect us by land, sea or air; as soldiers, sailors, Marines, pilots, the Coast Guard, and diplomats; for all who are wounded, injured, sick or weary; and for all who, under the stress of war, especially need our prayers.
Now let us together confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
A READING from Nehemiah
When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are?" Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!" So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, "Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day." Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Psalm 144 Benedictus Dominus.
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, * who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle:
2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, * my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; * on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you.
10 to the One who gives victory to kings, * who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.
11 Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners * whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
12 Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, * and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. * Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields;
15 Blessed are the people of whom this is true; * blessed are the people whose God is the LORD
A READING from Luke 7
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his servant. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, "He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us." And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When the messengers returned to the house, they found the servant in good health.
The Word of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Christ
Psalm 46 Deus noster refugium.
1 God is our refuge and strength, * an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, * though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam * and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, * the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; * God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; * he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; * the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see the works of the LORD, * the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; * he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God; * I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; * the God of Jacob is our fortress.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
Eternal God, through whose mighty power our soldiers won our liberties of old, and preserved them to this day; save and protect your servants whom you have called to serve you in the work of the military, particularly those for whom we pray today - [NAMES]and all others of the United States forces in Iraq and around the world; Be to them a strong tower, and deliver them from the face of their enemies; through Jesus Christ Your Son Our Lord. Amen.
Loving Father, who wills us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you, who cares for us; Preserve us from fears and anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this life may hide from us the light which is immortal, and which you have manifested unto us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Absent.
Lord, whose care reaches to the uttermost parts of the earth; Bless those whom we love, now absent from us and in the midst of war. Defend them from all dangers of mind, soul and body; give them clarity of mind in the midst of tumult; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to you, may be bound together by love in the communion of your Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Time of War and Tumults.
Almighty God, whose power no creature is able to resist; Save and deliver us, we beseech you, from the hands of our enemies in this time of war; that we, being armed with your defence, may be preserved from all perils, to glorify you, the only giver of victory; Guide the nations into the way of justice and truth, and establish that peace which is the fruit of righteousness; through the merits of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For our Country
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We pray that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honest labor, sound learning, and purity of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion among ourselves; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way toward others. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes who have come here out of many kindreds and tongues, in search of freedom and of a new future. Endow with the spirit of wisdom those upon whom we freely bestow the authority of government, that there may be peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may shout your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of peace, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of battle, do not allow our trust in you to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Congress.
Gracious God, just as we pray for the people of the United States in general, so especially we pray for the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress; that you would direct and prosper all their consultations, to the advancement of thy glory, the good of your Church, the safety, honor, and welfare of your people; that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavors, upon the best and surest foundations, that peace may be established among us for all generations. These and all other necessaries, for them and for us, we beg in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
For the President of the United States and all in Military Authority
Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: Grant to George the President of the United States as Commander-in-Chief, to the generals and admirals of the armies and fleets, and to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Secretary of Defense, and the United States Central Command, and to all in military authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with a zeal for truth, and make them mindful of their calling to preserve the lives entrusted to their care; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.
For the Armed Forces
Lord God of Hosts, stretch forth your almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers, sailors, Marines, and pilots of our country; Support them in the day of battle, and preserve them from the dangers and violence of the enemy; that they may safeguard us and provide security for us; and that the inhabitants of our land may in peace and quietness serve you our God, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For our Enemies
God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice, ignorance, and rage to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, hear our prayer.
And let our cry come unto you.
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouths shall show forth your praise.
Psalm 18 Diligam te, Domine.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; * he enables me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle; * my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; * you stoop down to make me great.
36 You broaden the path beneath me, * so that my ankles do not turn.
46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! * Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me, * who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies. * You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; * I will sing praises to your name.
50 He gives his king great victories; * he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.
And now, friends, in the words which Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
A PRAYER OF ST. CHRYSOSTOM
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us, and for [NAMES], granting all of us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[Prepared by a friend of a centurion, and used with permission.. All Saints Day, MMVI. The contributor's son, a Marine, subsequently deployed to Iraq]