Though it began as Armistice Day in 1919 (celebrating the end of World War I), November 11 has been celebrated as Veterans Day in the United States since 1954. Many people observe the day with ceremonies and parades that honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have served in the armed forces of the United States.
There may be no better way to honor a veteran than in prayer. Whether it is offered in a religious service, or privately, or silently as a parade passes by, or in a personal card or note, prayer can connect you, a veteran and God in a meaningful and productive way.
Here are five specific kinds of prayers you can pray for veterans (or, with a few small changes, for a specific veteran):
1) To Feel Honored
“God, please let every veteran of our nation’s armed forces feel truly and appropriately honored by the attention and appreciation of their fellow citizens. Let no one feel forgotten or neglected. Let every man and woman, young or old, feel the deep and enduring gratitude of our nation and its inhabitants.”
2) To Be Understood
“Father God, You know that it can be difficult for a person who has returned from battle or stressful military service to reintegrate into ‘normal’ everyday life. You know that veterans can feel isolated and alone even in the midst of their friends and families because there are few around who understand their experience. So I ask You to place in the path of our veterans those who do understand (or strive to), that they may feel less alone. Remind them often that while their fellow human beings may never fully comprehend, You see, You know and You identify with them in everything.”
3) To Be Healed
“Lord, You know how deep a warrior’s wounds go. You know the loss that many of our veterans in body and soul. You know the memories that haunt them and the scars that many of them continue to carry. Please bring healing to those veterans who still hurt. Please grant patience and wisdom to those around them who cannot understand but can sometimes help the healing process. Please apply both natural and supernatural medicine to their wounds.”
4) To Be Rewarded
“Father, please turn your gaze to those men and women who in their military service have sacrificed time, comfort, strength, ambition, health and prosperity for the peace and safety of family and friends and others they’ve never even known. Please reward them a hundredfold for all their sacrifice and service. Bless them far beyond all their expectations. Reward them richly for all they have given.”
5) To Know You
“Almighty God, You know every veteran by name. You know their deeds, their hard work, and their perseverance. You know their needs, both material and spiritual. Please draw each one closer to you and grant them all the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7), the peace of Christ to rule in their hearts (Colossians 3:15), and ‘joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand’ forevermore (Psalm 16:11).”
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