Saturday, May 23, 2009

How to Pray for a Soldier

Our military personnel, whether they are inland or abroad, need our prayers. Here is a list of things you can pray for those who will become "a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Salvation. If the soldier you are praying for has not made a commitment to Christ, this belongs at the top of your list. First Timothy 2:3-4 and Romans 12:1-2 are good scriptures to pray.

Relationship with authority structure. Though the authority structure of the military is difficult to adjust to, obeying orders can mean the difference between life and death. Pray that soldiers will learn to be "subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work," (Titus 3:1).

Enduring hardship. During times of training and war, a soldier can go without food, sleep, bathing, or word from home for days on end. Paul admonished Timothy, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. " (2 Timothy 2:3). Pray that God will use these times of testing to lead the soldier to bring Christ in to daily challenges (Psalms 18:28-29).

Camaraderie. Stu Weber, a decorated Green Beret Vietnam veteran, says, "Every warrior needs a fellow soldier. Every pilot needs a wing man." Jesus demonstrated this principle by sending the disciples out two by two. Paul and Timothy. Elijah had Elisha. Ask God to send your soldier a buddy to sharpen and encourage them
(Proverbs 27:17).

Good advisers. "For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Proverbs 24:6). Pray for soldiers in leadership positions to find others with wisdom and experience from whom they can seek counsel.

Courage. As Joshua prepared for battle, the Lord commanded him to be "strong and courage" (Joshua 1:9). "Courage," says David F. Winecoff, "has little to do with killing people and destroying property. Courage in its purest form is demonstrated by the person who stands by his convictions no matter the persecution or ridicule. " Pray that your soldier will have both physical and moral courage.

Resisting temptation. Abuse of power, sexual temptation, and escape through drugs and alcohol are just a few of the enticements a soldier faces. First Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that the Lord will provide a "way of escape" from temptations. Pray that your soldier will look for and take those escapes.

Witness. The reality that a soldier may meet with death at any moment makes the military fertile ground for the gospel. Ask God for open doors (Colossians 4:3) and that your soldier will have boldness to speak (Ephesians 6:19).

Safety and deliverance from the enemy. "The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord" (Proverbs 21:31). Whether in training or fighting a war, a soldier is in constant danger. The greatest protection they have is prayer cover.

Treatment of Enemies. Steeling oneself against an enemy is necessary in war time, but for war wounds to heal, forgiving the enemy becomes necessary. If your soldier goes to war, pray that he will treat the enemy as the Lord calls him to (Proverbs 25:21, Matthew 5:44).

Serving Christ. A soldier's understanding of how the "chain of command" gets things done brought the admiration of Jesus (Luke 7:1-10). As David F. Winecoff points out in Secret Weapon, "The very first convert outside the Jewish community was Cornelius, a soldier." Pray that the soldier's commitment to duty, obedience to commands, and willingness to endure hardship will serve the Lord's army well.

1 comment:

Phyllis Blickensderfer said...

Good prayers for everyone, not just those serving our country.