Last week LTG (Ret.) Jerry Boykin came to our town to speak about his long career in the Army. His book, Never Surrender, came home to fill in the rest of his story. He served as a founding member of Delta Force and a former commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He led the teams of Black Hawk Down fame in Mogadishu and the team who captured Noriega in Panama, among others. He writes:
It was God who sustained me through three decades of defending this country. It was God who gave me the courage to face death in order to rescue others. It was God I had relied on when I nearly lost an arm in battle. It was God I prayed to when my men went to war. It was God I cried out to when they returned…p. 349
And it is God we can rely on when our sons, daughters, and husbands, brothers and sisters, deploy to dangerous places. He also writes:
I tried to encourage other Christians–many of whom had sons and daughters in harm’s way–with this message: they had the weapon they needed to affect the outcome of a war between good and evil–prayer.
They were not powerless.
Never Surrender, p. 15
Will you join me this week in praying for our troops? We want to pray on target. Praying specifically, by name or by unit, is like using a smart missile compared to a shot-gun.
Psalm 91 is a good place to start. Like the Lord’s prayer, it can be a guide to more specific topics.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Lord, we ask that our soldiers will live with you and sense your loving presence and peace. We pray for a sense of calm, and for restorative sleep, trusting in you to surround them with your care and protection.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God , in whom I trust.”
Lord, we ask that you build a fortress of protection for their minds, souls and bodies. We ask that they acknowledge the miracles you provide for them and their safety. We pray they see your work firsthand, and that they grow in their relationship with you. We pray they would say of you that you are their God, and that they will turn to you in all circumstances.
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
Thank you, Lord, that you will protect them from IED’s and lead them around pressure plates and other dangers. Cause the enemy’s plans to backfire and their traps to malfunction.
and from the deadly pestilence.
Lord, we thank you for protection from illness and chemical and biological weapons.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge:
Lord, like a mother hen protecting her chicks from an enemy who wants to swoop in and steal them away, we thank you that you provide cover, concealment, and offensive protection.
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Like the thick-walled fortresses of old, be a tower of safety, a place for our soldiers to run to.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Lord, you are all these things, and we pray that our soldiers know it. We pray for a depth of trust in you that will allow them to be fearless, courageous and at peace. We pray they are able to trust that their times are in your hands.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
Lord, we pray a capsule of safety around each man and woman you have in the field. We speak that protection over each one of them, heart, soul, body, mind and spirit.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the Lord, who is my refuge–
then no harm will befall you, no disaster come near your tent.
Lord, we stand on your promise, declaring this protection over our men and women.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Lord, direct their steps, move them around each hidden obstacle. Give them supernatural wisdom in all circumstances. Guide and protect them in every decision.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Lord, protect them from each and every enemy set up against them. Give them the upper hand in every battle and good decision-making ability in all situations. May they be more than conquerors of fear, insecurity, tiredness, and intimidation.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
Lord, we thank you that you love us. May every soldier, every family member experience the depth of your love for them. We ask for supernatural knowledge of your love for us, that we may return it a thousand fold. May we be bold in declaring your love for all men and women until we see it acted out through out the world.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
Lord, there are so many stories of people experiencing your answers to prayer. We pray to hear many more, for you are who you say you are, and you answer when we call. You are as close as our breath, and we thank you for your strength and presence with us.
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
Thank you, Lord, that you are with us and with our soldiers. We pray they sense your presence with them, your guiding hand, your protection and provision. We thank you for your deliverances, for your escapes from death. And we honor you, Lord, our peace and our salvation.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Lord, we thank you for life and for the opportunity to live it for you. Teach us about what the word salvation means. It means wholeness, provision, and so much more, in this life and the next.
Lord, be with the families of our soldiers. Be their comfort, their strength, their peace. Protect them as they go about their days and surround them with those who love and support them, those who will come along side to help care for their children, fix their cars, and fill in the gaps while their spouse is away.
We ask these things in the matchless name of Jesus.