How Do We Pray for Our Troops?

Dear Roger,

I have sons serving in the military. How can I pray effectively for deployed military personnel?

We hear people say, “Pray for our Troops!” But what do we pray for? What, specifically, are their needs?

Sincerely,

A Concerned Mom

Dear Concerned Mom,

The world is a dangerous place. We must be vigilant to pray for our soldiers around the world. There are so many great resources on this subject, but my favorite is from the National Prayer Team. 

Here are their insights on how to pray for our military:

·       Pray if they’re not saved that the Lord would send a witness to them and save them.

·       Pray that he would have the peace of Christ with him—especially if he travels outside of his Forward Operating Base (FOB).

·       Pray that he will depend on the love of God to keep him from bitterness at others (who needlessly make life difficult on their subordinates especially when they aren’t the most competent leader).

·       Pray for his spiritual and emotional resiliency so that regardless of what they face, they will be able to be effective in his military role and responsibility.

·       Pray for protection. “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever” (Psalm I25:2).

·       Pray that he will be vigilant if he is called upon to fire upon the enemy. “Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:” (Psalm 144:1).

·       Pray that the enemy will be turned back. “Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.” (Psalm 40:14).

·       Pray that he will be fulfilled in his job. Without purpose, time in the combat zone is extremely long and difficult.

·       Pray that he will resist lowering himself to lower levels of conversations and instead seek to be an example of goodness and righteousness.

·       Pray that he finds “good and solid” Christian brothers to have fellowship.

·       Pray that if he struggles or is discouraged, he will seek out his chaplain for wisdom and encouragement.

·       Pray for the leadership in Platoons, Companies, Battalions, Brigades . . . depending on what level the soldier works. Leadership can make or break a man.

How can you pray for the military home front?

Many prayers are directed to our deployed military personnel, and that is so appreciated, but it is equally important to pray for their loved ones at home. Here are insights provided by military spouses in how to pray:

·       Pray…for the home front spouse

·       Pray if they’re not saved that the Lord would send a witness to them and save them.

·       that they would trust God and that they would be firmly rooted in Christ and the Word of God and draw strength from Him

·       for joy, hope, endurance, strength, patience, protection and safety

·       pray against fear, loneliness, fatigue, despair, depression

·       that support would be present when needed, that friends, family, co-workers, neighbors would rise up and extend assistance and encouragement

·       Pray…for their marriage

·       for loyalty and commitment in their marriage, and that their relationship would have trust

·       that their love would grow stronger during the time apart

·       pray against temptation or inappropriate relationships

·       for a healthy way to fill the hours left empty that would have been spent with their spouse

·       Pray…for their children

·       that they would be strong for their children and would have wisdom and discernment in parenting

·       that children would learn how to cope with the deployment (fears, anxieties,

·       sadness) and learn how to express themselves

·       that schools would be understanding and helpful

·       And keep praying following the deployment!

·       Pray for the time of re-integration. After the happy reunion, the period of adjustment can be tough. The whole family has been affected/changed by the deployment.

·       It may be a time of dealing with unresolved issues.

·       The deployed parent needs to fit back into the home that has managed independently without him/her for a period of time. Parental/spousal responsibilities may shift.

Sometimes a return home is followed by a move to a new location. Please keep praying!

What you can pray for parents of military personnel?

1. Pray if they’re not saved that the Lord would send a witness to them and save them.

2. Strong faith to entrust their son or daughter into God’s hands no matter the outcome. (Having no control of a child’s well being is extremely tough.)

3. That the fear regarding their child’s situation is replaced daily with God’s peace. (When communication is minimal anxiety is at it’s highest.)

4. They are able to physically rest and restore themselves in order to function on an everyday basis. (Insomnia is extremely common for these parents.)

5. They are able to accept their child’s decision to enlist. (When an enlistment is not the parents’ first choice or if it was a complete surprise, anger can surface.)

6. They find joy in everyday in the midst of the unknowns. (Severe depression is common with Blue Star Moms.)

7. For them to find creative ways to support their loved one, emotionally, and spiritually, from a distance.

8. That they would remain steadfast and not “loose heart”, but continue in prayer causing them to grow stronger in the Lord.

9. That family and close friends understand or at least accept and not criticize the roller coaster of emotions. (Without realizing it, family has the highest ability to hurt and isolate Blue Star Parents.)

10. For wisdom to know how to encourage their son or daughter throughout each stage of their enlistment. Knowing if they are to say something, what to say, when to say it and how to say it. (Some parents say too much too soon, others don’t say anything because they are unsure how their child will react.)

11. They be able to adapt to and accept the changes in themselves as well as their child that have occurred during their child’s enlistment. (Changes may be positive, like after boot camp; or negative, like after a deployment. Either way life will never be the same for any of them. The entire family has a “new normal” to adjust to.)

12. That they be led to those that will support and encourage them possibly by joining or starting a support group for other military families. (It’s extremely lonely for Blue Star Parents if they don’t have others in similar situations to share their hearts and the everyday uncertainties.)

Also, something I do for those I’m praying for is ask God to lead me to a passage of Scripture that I can insert their name into and make it a personal prayer for them. Here are a couple great scriptures to claim.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. ~ I Peter 5:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7

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