A Medal of Honor Recipient from the United States Marine Corps
[The following article is an excerpt from the U.S. Dept. of Defense’s weekly “Medal of Honor Monday” series, in which they highlight one of the more than 3500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor.]
“Although many men were drafted into the military during the Vietnam War, some, like Marine Corps 2nd Lt. John Bobo, volunteered. Bobo never came home from the war, but his sacrifice saved several members of his company.
“On March 30, 1967, the 24-year-old weapons platoon commander was on a routine patrol south of a marine base that was only a few miles below the North Vietnam border. His company settled into a defensive position on a hill for the night. Several rifle platoons were sent out to patrol for ambushes.
“Those patrols hadn’t been gone long when North Vietnamese soldiers swarmed out of the jungle to attack the men hunkered down on the hill. The Marines managed to push them back into the jungle, but they returned after more enemy troops blocked the rifle platoons on ambush duty from getting back to the hill to help.
“Bobo, who was with his platoon on the hill, quickly organized his men into a hasty defense against the enemy, which was bombarding them with weapons and mortar fire. He went from position to position, encouraging his Marines to fight their hardest, despite being outnumbered. He picked up a rocket launcher he found on a fallen Marine and organized a team to use it against the enemy’s machine gunners.
“Shortly after that, an enemy mortar exploded near Bobo, severing his right leg below the knee. [He tied a web belt around his knee as a tourniquet.] The massive injury, however, did not slow his determination. He refused to be evacuated and instead insisted on being propped up in a firing position so he could cover the rest of the Marines as they fled for safety.
“At some point during the shootout, Bobo was struck and killed. However, his leadership, courage, and refusal to give up enabled the remaining Marines to get into a better position, where they were finally able to push the enemy back. No one forgot what Bobo did to help the surviving Marines to escape that day, and his memory continues to live on. His parents received the U. S Medal of Honor on his behalf on August 27, 1968.”
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- We owe our freedom to hundreds of thousands of men and women, like Marine Corps 2nd Lt. John Bobo, who have laid down their life for the freedom we enjoy today. Thank the Lord for the freedom you enjoy because of these sacrifices. John 15:13, KJV, says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
- Thank the Lord for the sons, the fathers, the spouses, the brothers and sisters, and the friends that have served to make us free.
- Intercede for those who serve us in the United States Marine Corps. Learn more about this branch of the service here.
- Fearlessness and boldness are characteristics that the Church will need in this era. Ask the Lord to make the Church brave, as in Bobo’s example.
- Intercede with what the Lord said to the Hebrews as they went into the promised land, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
A prayer you can pray:
Father, John 15:13 tells us,“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” United States Marines, such as 2nd Lt. John Bobo have exemplified this scripture for us, as many in the armed services have. We honor those who have displayed such bravery by bestowing medals, such as the Medal of Honor, upon them in the natural. Today, we honor them spiritually and pray that the cost they paid for our nation’s freedom and the freedom of other nations of the earth will not be forgotten. Let us live worthy of the freedom they have given their lives to attain. Freedom is costly and should never be treated as a given, for in many other nations of the world, many do not live as freely as we do here in the United States. The United States Marine Corps is exemplary in its example of this bravery and we are thankful for them.
We do not want to lose the freedom we have, Lord. We especially do not want to lose the freedom we have as Believers in Jesus. We have taken for granted our ability to spread the Gospel. Now, there is an urgency. You have told us to be strong and courageous in expanding our territory spiritually. We cannot take lightly the attacks of the enemy against us. We can’t shrink back. We must fight for one another and help each other expand Your Kingdom. There is no time and no place for competition. We must be one, even as You are One. Let us fight our spiritual battles bravely. There are souls needing saved and a culture needing redeemed. Thank You for answering our hearts cry, Jesus. Make us bold, with a resolve to finish well for You. Amen.
May the Ekklesia display leadership, courage, and refusal to ever give up!
The Air Force’s “God’s Eye View”
[Today’s article is from a former member of my church in Colorado Springs, Major Michael Craig, USAF, Retired.]
“Aerial combat is one of the most difficult missions for which an Air Force fighter pilot must train. Mastering the skills involved takes many years and countless training flights. For several decades combat aircrews have relied upon an amazing training tool called Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation or simply, ‘ACMI’ to the aircrew. In this high-tech training system, all aircraft participating in a given training exercise carry a wing-mounted pod that uses Global Positioning Satellite information along with onboard aircraft systems data to constantly track the aircraft’s whereabouts and weapon systems information. The pod ‘knows’ and records not only the aircraft’s position in three-dimensional space, but which way it is pointed, up-down, north-south-east-west. It knows when the pilot fires a simulated missile and what type of missile was fired. Because the other aircraft involved are carrying similar pods, the system knows if the missile was fired within range or too far away. Using the speed and relative position of the two aircraft, it even calculates how long it takes the virtual missile to reach its target and whether the missile would have likely ‘killed’ the target.
“Observers back at the airbase, can even watch all the ACMI action on video screens in real time, but more often, the system is used by the participating aircrew to debrief the mission in great detail after landing. They can select the digital ‘view’ from the cockpit of any aircraft involved. They can fast-forward, rewind, slow the action down, select another view and watch it again. They can see the view from their ‘adversary’s’ cockpit and dissect any mistakes they made—figure out why they got ‘shot down’ or how they were able to escape. One of the more useful viewpoint options available in the ACMI system is from far above the melee taking place below. One can observe the ‘big picture’ of all the players—how well one flight of aircraft is performing against their adversaries. Are they seeing everything that is coming against them? Are they employing the correct offensive and defensive tactics? Did they miss the one ‘bandit’ sneaking in behind them? It can be wonderfully enlightening (and humbling). Interestingly, this overhead, all-seeing view is known to these combat aviators as ‘The God’s Eye View.’
“Ah, if only. If only we could see our lives that way—The God’s Eye View—not simply depending on our own two eyes. We could see the trouble out ahead—how the enemy is arrayed against us. Our adversary could never sneak up from behind (or below, or above, or in our blind spot). But, in some respects, we can see from God’s perspective. To the extent we draw near to the heart of our Father, seeking His wisdom, taking time to learn His viewpoint through His word, we will see more of The God’s Eye View.
“By employing the ACMI system, pilots are able to learn from their mistakes before the consequences become potentially fatal in ‘real-world’ combat. Most of us cannot prepare for our clashes with the enemy that way, but we have the means to gain a higher perspective and a more Godly view of the battles we face.”
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3; NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Intercede for the United States Air Force, thanking God that they patrol the skies and protect our nation, at home and abroad.
- Consider the story about the incredible ACMI navigation system. Ask the Lord to reveal the comparison to you of His watching over us in a similar fashion.
- Consider Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” If man can conceive of something like the ACMI, does this story help your faith increase, so you can really “see” that He is all-seeing and all-knowing? Rejoice that He is Jehovah Shammah – The God that is there!
- Read Ephesians 2:1-6, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”
- Pray Ephesians 1:18-21, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
- Tell the Lord You want to see what Jesus sees from His vantage point as you intercede for the nation. His view is perfect and complete.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we thank you for the United States Air Force. We are so thankful for those who have chosen to protect our nation by patrolling and warring from the skies above us. Thank you for the technology that the Air Force has continually developed for that purpose. By employing the ACMI system, pilots are able to learn from their mistakes before the consequences become potentially fatal in ‘real-world’ combat. Most of us cannot prepare for our clashes with the enemy that way, but we have the means to gain a higher perspective and a more Godly view of the battles we face. Help us see our lives that way—The God’s Eye View—not simply depending on our own two eyes. We want to see the trouble out ahead—how the enemy is arrayed against us, so our adversary cannot sneak up from behind (or below, or above, or in our blind spot).
Thank you for this explanation of a natural system that helps us understand Your view and Your desire for us to work with You in this same way. Your Word tells us in Ephesians that Jesus was raised from the dead and seated at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Then, You raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms because we are united with Him. Therefore, we know that to the extent we draw near to the heart of You, Father,, seeking Your wisdom, taking time to learn Your viewpoint through Your word, we will see more of The God’s Eye View. May our spiritual battles be won more effectively and may our lives as Believers ever glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.
The Ekklesia are gaining “God’s Eye View”, a more accurate view of the spiritual battles we face.
Establishing a United States Space Force
In February 2019, President Donald J. Trump established the United States Space Force. On May 15, 2020, the flag of the newly formed organization was unfurled in the Oval Office of the White House. President Trump invited Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to say a few words:
“Let me just say it’s a very historic moment. The United States has been a spacefaring nation for decades, but we know that our adversaries in the last several years have weaponized space. They’ve made it a warfighting domain. So, with the establishment of [the] Space Force and the establishment of Space Command, the United States is now doing what it needs to do to protect our assets in space and ensure that space remains the heavens by which we not only protect America, but we sustain our economy, we sustain our commercial capabilities, we sustain Americans’ way of life. So again, [we are in] another very historic moment. I’m confident that both the Space Force and the Space Command will do what is necessary to defend us in space and to keep America great.”
General Mark Milley, current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also invited to make a comment:
“This is a historic day. Some time ago, we made a decision to establish the Space Force, and that’s because we’re undergoing a changing character of war, which is of historic importance for all nations. As part of that, the space part of our universe opened up as a domain of warfare. It’s critical that if we are going to sustain our way of life, if we’re going to defend our nation, we’re going to have to defend ourselves in space, and therefore the need for the Space Force. It’s a great day for the nation and for the world that the United States of America establishes its first Space Force.”
General John Raymond, current Commander of the Space Force presented the flag:
“Sixteen thousand space professionals are assigned to the Space Force. We’re proud of this flag. They come to work every day focusing on providing space capabilities for our nation, for our joint coalition forces, and for the world. We’re proud of [them and of] this flag.”
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett made these statements to close the ceremony:
“Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve really demonstrated leadership in establishing the Space Force. This is an important moment and an important month, actually. Most Americans, before their first cup of coffee in the morning, have used space, but very few people realize how important space is to everything that we do, that it’s vulnerable, [and that] we need to up our game in space. You’ve recognized that and built a force that will help to protect our assets in space and deter aggressive action in space. If deterrence doesn’t work, [we will still] be able to defend our assets in space and those of our allies. So we thank you very much for the leadership you’ve demonstrated and we’re excited for this breakthrough moment.”
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:14-18; NKJV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Reflect on Genesis 1:1-18 and all that God created. We have explored the planet. Now, it’s time to explore the vastness of space. The heavens declare the Glory of God!
- Thank the Lord for the innovation and foresight He has historically deposited in citizens of the United States of America.
- Thank Him for those that could see the need for a United States Space Force.
- Thank Him for President Trump listening to military leadership and developing this force that will explore the heavens and protect this nation and other nations of the world.
- Intercede for those that are developing this fledgling military branch. Pray for the leadership above by name, but also pray for the 16,000 other members assigned to the U.S. Space Force.
A prayer you can pray:
Lord, I say with the psalmist, David, in Psalms 8:3-6, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than [Yourself], and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” In Your magnificent wisdom, You chose to make man in Your image and to work with Him to establish Your Kingdom on the earth. How could man have ever imagined what would unfold before him as history began? Here we are, thousands of years later. Having explored the Earth, we are ready to explore the space around us.
You have bestowed on this nation a gift of invention and innovation. What we can imagine, You have given us the ability to achieve. Dreaming with You has led us to this point. Our military leadership and our president have launched the United States Space Force to go further. While some acknowledge that it may become a necessity in this day to reach to space to protect America and other nations, it is also another season of exploring the heavens and earth You created. May we do so and always exalt You, the Maker of those heavens and the earth. Great and mighty God, may more worship Jesus as a result of the U.S. Space Force and its work. Amen.
Our nation needs the Space Force to sustain our way of life, defend our nation, and show forth the glory of God!
A Story of the U.S. Navy from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt
The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has been an ongoing source of news since early March when sailors began to test positive for COVID-19. They have given us a modern-day story of discipline and bravery. To date, more than 1000 of the crew have tested positive. The outbreak was discovered while the ship was docked in Vietnam. Quickly, they headed for their closest U.S. port with somewhat adequate medical facilities in Guam. A friend’s nephew was on that ship, so we have been able to get reports on the situation right from the source. He was one of those tasked with testing everyone on board, then helping sick sailors get off the ship to quarantine. Despite that, he has never tested positive for the virus.
Just like cruise ships afflicted before it, it became evident quickly that it is very challenging to keep this virus contained on a ship full of thousands of people. As strict as the U.S. Navy’s standards for cleanliness on their vessels, and the plethora of manpower available to keep things “military standard clean”, the virus still spread through the ship.
It appeared that the situation was handled as well as can be expected once they got to Guam. Sick soldiers were removed first and taken either to the hospital or to a local hotel. The latter was cleared out to make room for the men and women, depending on the level of care they needed. Local schools were turned into barracks for the healthy. All but about 500 essential crew were moved off the ship. While bored, the crew was safe and well-fed, and were able to get some exercise and talk to loved ones back home on occasion. The ship was thoroughly cleaned over and over again, and the crew have been slowly brought back on board. They are still in that process and looking forward to getting back to their mission. At this time, one man, Chief Petty Officer Charles Thacker, Jr., has died and we mourn his death. We pray there are no others. The crew is reported to be in good spirits despite everything. This is a testament to the bravery of those serving us in the U.S. Navy.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank the Lord for those who serve in our United States Navy.
- Ask God to cover each and every crew member aboard ships, other watercraft, and submarines from harm, especially from the COVID-19 virus.
- Consider the care these sailors are taking for one another’s health. They are all working together for the common good, and they honestly care about each other. Intercede for the Church to come into this place of love and discipline.
- Some Believers have found themselves critical of the way the government is responding to this virus, or to the way business owners, or even pastors or neighbors are responding. Put that aside now. Repent, if you’ve been one of these accusers. Take on compassion. Everyone is doing their best in a very unknown situation. Become an intercessor instead—standing in the gap between what is and ought to be.
- Notice that they can’t wait to get back to their mission. Pray for them to be healed and well and whole, so they can!
- Now, intercede for the Body of Christ to have that same sense of passion to expand the Gospel of the Kingdom as we move out of COVD-19 restrictions!
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we lift up the United States Navy to You. We are thankful for these that patrol the world’s oceans in a constant peace-keeping mission. They are watchful for threats that could come from the sea. It is not an easy life, as they are apart from land, their homes, and their families for very long stretches of time. Currently, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has been gone longer than planned due to COVID-19 being found aboard. This has disrupted the lives of all of the crew in very unexpected ways. We compassionately lift them before You as they attempt to get their men and women healed and their ship prepared, so they can continue their mission. We also intercede for the family of Chief Petty Officer Charles Thacker who lost his life to this disease.
Lord, show the Church how to operate like these members of the Navy did. They have been disciplined to get a job done that they never expected. They have kept a good attitude, even though confined and bored. They have leaned on and looked out for one another’s well-being. They have done all that they can do to get everyone back on board and back to their mission. We need these characteristics of compassion, discipline, and unity. The Church needs to get back to its mission of expanding the Gospel of the Kingdom in our realms of influence. We need to drop competitiveness and criticism of leaders and of one another, so we can move forward as one. Grant us the grace and the passion we need so Jesus can be seen in us. Amen.
Our U.S. Navy is an example of persistence and bravery in the midst of adversity.
General MacArthur’s Speech to the People of the Philippines, 10/20/1944
“I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed, to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of your people.
“At my side is your President, Sergio Osmena, worthy successor of that great patriot, Manuel Quezon, with members of his cabinet. The seat of your government is now therefore firmly re-established on Philippine soil.
“The hour of your redemption is here. Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages of human history. I now call upon your supreme effort that the enemy may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged people within that he has a force there to contend with no less violent than is the force committed from without.
“Rally to me. Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on. As the lines of battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of operations, rise and strike. Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”1 (General Douglas MacArthur)
“So David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.’” (1 Samuel 30:8; NKJV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Ask the Lord to give us more generals cut of the cloth of General Douglas MacArthur. He was brave, committed, patriotic, and God-honoring in all he did.
- General MacArthur understood the cause he was fighting for. He said he returned to the Philippines “to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over [their] daily lives, and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of [the] people.” Ask God to clarify what you are fighting on your knees for.
- He was relentless in his pursuit of the enemy. Rise up and ask God for a fresh deposit of faith that overcomes. Say, “God, give us hearts that will never faint.”
- Declare, “We will strike the enemy until we see him in full retreat! We will strike for our homes and hearths! We will strike for our sons and daughters and future generations! We will strike until our nation is secure in God’s purposes!”
- Ask the Lord for His holy and providential guidance to point the way forward. Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory for America!
A prayer you can pray:
Lord, today we remember the U.S. Army. We are thankful for those brave men and women who have marched into battles around the world for both our freedom and security, as well as that of other nations. We are thankful for those leaders you have given us over the years, such as General MacArthur, who led our army forth into battle, filled with an open faith in You and boldness that only You can give. There are many lessons to be learned from many of our army’s leaders and from the battles they fought for us. General MacArthur understood the cause he was fighting for. He said he returned to the Philippines “to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over [their] daily lives, and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of [the] people.” God, make solidly clear to us what we are contending on our knees for.
Lord, make us brave and make us bold. Give us unwavering faith and resolve to not stop until we see Your purposes come to pass in our lives, our communities, our states and our nation. The enemy is pressing hard, but Your Ekklesia can undo all the works of the evil one. We will declare and decree Your Word, and we will strike the enemy until we see him in full retreat! We will strike for our homes and hearths! We will strike for our sons and daughters and future generations! We will strike until Your purposes are secure in America! Guide us providentially and give us victory in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all!
Praying for Our Veterans
“As our nation faces the challenges of caring for at-risk populations, the Trump administration has gone to great lengths to provide the needed tools, protections, assistance and care to meet the needs. Recently, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson highlighted the Department’s ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ campaign at a veterans’ community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As communities battle the coronavirus, Secretary Carson is meeting with business leaders, nonprofits, and community leaders to contribute to their response efforts.
“‘As we are combating the spread of the coronavirus, I’ve been inspired by the spirit of Americans across the nation to lend a helping hand to their neighbors in need,’ said Secretary Carson. ‘Today, I saw a great display of compassion toward others. It serves as an important reminder to take care of our most vulnerable populations, especially in these trying times.’ Secretary Carson visited Veterans Multi-Service Center’s (VMC) Edison 64 Veterans Community, located on the former site of Edison High School in the Fairhill neighborhood of Philadelphia. Edison 64 carries out the goal of creating successful, independent lives for low-income veterans through a design of co-locating affordable housing, services, and communal space. Secretary Carson toured the facility and met with supportive services staff. Following the tour, Secretary Carson served breakfast to veteran tenants.
“The Edison 64 Veterans Community project pays tribute to those who committed their lives to serving our country. Edison High School experienced the loss of more students to casualties in the Vietnam War than any other school in America – 64 in total.
“Past issues of the Department’s ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ campaign include highlights of communities providing special care for homeless populations, businesses in Opportunity Zones stepping up to assist those in need, and faith-based organizations serving their communities impacted by the coronavirus. Continue to pray for wisdom for our leaders in balancing health with economic need in our nation. Take time to pray for our veterans today.” (Todd Lamphere and the One Voice Prayer Movement Team)
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8-9; NLT)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Intercede for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson as he watches over vulnerable populations in America. Today, we are specifically concerned about U.S. veterans.
- Lift up your local leaders from your governor to your county commissioners to your mayors and city councils. Pray they will not forget our veterans in their policy making. Pray that they will receive wisdom from above to know how to best assist veterans in need.
- Pray for U.S. veterans. Remember them! Speak out a blessing over them for their service for your freedom.
- Ask the Lord to highlight every need that they have and download supernatural strategies to meet the needs of this often vulnerable population.
A prayer you can pray (from citizens across the nation):
Father, we pray in the name of Jesus for our Secretary Ben Carson. We are asking for the Holy Spirit to pour out on him the Kingdom resources he needs to do all that is in Your heart for these veterans of our nation. We ask that You will pour out your wisdom over Secretary Ben Carson. Protect him and guide him as he meets with leaders and makes decisions. Give him favor everywhere he goes. We pray he will clearly hear your voice and heart as he works to help our veterans and people of this nation – a nation belonging to you Lord. We also pray for other leaders to make veterans a priority, especially in this great time of need. Give the leaders wisdom and ability to help them in a way that would bring You glory.
We ask for the strategic Kingdom way of Your wisdom and Your purposes for our veterans. Lord, in this hour we need a supernatural intervention and that all will know that only You could have done such an awesome thing for our veterans and our country. Thank You, Lord, for Your compassion and Your faithfulness to us. There is no one like our God! We ask for hope, healing, good health and protection for our veterans. May the loaves be multiplied! You have promised food, clothes and a roof over our heads.
We pray for all of the veterans of our nation who are broken physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Lord, please turn their faces to You, that in you they would find healing and rest. Let Yourself be made known to those men and women servants that they would serve You only and find peace and joy. God, please bless them with Your overwhelming love. Thank you, Lord, for our selfless veterans and for Your great love for the humble. We praise You, Jesus, for Your mercy and love. Amen.
Our U.S. Veterans are to be honored for their service, lovingly cared for, and never forgotten!
Learn more about the One Voice Prayer Movement here.
Trusting the Lord Through a Military Deployment
[This is a personal testimony by a former member of my church, Ashley Morgan.]
“There’s nothing that has tested my faith in the Lord quite like the deployment of my husband to a war zone. It made me quickly realize how little control I had personally, but how much more beautiful it was to rely on God’s sovereignty! My husband is in the Air Force and, after being married for several years, we began thinking of starting our family. We thought we had all of our ‘ducks in a row…’ and had done all the things in our control to ensure we began our family under the ‘perfect circumstances,’ but nothing we had done required us to rely on God. We were keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel of our lives!
“Then, days before I found out I was pregnant with our first baby, we got the news that my husband would be deployed to Afghanistan for nine months! He left when I was three months pregnant, and wouldn’t return until she was three months old, except for the possibility of a two week R&R somewhere within the deployment. I was devastated. Suddenly all of my perfectly-laid-out plans came to a screeching halt, and my dependence on God became my primary focus. It probably goes without saying, but it is a really scary prospect to be pregnant with your first child while receiving news that your husband is taking shelter due to daily rocket attacks on his base. It’s humbling to know that there was nothing, NOTHING, I could do to protect him or change the situation. To top it off, it was sad to consider that I would likely have to give birth to our first child without my husband present. It was NOT what I would have planned for myself!
“I remember praying fervently, ‘Lord, please protect my husband! Bring him home to me and our daughter safely. But if the worst may come, I trust You to provide for us. I trust that You know every detail of how this situation will play out, and that You will show up in all the details. No matter what happens, thank You for Your great love and faithfulness to bring peace to my heart, grow my reliance on You, and build my faith during difficult circumstances. I trust You that everything is happening for my good and Your glory!’ (Romans 8:28)
“True to His nature, God certainly showed up for us! My husband was able to miraculously get on an earlier flight home for his R&R, and arrived back to the U.S. the day before I went into labor. My husband was there for our first daughter’s birth, and the first two weeks of her life! My husband came home (safe & whole!) three months after our daughter’s birth. Although things worked out ‘good’ for us (as we would define ‘good’), I had to know without a doubt that I would have still experienced God’s goodness if I was left as a widow and single mom to our precious new baby. I am confident that God would have still been faithful.”
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8; NKJV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by, Ashley Morgan):
- Those of us who have trusted the Lord with our lives, must know without a doubt that we will still experience God’s goodness even if the worst happens in our lives. Tell Him that in your own words.
- Our faith doesn’t rely on good circumstances, but that we are able to trust God in all circumstances. Talk to the Lord about how you are trusting Him today.
- Sometimes the “good work” God has set out for us is regarding a career or ministry endeavor, but sometimes it’s learning to rely on Him during times of adversity. Praise Him if you are in one of those hard times.
- Ask the Lord to provide ALL things that you need in abundance – spiritually, emotionally, physically, economically!
- Pray the same for those in our U.S. military who are deployed or those who are keeping the home fires burning for their loved ones.
A prayer you can pray (by, Ashley Morgan):
Lord, my heart goes out to those deployed and their loved ones today. It is hard to imagine what our soldiers on the battlefield and their spouses endure. I don’t want them to feel forgotten. Provide in very special ways for their loved ones at home. Help them know that they can experience Your goodness, even if the worst happens in their lives.
Many are living in challenging circumstances right now. Help my family and I to lean into You to provide for us. I trust that You know every detail of how this situation will play out, and that You will show up in all the details. No matter what happens, thank You for your great love and faithfulness to bring peace to my heart, grow my reliance on You, and build my faith during difficult circumstances. I trust You that everything is happening for my good and Your glory!
For the deployed, their families, and mine, provide all things that we need in abundance – spiritually, emotionally, physically, economically! We worship You for Your good ness toward us, Jesus, for You are always good! Amen.
May our deployed military and their loved ones be safe in Your care today, Lord!
Praying for the Military Caregiver
[I have asked my friend, Jen Ostan, to write our devotional for today. She has been awarded for her exceptional service as a Military Caregiver in the United States. Jen cares for her husband, Major William J. Ostan, Esq. LL. M., (Ret).]
Supporting the Caregivers for America’s Wounded Warriors
I knew that my husband’s voluntary oath to serve in the U.S. Army would require sacrifice on my part and that of my children, and I was happy to support my soldier and our nation in that way. Rarely, however, do we look ahead down the road of tragedy, to envision what might happen if an injury or illness cuts short the long-term plan of military service. When that happens, it catapults us into a different type of service, not one we choose, but one that must be fulfilled – still quite honorable and wholly vital. Serving in this new role of military caregiver is one of the most challenging roles that I’ve had the honor of fulfilling, and it has opened my eyes to an entire community of hidden heroes.
Little did I know, there are 5.5 million of us across the Nation – husbands, wives, friends, siblings, children, and nurses – all caregivers to our nation’s wounded warriors. These hidden heroes have taken up the role of caring for our veterans who have been injured, wounded, or become ill because of their military service to our country.
For caregivers like me, that were military spouses long before our soldier became ill or injured, this shift in responsibilities is a difficult transition. We must learn to advocate for our veteran in new and daunting ways. We are faced with major medical, career, and life decisions, often while continuing to work and raise children. I’ve realized now, more than ever, I must lean into the Lord and accept help from those around me. I refuse to simply “survive” in this role. I want to thrive with the help of Jesus.
Join me in praying for our military caregivers and their wounded warriors across America. We can help lift up their weary arms as they continue to persevere each day in caring for their veteran.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by, Jen Ostan):
- Thank the Lord for the caregivers that are personally caring for our nation’s wounded and ill veterans on a daily basis.
- Pray for the daily needs of these caregivers to be met—jobs, medical appointments, childcare, meals, housing, and healthy supportive relationships.
- Ask the Lord to reveal himself to those who do not know him yet, bringing true, everlasting hope into their hearts.
- Pray for the family members of the wounded warriors who carry the burden each day. This affects spouses, parents, siblings, and especially children.
- If you know of any military caregivers in your community, pray about how you can support that person and their veteran. This could be a simple phone call to check in, an offer to watch their kids or drive their veteran to an apt, or dropping off a gift card for some self-care for the weary caregiver. They rarely ask for help, but often need it and welcome it.
- Pray for healing. If the veteran is healed, improves, or no longer needs as many medical services, restoration is possible.
A prayer you can pray (by, Jen Ostan):
Lord, let your presence rest on our military caregivers. Give them strength for the days ahead and meet them in their daily sacrifice. Surround them with tangible support from their local communities and loved ones and send your Spirit to bring comfort when they feel overwhelmed. Lord, cause your Church to grow in awareness of these hidden heroes, so we can serve alongside them, support them, and provide respite for them in times of need. Father, please make yourself known to military caregivers so they can experience the one true hope, your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for bringing healing to our Veterans – to their bodies, their minds, and their relationships. Amen
America’s wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers will be healed and restored. They will thrive in character and hope in this new day!
Learn more about Jen Ostan here.
Armed Forces Day 2020
Today our nation is celebrating Armed Forces Day. This is a U. S. holiday that is not well-known, except by those in the armed forces or who have or have had relatives in the military. Most of we civilians are unaware of it or the reason for it. We know something about two of our other military holidays relatively well. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have given their lives in service to this country. We also know that Veterans Day is the day we thank those who have served in some form in any of our 5 branches of the armed forces and have been honorably discharged from those duties. Armed Forces Day celebrates those who are currently on active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
If you are familiar with this day, then you may have been to one of the celebrations on military bases near you. Maybe not this year, but you will often find the bases open to the public with parades, air shows, and sometimes other military displays. You might see how members of the military live while on the battlefield, what they eat, what their medical facilities look like, and see some of their armory and the vehicles they use. If you live near a military base, considering attending in a future year.
“An excerpt taken from an article written in the New York Post on May 17, 1952, sums up Armed Forces Day’s utmost importance, ‘It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.’”1
President John F. Kennedy had this to say about the day, “Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank the Lord for all men and women serving on active duty in our five service branches today.
- Intercede for everyone you know who is currently serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
- Pray that they will know how vital their service is to our country, and to every individual and family.
- If you meet a member of the armed services today, make sure and thank them for their service.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we thank You that the United States of America sets aside numerous days throughout the year where we can remember those who serve our nation in military service. We bless those in active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard today on Armed Forces Day. We bless them and their families. We pray that even though there won’t be many public celebrations today due to COVID-19 restrictions, they will know they are remembered and so appreciated. [If you know anyone specifically in the services, pray for them by name now.] Lord, let our soldiers and sailors know the value of their service. Because of them, we can live free. While some of them suffer in challenging deployment situations or in the danger of the battlefield, we and our families are kept safe from harm. Place a special hedge of protection around their families, so they do not worry about them. Thank You again, Jesus. We honor our active duty servicemen and women today. Amen.
We bless our active duty servicemen and women, who are visible evidence of our nation’s determination to meet any threat against us.
Pray for Military Marriages
“Military marriages face unique challenges. It is typical for deployments to combat zones to last six months or more, which is common knowledge. Being a military family, though, we have learned that the actual cycle of such separations begins well in advance of the deployment, and ripples into the months following. Spouses have to face the reality of getting affairs in order, such as updating wills and legal documents, in the weeks and months leading up to the ‘big day.’ Although it’s uncomfortable to think about, military couples recognize that an updated will is important in case the unimaginable happens. We all know that six months of separation can turn into a lifetime of being without your spouse. Stress and anxiety can build and spouses can begin to withdraw from one another emotionally in advance. Even after a safe return home, military marriages go through a period dubbed ‘reintegration,’ where the dynamics are again upended and families strive to find another new normal.
“An even more common type of separation is called a Temporary Duty Travel, or ‘TDY’. TDYs can resemble a business trip, where the service member is gone for a few days at a time to a safe location. Some TDYs, however, can be for a couple weeks to a month or more in length. These recurrent separations can cause additional stress on marriages as spouses have to frequently re-evaluate expectations and responsibilities in the home, and navigate the desire to be close to one another while physically far apart.
“As believers, we know that the Lord has declared us to be ‘one’ with our spouse. This is not only true in times when we are physically present with our spouse, but also in times when we are far from one another. Military couples must strive for oneness across great distances, which is only possible through Christ. We are also called to bring all of our anxieties before the Lord in prayer. Whether those anxieties stem from the dangerous nature of the service member’s job or the looming unknowns of separations during ever-changing seasons of life, we were not created to live in fear but to walk by faith. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into a cycle of self-reliance through the ups and downs of military life, and it’s important to be reminded that the Lord has not left us alone to fend for ourselves–even when we feel lonely because we’re missing our spouse.” (Becky Gifford)
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24; NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by, Becky Gifford):
- Pray that those in military marriages would be able to find creative ways to foster “oneness” even across great distances.
- Pray that believing military spouses and service members would be reminded by the Holy Spirit to bring any anxieties and fears before the Lord in prayer. This is a great privilege for those who are in Christ, and one we should be constantly mindful of!
- Pray that military couples would sense the abiding presence of the Lord through the inevitable loneliness that comes with military life.
A prayer you can pray (by, Becky Gifford):
“Father, I lift up military marriages before Your throne today. Lord, strengthen the resolve of military couples to truly be ‘one’ with one another, not only when they are together under one roof, but in thought, word, and deed while separated by great distance. Help them remember that they are not alone, even when the loneliness creeps in. As they notice fear and anxiety rising in their thoughts, remind them through the Holy Spirit to bring those thoughts before You, because You care for them so much. For military couples who have not put their faith in You yet, Lord, let these things–believers seeking true marital oneness, bringing anxiety and fear before you in prayer, and the peace that comes from knowing you are near–be a witness and a light to those around them. May You be glorified as You work in and through military marriages! In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
We decree a special grace for one-flesh marriages for our U. S. military.
Becky Gifford is married to a member of our United States Air Force. She grew up in our church in Colorado Springs.