The following prayer was written by Reid Christopherson, a member of the ELCA Church Council, in honor of Veterans Day. It was shared at the ELCA Church Council Meeting on November 9th.

Let us pray.

Gracious God, we pray today for the men and women that wear the uniforms of our nation’s military forces.

For the Marine that stands guard at an embassy in a country, the name of which we cannot pronounce or find on a map.

For the Sailor who experiences loneliness of a degree we will never understand, in a submarine at the bottom of the cold, dark waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

For the Soldier who pauses to give a piece of candy to a young child on the streets of Fallujah, while never losing focus upon the dangerous world that surrounds her.

For the Airman that respectfully directs the loading of flag-draped caskets for their last trip home.

For the Coast Guardsman that searches the swells of a violent ocean, in the pitch black night for the lost crew of a commercial fishing vessel.

For the National Guardmembers that answer the call to step away from their civilian employment to assist a small community in danger of being washed away by rising flood waters.

We pray in loving thanksgiving for the sacrifices of our ancestors, family members and friends that answered the calls of past wars: World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and those who serve today in the Global War on Terror.

Might we be able to distinguish our political beliefs from the support that is so richly deserved by the men and women that have worn the uniform of their nation.

Women and men that have stood before the flag of this great nation, raising their hand in a solemn pledge to obey the orders, and to protect the constitution – all with the “help of God”.

We give thanks for the civilian employers that delicately balance the demands of their business with the departure of their mobilized National Guard and Reserve member employees.

And Lord, we pray for the families – the parents, the husbands and wives, the children that lie down to sleep every night lonely and afraid as they await a distant homecoming.

Lord, we enjoy the freedoms of our life as the fruits of the sacrifices of our service members. Hold them close as you constantly walk at their side.

To you we give the glory and in the name our risen Lord and Savior we pray, AMEN.

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