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Holy Father,

As we Christians remember those who have given their lives in defense of our country, let us not fail to remember that ours is ultimately a heavenly country (Heb. 11:8-16) and that our true citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20). And let us not, therefore, fail to remember those who have given their lives for Your glory and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we ever be willing to follow their example, as they themselves have followed the example of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6-8).

Help us also to remember, Holy Father, those who are currently serving our country in harm’s way, especially those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We know that some of them may even now be engaged in battle with the enemy, but we pray that they will remember who their ultimate enemy truly is and that they “do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Help them, therefore, to remain faithful witnesses for Christ even under such enormous stress in the midst of grave danger. Grant them Your enabling grace, we pray, and impress upon our hearts the need to be as resolute and courageous in our service for you as they are, for we know that You are our only source of strength in our daily battle against sin and the devil.

Help us finally, Holy Father, to remember most of all our Lord Jesus Christ, “the captain of [our] salvation” who was made “perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10). Help us all to look to Him as “the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). “As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:36-37).

We thank You, Holy Father, “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57), and we humbly ask these things in the name of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

See also A Memorial Day Reflection on Christian Patriotism.

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