In honor of all those who have fallen in service to the United States of America, I was honored to take part in such a ceremony yesterday morning in Bloomington, Illinois. I was there serving as Chaplain and offering prayers in behalf of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454 and American Legion Post 635, as well as in behalf of the church I serve as pastor. Here are the three brief prayers I was privileged to offer as part of the service.

Invocation

Almighty God, we give thanks to You for our nation, the United States of America. Continue to shape us into a people who work for liberty and justice for all people.

We give thanks for all who have served bravely in our military, especially those who did so at the cost of their own lives, who gave what President Lincoln aptly called their “last full measure of devotion.”

We ask You to help us to honor their memory in our time together now, so that their sacrifice may not be forgotten and so that their courage and devotion may continue to serve as an example to us all.

We ask this in the name of the Lord of all. Amen.

Benediction

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the many blessings that You have given to us, and today we especially thank You for the blessing of freedom that we enjoy.

Help us as we leave here today to make every day a memorial day, to never forget that the freedoms we enjoy have come not only as a blessing from You but also at the cost of the lives of so many faithful American service men and women, to whom You granted both courage and commitment.

May You be continually praised for Your gracious work on our behalf. We offer this prayer in the name of the Lord of all. Amen

And as my personal prayer as a Christian, I ask You, Holy Father, to help us all to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Captain of our salvation, who has won the victory for us over evil and death through His own death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. I pray that we would all trust Him to forgive us in His grace and to grant us the gift of eternal life in Him. I ask this in His holy name. Amen.

After offering the expected, more generic prayer on behalf of my veterans organizations, I typically also offer a personal prayer on such public occasions, which I am careful to distinguish as such. So far no one has complained. I thank God for the opportunity they allow me to offer a witness for my Lord at such times.

See also A Memorial Day Prayer for a more lengthy, liturgical sort of prayer.

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