This is an opinion Faith column.
God shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)
As I write this column it is Nov. 11, Veterans Day in the United States, the day when we remember and give thanks for our military veterans and their families, as well as our current military men and women, and their families, who serve and protect our nation and the world. As we give thanks to them for their service, it seems appropriate that we also turn to Isaiah, the eighth century B.C. Prophet of Israel. As most of us know and believe, it is God’s will that His people live in peace. Jesus is often referred to as the Prince of Peace, and the Prophet Isaiah proclaims that the temple in Jerusalem should be a “House of Prayer for all People.” (Isaiah 56:7) In the above proclamation, the Prophet Isaiah, gives to us the will of God for all people.
Isaiah knows, as do we, that this is not always the case, but he also knows, as do we, that it is truly the will of God for us and that we are to pray fervently for this time of peace in our world. We, as God’s people, are also called to be co-creators with God in working for “justice and peace among all people and respect for the dignity of every human being.” (Baptismal Covenant, Book of Common Prayer)
This is not an easy task and may never be completely accomplished this side of heaven. However, according to the Lord’s Prayer, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” we are all called to be God’s hands, feet, and heart in working and praying for the “Peace that passes all understanding.”
As we do this, we also know that there is evil in the world and that at times we need brave men and women who are willing to put country and the peace of the world above themselves and their families. Many of these men and women join the Armed Forces of the United States and serve, often at grave danger to themselves, to protect our country and to bring about peace and justice throughout the world. It is therefore appropriate today that we pray for them, their safety, their families and for God’s peace in the world, so that “God’s will may be done, on
Earth as it is in Heaven.
A prayer for Veterans’ Day
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be.
We also commend to your gracious care all the men and women who have served in the past. We give you thanks for their courage and their willingness to serve our country, and for the sacrifices they and their families willingly undertake. Gracious God, we pray that you will
give wisdom and knowledge to all who help to heal those who are injured physically and emotionally. Restore those who are so wounded to health and wholeness.
We pray that their efforts and sacrifices will help bring peace to our country and to a world that is often broken.
May we the people of this “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” remember and thank them for their service, not only on this day of remembrance, but every day.
May you bless them and keep them, make your light to shine upon them and be gracious to them, lift up your countenance upon them and give them peace. Amen