Praying for understanding and healing
November 11, 2022
“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” Ephesians 1:15–16
Originally called Armistice Day, Nov. 11 was set aside to honor veterans of World War I. In its official resolution, Congress sought to set aside time to “commemorate with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations … with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
Unfortunately, the guns of August, which led the world into the chaos and devastation of World War I, were not silenced forever. So, in 1954, the word “Armistice” was replaced with “Veterans” to remember those who served in World War II and Korea.
And since 1954, the places where service members have been called to serve have only increased: Vietnam, Grenada, Beirut, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. While books, television and the movies highlight well-known historical people, units or locations, there were thousands more who served our country faithfully, without national recognition or fanfare. No books. No miniseries. No individual monuments. While many of their experiences are not even known by their families, their personal memories and individual experiences remain firmly a part of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of their lives. I remember you in my prayers.
As we approach another Veterans Day weekend, I remember others who are also called to a life of service, often directly impacted by the experiences and memories of those they love, a neighbor, someone from their community or a congregant.
I remember the families of veterans impacted by the separation of time and distance and who hold close their own memories, experiences, hopes and fears. I remember you in my prayers.
I remember the chaplains who followed their service members onto the beaches, jungles and waterways of our world and whose call to faithfully serve also took its toll on themselves and their families. I remember you in my prayers.
I remember the various support organizations, local communities and houses of worship that devote time, prayer, energy and talent to help our veterans and their families adjust to a new frame of life. I remember you in my prayers.
I am thankful for the long line of faithful followers who do more than remember the day as a federal holiday, but actively seek to provide peace, healing, understanding and restoration to our veterans, their families and those communities ravaged by conflict. I remember you in my prayers.
Rev. Dennis E. Hysom, Executive Director, Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincies and retired Army Chaplain
Today’s Focus: Veterans Day
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Loving God, you know how deep wounds go. You know that many of our veterans, families, caregivers and communities suffer from the trauma of combat, and you feel that pain in their lives. You know the memories that haunt them and the scars that many of them continue to carry. O merciful Savior, bring healing to those veterans who still hurt. Please grant patience and wisdom to those around them who cannot understand but can sometimes help. Permit both physical and spiritual healing to wounds that remain. For this we pray in your most holy name. Amen.