Ever wonder how to pray for our military and their families?  Last fall I wrote a letter to a dear friend saying goodbye to her son for his first deployment to the Middle East.

My eyes welled with tears as she confessed the new awareness she had for praying for our military.  What had been an abstract concept – deployment into danger – had become a scary reality.

“I have a new perspective on how to pray for our military,” she told me.

“But there’s so much I don’t know,” she confessed.  “I don’t even know where he’s going exactly, or what he’s doing.”

I nodded my head, blinking back tears as I told her, “Yes, but don’t let your questions hinder your prayers, God knows what we don’t.”

Later that day I scribbled out a letter similar to the one below, telling her how to pray for our military and for her son specifically.  I gave her this list of verses to pray. (I’ve modified the below for her privacy.)

Recent events have renewed pride in our military despite a divisive political climate.  

Our military members and their families need our prayers all the time.

I’m sharing my letter to my friend here and providing these verses as a download for you to print. 

Ask your friends to join you. Together we can stand in the gap for those in uniform, wherever their military service calls them.

How to pray for our military: a letter to those at home.

Dear Friend, I’m remembering you in my prayers today.

I suspect you’ve got a firm upper lip – you’re still smiling, but it doesn’t always reach your eyes.

More than once you’ve considered sneaking out of a public place rather than answer questions from well meaning friends.

After all, you don’t even know how to tell your prayer warriors to pray because there’s so much you don’t know.

Secrecy ensures safety, but it pales in comparison to the security you want for your loved one.

There’s not much you can do or be, and that’s heartbreaking.

This is so much harder than you imagined when you first realized someone you love deeply would choose to wear a uniform.

Parents: Ever since this baby first came into the world you’ve been there. Even after that teenager grew up, left home, and began adult life, you’ve known how to pray.

Spouses: Ever since you said, “I do,” you’ve been there.  Even after you moved a half dozen times, you’ve figured out how to pray.

But now in this deployment and time of uncertainty, you find yourself aware of the gap – not only in the physical distance, but also in your knowledge and understanding of how to care for this part of your heart.

The truth is, deployments bring us face to face with all we lack and point us anew to our God who meets all our needs.

Turn to the One who has supplied all you ever needed.

Bring your empty arms and aching heart to Jesus.  Trust Him with all the questions lacking answers.

Be encouraged by His faithfulness in the past and His promise of protection and provision for the future.

When you don’t know how to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, to intercede for you and with you.

Fill the gaps with the truth of God’s promises.

We know and believe prayer is powerful, but sometimes we don’t know how to pray for our military because we forget specifics aren’t necessary.

Use these verses to help you pray and ask friends join you. Form a band of believers standing in the gap, raising hallelujahs, speaking truth.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Along the way, find your own verses.  Take every thought captive replace it with truth.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not weapons of this world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments & every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

I’m standing with you in prayer.  I know this deployment will birth a new testimony to the Lord’s love and faithfulness in your lives.


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