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Patriotic pieces from the Great War/A Nation's Prayer for Strength to Serve

< Patriotic pieces from the Great War


Make bare thy mighty arm, O God, and lead this people on.

Day by day, month after month, we have prayed that the cup of war might pass from us, for we have not been able to say thy will, not ours, be done.

We have gazed with awe upon the horrors of the battlefields of Europe. There we have seen suffering and death such as the angels of heaven never looked down upon before; while here we have enjoyed the peace and prosperity which have flooded our land, and we have prayed that we might not have to give up our comfort and our ease and face the awful realities of war. We have said to our souls, thou hast much goods laid up, eat, drink and be merry and think not of duty, but of pleasure.

We have not prayed, O God, that thou wouldst show us our duty and give us strength to follow wherever thou mightst lead, but we have prayed that our will might be thy will. We have prayed that thou wouldst save us from suffering, not that thou wouldst give us strength to meet and bear suffering if called by thee to do our part in saving civilization from destruction.

Forgive us, O Lord God Almighty, that we have so long prayed not to know the path of duty, but to be kept in the path of ease and safety.

We cannot fathom the mysteries of this world, we cannot understand how evil can for so long a time master good; we cannot see how out of all the horrors and sufferings of these latter years thou canst bring forth blessings to mankind and get glory and honor unto thyself. But we know, O Divine Father, that all things shall work together for good to them that love and serve thee. Teach us then to love thee as we have never loved thee before, teach us to serve thee as we have never served thee in the past.

We believe that thou art calling us to take up our cross and follow thee, and that thou hast called us to some great service to mankind and to thyself.

Arm us, O God, with the power of right.

Let us not go forth trusting in our own strength, which is but weakness. Let no spirit of revenge, no hatred fill our hearts, but give us the strength which comes from seeking to know and to do thy will, and from being led by thee.

Grant, O Father, that we may be ready to drink of the cup from which thy Blessed Son, our Redeemer, drank, when, in boundless love for others, he prayed that not his will, but thine, be done. Draining the cup of human agony, he became the Savior of mankind, redeeming the world from the power of evil through his suffering, death and resurrection. He taught us that service and sacrifice are better than great riches, that he who seeks selfishly his own good only may lose his own soul.

What shall it profit us as a nation to gain the wealth of the world and to lose the soul of our honor and of our duty to thee?

If such be thy will, may it be ours as a nation to be led by thee to help save mankind from the dominion of evil.

Give unto us, O God of infinite love, thy "grace, which is love outloving love," to enable us to say where thou leadest we will follow.

Make us a nation, O thou Almighty Ruler of Nations, worthy to become the redeeming power to save mankind from sinking beneath the barbarism which fights against civilization, against human liberty and against thee, that all the nations of the earth shall come to know thee and to seek thy guidance through all the ages to come unto thy honor and glory.