Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Onward Christian Soldier

October 18, 2007

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff of the British army is reported in today’s Times newspaper as speaking on the need for soldiers to be better spiritually prepared for death. Sir Richard, a Christian, said that death is not the end and that as a leader he had a responsibility to look after his soldiers’ spiritual welfare.

It is encouraging to see such a high profile figure speaking out publicly about how his Christian faith effects his role. He of course knows that this is not how British general’s speak and that it will bring public ridicule. His faithful testimony is to be admired. But he also highlights the spiritual need of soldiers. Far from home and facing death they are in need of our prayers and also we ought to pray that God would raise up faithful ministers of Christ in their midst. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are forgotten by many, their wars a political embarrassment to many. But the church should not forget them and their needs. Especially the great need.

Those Who Honour Me

June 19, 2007

I was reading an interesting story in Philip Orr’s book, The Road to the Somme, which relates the story of Ulster soldiers in WWI. This incident recounts how one young recruit found himself at the training camp in Clandeboye estate in Bangor away from his Armagh home for the first time. On his first night when bedtime came he wondered what he should do as it had been in practice at home to pray before getting into bed. However he was worried that should he kneel and pray he would be made a laughingstock in his barrack. Eventually he decided he should. So he told his new colleagues that he was going to pray. To his surprise not only did a number of his fellow recruits join him but there was silence throughout the barrack. He noted that this was the first of many fruitful prayer times with the other soldiers when they enjoyed a sense of God’s presence.

On reading this simple yet encouraging story of one young man’s faithfulness I was reminded of those words of God  in 1 Samuel 2:30, which feature in a fictional incident in the film Chariots of Fire, ‘those who honour me I will honour.’ As we are faithful to God he is not found wanting and is faithful to us.