Freedom and Prayer
July 1, 2006 - In recent months God has given me several opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some of America’s finest soldiers.
by Franklin Graham
I visited Fort Benning, Ga., home of the Army’s infantry training, and Camp Lejeune, N.C., headquarters of several Marine Corps commands. On Easter Sunday I spoke at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center just outside Washington, D.C., where soldiers injured in the war on terror are recovering from their wounds.
America can be proud of these exceptional young men and women who have volunteered to serve our country, risking their lives to protect our freedom. They remind me of my youngest son Edward, an Army Ranger who is serving overseas.
As Americans celebrate July 4 and remember those who fought and died for our freedom, we need to take time to pray for our soldiers. They deserve it, and they dearly appreciate it. My wife, Jane, and I pray daily, not only for our son, but also for those he serves with, and for all our armed forces.
We should also pray for our national leaders. Regardless of whether we agree with our country’s policies, we have a biblical mandate to do this. The Apostle Paul—who knew what it was like to lose his freedom—wrote to Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, NIV).
As you pray, ask that your congressional representatives, judges, governors and all others in positions of authority will seek God’s wisdom and guidance.
Gen. George Washington issued this decree on March 6, 1776, calling for a day of fasting and prayer as our country began its long and bloody battle for independence:
“Thursday … set apart … as a day of fasting, prayer and humiliation, to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental Arms with His divine favor and protection—all officers and soldiers are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts for His mercies already received and for those blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through His mercy to obtain.”
The freedoms we now enjoy pale in comparison to the freedom we have as Christians, purchased by Christ’s death on the cross. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2, NIV).
Pray with us that God will continue to use BGEA mightily in introducing others to the glorious liberty of Christ.