This morning the kids and I settled down at the school table as usual to begin our day with 1928 The Book of Common Prayer, Bible reading (we're going through Revelation right now), intercessory prayer, a Bible lesson, and memory verses.
But on this Veteran's Day, I turned farther back in the prayer book to the Prayers and Thanksgivings section where we prayed the following prayers together:
For the Army.
O LORD God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Navy.
ETERNAL Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens, and rulest the raging of the sea; Vouchsafe to take into thy almighty and most gracious protection our country's Navy, and all who serve therein. Preserve them from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that they may be a safeguard unto the United States of America, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our land may in peace and quietness serve thee our God, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
So this day we thanked God for my grandfather, Captain Richard E. Farwell, who served on the USS Ward, the destroyer who fired the first shot of World War II for the US when they fired on Japanese subs they discovered sneaking into Pearl Harbor before the attack began. My grandfather was captain of the Ward exactly three years later, on December 7, 1944, when the Ward was struck by a kamikazee pilot and sunk, but not before every single sailor was safely evacuated. So I salute my grandfather this day, even if only Elizabeth remembers him -- he died when she was four.
We also praised God for those who are serving our country right now. All three children of my sister-in-law Karen are serving -- one daughter and two sons. I also have several church friends whose sons and daughters are currently serving our country. Living in San Diego, which is still a hugely important Navy town, the military is paramount and military families abound. Every day feels like Veteran's Day around here, and for that I am also thankful.
So we continue praying for those who have served and for those who are serving, that our country will find itself united around our all-volunteer military whether our country is at peace or at war.