Friday, January 16, 2015

Special Prayer Book for Military

With sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters signing up and going off to represent our country in this world of wars, it might be helpful for them to have a prayer or two in their pockets. The Episcopal Church has provided A Prayer Book for the Armed Services, which looks to me like it could be very helpful. Published by Church Publishing, Inc., this is a small book of the size to fit into one's pocket or purse. Meant for chaplains, but it could be of benefit to anyone in the military.

The print is small but manageable, and the contents are perfect from my perspective. First, there is a brief  suggestion for daily prayers in the morning, noon, and evening. There is a special listing of Psalms that might fit nicely into one's daily devotions. Some of the Psalms and prayers are also in Spanish. Changes in wording can be chosen and fitted in as best provides for the pray-er and his or her situation at any moment. There are pages of brief readings and prayers that quote from those in The Book of Common Prayer, which is a basic resource for this small prayer book. And there are also appropriate, brief prayers for specific needs of someone in the military, including one "for a family farewell for a deployed member." There are prayers "for a spouse," and their children I assume, "for loved ones out of touch," "during night hours," "friends who are being deployed," and "a flight prayer" for those who are in the Air Force and taking "the wings of the morning" while praying for "fair weather, a clean landing, and a welcome home."

There is also a summary of the Bible, beginning with Creation, including God's promise to Abraham, God's covenant with Israel, the story of Jesus' birth, baptism, preaching, some of his teachings, healings, his summary of the law, his promises to those who believe in him, his last supper with his disciples, his death and resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit. and the promise that Christ will come again. Enough so that anyone who wonders may know the truth and believe.

A good selection of the Psalms and words of some hymns are also there, and information for services of baptism, communion, and others that might be helpful to chaplains, as well as informative to the curious. The Lord's Prayer is included as well as the Ten Commandments, Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed.

It occurs to me that parents and grandparents might appreciate having this little book. With it, they could pray some of the same prayers their children and grandchildren are praying. And that might be a comfort for all of them.

---Lois Sibley,