This prayer was written several years ago by author and speaker Mark D. Roberts, now of Fuller Theological Seminary's DePree Center. It appears here in slightly abridged form.
Gracious and Sovereign God, Lord of all nations, on this Memorial Day we reflect upon our blessings as a nation and the high cost of those blessings.
Thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, for opportunities to flourish, and for the security of our land. Thank you for those who have given their lives in service to our country. Thank you for a day set apart, not just for celebration, but also for solemn remembrance as we consider the sacrifices of so many.
Even as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we think of those whose lives are on the line today. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely and soon.
Guide those who lead our nation in international affairs. Help them to pursue diplomatic paths that prevent needless conflict. May they have your wisdom about when and how to use the military might you have entrusted to us.
We know, dear Lord, that ultimate peace will not come until your kingdom is here in all of its fullness. Nevertheless, we pray for a foretaste of the future. We ask for the growth of peace throughout our world today, so that fewer and fewer men and women will have to risk, and even to sacrifice, their lives.
We long for the day when people will "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4 ESV).
May your kingdom come, Lord, and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!
All praise be to you — God of grace, God of mercy, God of justice, God of peace, King of kings, and Lord of lords! Amen.