The psalmist who penned Psalm 91 depicts God as our Refuge, a Shelter, and a Protector when we become fearful. He traded his fear and insecurity about his future for the security only God can offer. To exchange our fear for faith, it requires an established practice of an abiding relationship with Jesus. Psalm 91:1 says, “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty…” (NRSV). This verse reflects a devotion for the Lord that is already present in his life. Likewise, if we form such a relationship with Jesus, it becomes the foundation that establishes our trust that who we pray for God will be present in. Here are 10 areas to pray for our loved ones serving in the military:
1) Pray for a Sound Mind: Ask God to shield him/her from Satan’s lies so he/she can discern God’s voice from the enemy’s voice. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep his/her mind clear of negative thoughts. Pray that anxiety doesn’t steal his/her peace. Pray he/she will thirst for God’s Word to refresh his/her faith and “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
2) Pray that all Plans of Evil be Exposed: Pray that no weapon that is fashioned against our military members prosper. Ask God to reveal evildoers and their wicked plans. Pray that they are caught before any destruction happens. May our enemies be as “insignificant as “grass atop housetops” (Psalm 129:6) and be turned backward. Ask God to “cut the cords of the wicked” (Psalm 129:4).
3) Pray for Foresight: Pray that your beloved service member has wisdom in the decisions he/she makes. Pray that they seek Your Word and trustworthy and honorable counselors for right decision-making. Pray the Holy Spirit will reveal what has been unknown. “Plans are established by taking advice; wage war by following wise guidance” (Proverbs 20:18).
4) Pray for Humility: “…you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5). Pray that those who are older, in positions of leadership, will lead by a righteous and honorable example and pray that those who are under them will respond by following in their example with respect. Pray that pride and being headstrong doesn’t get a foothold, which leads to dishonor. Pray that humility is a character trait in your service member. Pray that he/she is willing to learn from those in leadership. Humility brings favor from the Lord. “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor” (Proverbs 3:34). Pray that your loved one will desire humility so he/she receives God’s favor.
5) Pray for Strength, Endurance and Stamina: Ask the Lord to grant your service member the strength to do his/her work for their country. Ask God to give them the stamina to overcome challenges that test their resolve. And ask God to give them the energy and will to complete their duties honorably. When exhausted or emotionally fragile, ask God to extend His muscle and might. “For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God?–the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe” (Psalm 18:31-32).
6) Pray for God’s Compassion To Be on Them: For those serving in war zones, death and destruction is often before their eyes. This can skew the perception of our world making their missions seem pointless. However, God offers us fresh mercies each day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Pray that your service member experiences a fresh anointing of God’s compassion. Ask God to show your loved one His faithfulness every day that provides the hope of His promises later. “As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2). The writer of Psalm 123 lifted his eyes up to God for mercy. He waits and trusts that God will act and bring mercy to those who wait for Him. Ask that God would bless your loved one who is faithful, good, and upright in his/her heart.
7) Pray for Righteous Leaders: Pray for God to raise up godly leaders and equip them to act according to His Word and will, and that our country’s government and military leaders will make decisions that please God. Pray that military leaders will restore our country’s faith in God back in the ranks of our military and make spiritual readiness a high priority for all military personnel.
8) Pray for God to Defend our Service Members: “if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us then they would have swallowed us up alive…” (Psalm 124:2). Pray God will always provide a way out–that He will show Himself mighty on behalf of those who trust in Him and seek Him daily for protection and relief. Ask God to show your loved one that God is on their side–even when the situation appears overwhelming–He will destroy those who seek to destroy them. “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name” (Psalm 91:14-16).
9) Pray for God’s Protection: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people…” (Psalm 125:1-2). Like Mount Zion, which is unmovable, pray that God will make your loved one serving in harm’s way steady and unmovable. Ask God to daily surround your loved one from potentially life threatening encounters. He or she may be thousands of miles away, but they are never far from the Lord’s protective care. “Our help is in the name of the Lord…” (Psalm 124:8).
10) Pray for Healing: “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2). War creates injuries–to bodies and to souls. Ask God to heal your loved one’s broken body, broken emotions, and his/her mind. Pray that God would comfort and heal their heartache from the realities of war and the distress from dreadful memories that linger. Pray that God would encamp around their hurting hearts. And if the need is there, pray they would be willing to seek out the help of a specialist.