When you carefully consider the freedom that we enjoy everyday, you have to consider how it came into being. How did we get the ability to speak our minds, gather together in religious worship without fear of reprisal or imprisonment, and the right to defend ourselves and our families from those who would cause us harm. Many nations around the world do not have the kind of freedom or liberty that we enjoy everyday. In fact, if they considered speaking out or meeting together for Christian oriented worship services they would be imprisoned or even killed.
I am reminded of the historical account of the American Revolution that began in 1775 when thirteen colonies fought to break away from the British Empire and from what they viewed as the tyrannical government of King George III. What happened at Valley Forge was nothing short of amazing during the winter of 1777 when provisions for the Continental army were very short, so much so that men were cutting up their boots to eat the leather. They were facing starvation and thinking of deserting the army because there were no supplies or food, and dozens did leave. General George Washington began to pray for God's divine intervention to bless and protect his army. As a result, they woke up one morning and discovered that the river seemed to be boiling due to the migration of new fish. There were so many that they were were able to literally scoop them up with their hands. It provided them with enough food for the rest of the winter, and saved the army from starvation. It also kept them intact into the spring. As a result, Washington was able to make a surprise attack against the British which forced the collapse of their army in the spring. Washington wasn't just a natural commander, but he was known as a leader in prayer. Although Thomas Jefferson wrote and Congress unanimously approved the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was the prayers of a commanding officer and others like him that made a remarkable difference in causing this great nation to be firmly established.
In World War II, it is also reported that at times when the soldiers became very frightened, more than 72 percent of them turned to prayer as their primary source of strength and motivation. Craig Wansink, a religion professor at Virginia Western College and one of the authors of a study of World War II soldiers found that what was most remarkable was that the soldiers became more reliant upon prayer in time of great distress and fear, even more than their reliance upon going home to their love ones or their ideals.
As the wife of a retired member of the United States Armed Forces, I can remember praying with military members over the past 27 years in times when a fallen soldier was being honored and his family consoled, or when an officer's plane had been shot down over enemy territory and God blessed him to be rescued and returned safely back home to his wife and children. I've also prayed many times for troops being deployed into hostile territory during wartime. I have personally witnessed the power of prayer at work in protecting these courageous men and women while they were in some of the most dangerous situations anyone could ever face. It's a distinct honor to assist these heroes in any way that I can recognizing the enormous contribution they have made for our country over 238 years. I thank God for America, and pray that He blesses us as a people to always remember the sacrifices that have been made to provide the freedoms that we enjoy everyday.
Most of all, we always want thank God for His grace and mercy for allowing us to be citizens of this great Republic called the United States of America, the home of the brave, and the land of the free. Think about your own personal life, and your ability to pray, worship and express your opinion on matters of importance to you. Please feel free to share your comments of gratitude and appreciation for those who serve in uniform. I want to personally thank James D. Smith, Sr. a distinguished veteran of the United States Air Force for your contribution to our community blog. God bless you and God bless America!