28th January 2017

Prayers From History

“May my prayer be set before you like incense;”
Psalm 141:2 (NIV)

Today I’d like to take a look at prayers that have surfaced from history down through the ages. Many famous people that we have all read about during our lifetime have offered up fervent prayers to God during times of fear, danger and need. These individuals also knew the necessity of prayer!

Sir Francis Drake prayed before his successful raid on Cadiz in 1587. The operation was known as “Singeing the King of Spain’s beard” and delayed the sailing of the Spanish Armada for a year. He asked for God’s blessing with these words, “O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory. Through him that for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Another famous admiral, in his cabin aboard HMS Victory, just before the battle of Trafalgar, against the combined fleets of France and Spain, which was to be his final victory, Lord Nelson wrote the following in the ship’s log: “May the Great God whom I worship grant to my country and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great victory, and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it, and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British fleet. For myself individually I commit my life to him who made me, and may his blessings light upon my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself and the just cause, which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.”

Just before the ‘D Day’ invasion, King George V1 offered up this prayer to God for the outcome of that battle: “That we may be worthily matched to this new summons of destiny; I desire to solemnly call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall not ask that God may do our will, but that we may be called to do the will of God; and we dare to believe that God has our nation and empire as an instrument for fulfilling his high purpose.”

And it was not just national leaders who felt the necessity of prayer at that dark hour. 48 hours before the invasion in a small Parish Church, General Dempsey, commander of the British and Canadian forces sat for one hour with 400 officers and men through what he called “One of the most moving experiences of my life.” As one poet said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers!” And I’m sure we are all aware of the great comfort that comes from the words, “Don’t worry, I am praying for you!” 

Prayer
Father, what a truly precious thing it is to boldly come before you in prayer, not only for ourselves but for others in need of your help too.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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