Free Essay

The War Prayer

In: Social Issues

Submitted By adrianpazz
Words 1303
Pages 6
The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fulttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!

Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord and God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

“I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think. “God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, and the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon your neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain on your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse on some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard the words ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”



It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Prayer

...said don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about it self, so on this day Dad, we say thank you for being Jehovah Jirah, our provider. Thank you for being our shield, our strong tower, Jehovah Gibor, God Almighty who fights all of our battles. God we can’t thank you enough for all the things that you do in our lives on a daily basis but just know we take this opportunity right now to let you know we wholeheartedly thank you for everything you do for us, things that we know of and things that we are not aware of because we know that the enemy never sleeps and we thank you that your angels are always protecting us. We also take this time and just really invite you to be a part of this prayer call. God Jesus and Holy Spirit you are welcome. This is your prayer call have your way. Your word says, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Daddy we want you to come in, kick off your shoes, make yourself comfortable. We want to be doing things with you, not just for you. It’s about a relationship and families do things together. So Dad we with you on this and you be with us. We have to spend time with each other. We know you know everything and you know all about us, but help us to understand you want to be on our level spend time with us hearing about our day, talking to us about the things that we like and the things we don’t like. You want to know about how......

Words: 3978 - Pages: 16

Free Essay

Prayer

...THEO 104 2. What are seven conditions that hinder prayer? "What is Revival?" 1. What church’s revival does the Author recount in this reading? 2. What started the revival in that Church? 3. T/F According to the author revival is only a recent phenomenon, a unique cultural event erupting in the late 19th and early 20th century. 4. How does the Author define revival? "The Greatness of the Great Commission" 1. Geographically, to what portions of the world did Jesus command his disciples to take the good news? 2. What significant response did the disciples show Jesus when he appeared to them the third time? 3. What was Jesus’ systematic plan to preach the Gospel to the world? 4. What was Jesus’ last commandment called? What did it entail? 5. What are 4 Lessons that the Author suggests for the individual? 6. What are 4 Lessons that the Author suggests for the church? "Simple Steps to Solid Study" 1. List and explain MacArthur’s five step Bible Study method. "But What Does it Mean to Me?" 1. What does MacArthur feel about the belief that we should guard against preachers whose emphasis is on interpreting Scripture rather than applying it. 2. According to MacArthur, "There is no danger of _______; the real threat is an ________ attempt at _______. 3. We don't make the __________; it is inherently so, simply because it is God's Word. 4. What are your thoughts on this excerpt? "Making Hard Decisions Easy" 1. What are the 10 Questions that the Author Suggests you should ask in order...

Words: 298 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prayer

...1. Prayer of Jabez “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” – 1 Chronicles 4:10 2. Prayer of Mary “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty has done to me great things; holy is His name." - Luke 1:46 – 49 3. Prayes of Jesus “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me."  – John 11:42 4.David To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust, let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me." - Psalm 25:1-2 4. Hannah “ My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord…No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God". -1 Samuel 2:1-2 5. Samson “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me…” – Judges 16:28 6. Paul “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” – Ephesians 3:14-16 7. King Nebuchadnezzar “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. How great are His signs, how mighty His......

Words: 369 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Mark Twain's War Prayer Rhetorical Analysis

...During the early 1900’s, Americans were caught up in the idea of imperialism, or extending their influence to other countries using military force. Mark Twain’s essay, The War Prayer, was written during this time, but argued against the popular philosophy of imperialism. Twain’s essay was too controversial and Harper’s Bazaar believed it was not suited for the public to read, so it went unpublished until after his death and after the idea of imperialism had lost its fervor. Twain’s essay discusses imperialism and its consequences. Twain uses two very different characters, a priest and a stranger, to contrast pro-imperialism and anti-imperialism. Ultimately, Twain’s essay reveals to readers that praying for success in war is also praying for the defeat of another nation. Twain reveals the brutality of imperialism in The War Prayer through effective use of irony, purposeful word choice, and a powerful final sentence. The War Prayer uses irony to convey Twain’s theme, as it takes place in a church. Members of a town gather every Sunday at church to pray for their soldiers. Their prayers mention their hopes to “drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded,” and “go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.” The prayers of the townspeople wish for no mercy on the enemy, however, they are said in the very place they are taught to love all people, a church. Twain’s setting is ironic because the people pray for destruction......

Words: 748 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Prayers

...O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You. (x3) Jesus, I Trust in You Jesus, I Trust in You Jesus, I Trust in You Prayer for the Sick Father of goodness and love; hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. LORD HEAR US; LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen. Prayer for Healing Beloved Padre Pio, Today I come to add my prayer to the thousands of prayers offered to thee every day by those who love and venerate thee. They ask for cures and healings, earthly and spiritual blessings, and peace for body and mind. And because of thy friendship with the Lord, He heals those thou doth ask to be healed, and forgives those thou forgiveth. Through thy visible wounds of the Cross, which thou didst bear for fifty years, thou wert chosen in our time to glorify the crucified Jesus. Because the Cross has been replaced by other symbols, please help us to bring it back in our midst, for we acknowledge it is the only true sign of salvation. As we lovingly recall the wounds that pierced thy hands, feet and side, we not only remember...

Words: 416 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Prayer

...The Power of Prayer How Must We Pray So God Will Answer? Does God really answer prayer? If so, why are prayers sometimes not answered? What should we pray about: praise, thanks, petition, worship, requests, intercession for others? When and how often should we pray? What conditions must we meet for our prayers to be heard and answered? What power does prayer have? Click here to listen to this material as a free MP3 audio Bible study message. Introduction: In Luke 11:1 Jesus' disciples asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." Christians today also need to learn to pray. The purpose of this study is to help Christians improve in prayer. People who are new in the faith may have never studied about how to pray. Some members do not pray properly so their prayers are not even answered. All of us can improve in this aspect of worship. We need to learn what to pray about. Should we make requests, be thankful, offer praise, intercede on behalf of others, offer petition? And what power does prayer have? Does God really answer prayer? If so, how should we pray and what conditions must prayer meet in order for God to hear and answer? These and other questions will be considered in this study. What is prayer? Note Acts 4:24,31. Prayer is simply man talking to God, expressing his thoughts to God (Rom. 10:1; Matt. 6:9ff). Hence, it is a form of communication similar in may ways to simply talking to our earthly father, except that we must remember whom we are addressing and must meet......

Words: 6348 - Pages: 26

Free Essay

Prayer

...Does prayer heal? Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitioner prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others. Yoga is also a common form of prayer. Prayer and Healing is a topic that has featured a lot on the minds of many people across the globe. This has led many researchers to conduct experiments with the purpose of proving or disapproving the idea that prayer contributes to an ill person’s healing. Thus, arguments regarding this topic have abounded with those supporting the idea that prayer contributes to healing advancing that prayer is not restricted by distance, it has a positive effect on life, and in the Bible, many people followed Jesus in order to receive healing. On the other hand, those......

Words: 1570 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The War Prayer

...In this era, there was plenty of anticipation. This land was furious and ready for war. Every man represented his homeland, while percussion were sounding and the band playing. These men ignited their firearms and chanted, ready for a great war. All over the land you could see the flags waving proudly in the air. The young men trotted on ground, showing off their war attire, while their loved ones supported them, screaming and chanting. Everyone during this time was very excited to see these soldiers go off. They would meet up in the nighttime, preparing for this big day. Cheering each other on and amped to see what was going to happen next. While in this chapel, they would hear supporters cheering them on and they got even more excited about it. Then the pastor preached abouth the meaning of serving their country. And this made everyone emotional because of his deep message. Around this time of celebration, all of the negative people that did not approve of participating in war drifted away. They were angry, but their words and thoughts no longer affected anyone. It became a positive atmosphere. When Sunday morning approached, the warriors were ready for action, The church was packed with supporters, family, and friends. They were ready to send the soldiers off to war. Then they began to pray. The prayer continued to the heavenly father. Watch over and protect his loved ones from any......

Words: 471 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prayer

...There is much prayerless praying. The attitude and semblance of prayer are in it, but there is no real praying, no projecting of the desires with vigor and in a flame to heaven. The form and show are seen, but the substance and being of prayer are entirely absent. Prayers have been said, the performance gone through, but no real praying has been done. As far as any real benefit is secured, the turning the crank of a praying machine would have done as well. Prayerless prayers are not only a perversion, a waste, a delusion, but they manufacture unbelievers by the score. They get no answers and produce no gracious results. They are vain performances, and others recognize their emptiness and barren results. Men hear of the prodigious benefits secured by prayer, of the matchless good promised in God’s word to prayer, and they mark at once the great gulf between the results promised and results realized…  Prayerless praying lacks the essential element of true praying; it is not based on desire and is devoid of earnestness and faith. Desire burdens the chariot of prayer, and faith drives its sense of need; there is no ardency because there is no vision, strength, or glow of faith. There is no mighty pressure to pray, no holding on to God with the relentless, despairing grasp, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” There is no utter self-abandon, lost in the throes of a desperate, pertinacious, and consuming plea, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot......

Words: 598 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Prayer

...Power of Prayer Prayer is the process of communication between man and deity. The deity is referred to as God or the supreme entity of a religion. Prayer can be secretive or shared openly to encompass unity and strength. Prayer is not just for worship, but communicating and strengthening a believer’s relationship with their God. Prayer has been a tool used throughout humanity as the means to communicate with holy beings. Man is instituted with mechanisms in their nature that assist them in reasoning with shortcomings and facing issues that are outside their abilities. Facing a difficult time in life, the loss of a child, or being responsible for inflicting suffering in the strive to survive are all reasons that man can seek a supreme being to explain life. Deep mediation may start as lamaz or quieting the mind to focus energy on the worst problem at hand. After a certain level of focus is reached, man’s nature allows for connection and worship to be offered to a force that cannot be viewed in his natural eye. Becoming enlightened, or removing the current mindset towards life and seeking a different path to resolution, changes the energy that is given to a problem and lightens the emotions that are connected with this issue, until the problem itself is dissolved and the only aspect left is emphasizing the conclusion. A connection with man’s spirit is made, and changes in his environment are seen. Prayer is now a method to try and observe the result of this new avenue of......

Words: 477 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Prayer

...Apostle Johnson Suleman. If there is a man to pray there is a God to answer Mature Christian is one who has a consistent life style of prayer. Acts 6:4, Isaiah 41:21. The strength of prayer is its content. Daniel 10:12. The knowledge of what to pray for is itself the most important aspect of the prayer 1 timothy 4:4-5 the word of God is the believer constitution that cannot be ever amended Prayer points • Baptism me with fresh passion for your word. • Every power fighting my study of your word be destroyed by fire • I yield myself to you spirit of the Lord show me wonderous things out of the law as I study your word. • Whatever is within me fighting the word of God from penetrating my life as I prayed be destroyed by fire • As I pray let your light invade my darkness as I study your word Men who prayed Elijah James 5:17-18 Joshua 10:12-13 Daniel 6:26-27 Prayer points. • Anointing for prayer • Every habit in me fighting my prayer life as I pray be terminated by fire • The power of my foundation warring against my prayer life as I pray be terminated by fire • Whoever has made my life an evil assignment, as I pray Holy Ghost give them another assignment. Note that if you don’t own God a lifestyle God doesn’t own you an answer Prayer for fasting • As I pray, let the appetite for fasting fall on me by fire • Every spirit of food fullness targeted to destroyed me, as I pray be destroyed by fire • Whatever that is within me fighting my fasting life as I pray...

Words: 316 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prayer

...CLEANSING PRAYER Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ and Savior, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray that the cleansing power of the precious blood of your Son come upon us right now. Purify us and wash us clean with the Blood of Jesus from the top of our head down to the very sole of our heart. Let this blood penetrate up to the very narrow of our bones to cleanse us from any entan glement from whatever spirit we come in contact with during the course of our intercession. Anoint us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and refresh our body, soul and spirit. May the sign of Your Holy Cross drive away all evil spirits from us. In the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. PRAYER TO TAKE AUTHORITY In the name of Jesu, I take authority and I bind all powers and forces in the air, in the ground, in the water, in the underground, in the netherworld in nature and in fire. You are the Lord over the entire universe and I give You the glory for your creation. In Your Name, I bind all the demonic forces that have come against us and our families, and I seal all of us in the protection of Your Precious Blood that was shed for us on the cross. Mary our Mother, we seek your protection and intercession with the Sacred Heart of Jesus for us and our families and surround us with your mantle of love to discourage the enemy. St. Michael and our Guardian Angels, come to defend us and our families in the battle against all the evil ones......

Words: 335 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Prayers

...What does the Catholic Church say prayer is? Prayer is a formal request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God; an earnest hope or wish. Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part and also a communication process that allows us to speak with God. Adherents, most often than not, come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, change and/or needs.This is done more regularly than being in the presence of God, asking for forgiveness or expressing our thanks for another day of our lives, praying for those who do not have that blessing. Just as Mother Theresa quotes; “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” What are the various forms of praying as practiced by Christians? There are three main forms of praying that are practiced within the Church by Christians. These include; Private prayer Communal prayer Liturgical prayer Private prayer is the most important part of prayer as God wants a personal relationship with each and everyone one of us. Praying in private allows adherents to strengthen their relationship with and become closer to Him. But to achieve this, they must remember not to put on a show for anyone, as this form of prayer is for God, and only Him. Communal prayer is just as important as private prayer, however, it strengthens not only our personal relationship with God, but with each other as a community....

Words: 1054 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Prayer

...JUST A PRAYER AWAY Text: LUKE 11:9-11, Matt.6,7 Speaker: Ptr. Elie Enate Luke 11:9 And I say to you, Make requests, and they will be answered; what you are searching for, you will get; when you give the sign, the door will be open to you. Luke11:10 For to everyone who makes a request, it will be given; and he who is searching will get his desire; and to him who gives the sign, the door will be open. Luke11:11 And which of you, being a father, will give a stone to his son, who makes request for bread? or for a fish, will give him a snake? The Condition of Christianity is depending on his spirituality in PRAYER. SUBSTANCE/ ESSENCE OF PRAYER: 1,) ASKING-- (requiring, Desiring),, God wants us to Desire,. God Commanded us to desire. --having intense desire because you know that it can glorify God. -- Let God knows your desire.. 2.) SEEK-- Ps. 34:10, Ps.105:3-4, Matt. 6:33 Ps. 34:10 The young lions are in need and have no food; but those who are looking to the Lord will have every good thing. Ps. 105:3 Have glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who are searching after the Lord be glad. Ps. 105:4 Let your search be for the Lord and for his strength; let your hearts ever be turned to...

Words: 357 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prayers

...preserve Ps 4:8.............and provide safety for them, day and night. 1Jn 2:5 ...........Because they keep Your Word, Your love is being perfected in them. 1Jn 2:15 .........They do not love the world or the things in the world, 3Jn 1:11..........and they do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. 1Jn 1:7 ...........They walk in the light as You are in the Light, Jas 4:8 ...........cleansing their hands and purifying their hearts, 2Tim 2:22 .......They follow after righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Heb 13:18........They have a good conscience and desire to live honorably, Prov 3:4 ..........having favor and high esteem with God and man. Praying For Relationships Mt 21:21............Father, I come before You in prayer and in faith. Rom 13:11........Your Word says that now is the time for all to awaken from sleep, Rom 13:11.........For our salvation is nearer now than we first believed. Col 1:13.............Lord, deliver my loved ones from the power of darkness, Rom 13:12.........and cause them to put on the armor of light. Rom 13:14.........Help them in their daily walk to put on the Lord Jesus Christ Rom 13:13.........and to avoid the lusts and idolatry of life. Ps 119:37..........Cause them to turn their eyes away from worthless things, 2Tim 2:26..........to come to their senses, and escape the snare of the devil. Rom 13:13.........Deliver them from immorality, strife, and envy, Heb 10:22..........and draw them near to You, Father, with......

Words: 962 - Pages: 4