Prayer has been a part of America since her founding, and has defined her in government, military, and spirit. Congressional statutes, first passed in 1775, require: 1) Exemplary Conduct and; 2) prayer and Divine Services in the US Armed Forces, which were fully practiced and enforced until the last few decades.
This historic collection of American military prayer spans 1774 to the present and contains 280 uniquely American prayers. The collection serves a dual purpose: First, it demonstrates the necessity of prayer to America’s military mission. Secondly, at a time when prayer is being disregarded, opposed by political and military leaders, and treated more like ceremonial deism or mere formality in military and non-military circumstances, this collection allows anyone of any station or denomination, the opportunity to draw from its pages a prayer associated with an historic occasion or prayed by an historic figure.
As the voices of presidents and military heroes recorded in this book have continuously maintained, America and her fighting forces must not lose touch with our nation’s understanding of the “Creator” named in the Declaration of Independence, and His broad and great endowment of Divine Providence for our “One Nation Under God.” For the military to lose or ignore the “religious fervor of the soul” is done at ‘great peril.” Thus, mindful of this dire need, First Principles presents “Endowed by Their Creator: A Collection of Historic American Military Prayers 1774-Present”.
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Have a prayer request? Visit The Case for Prayer for weekly blog posts of historic prayers and a section where you can post your own prayer request.
Feedback on the Collection:
Prayer, in times of peace and war, is instrumental to the leadership and spirit of the American soldier. In peace we pray for the wisdom to maintain our freedom thru strength and diplomacy…, and in war for the success of our military campaigns and operations, and the safety and care of our soldiers and their families. These aspects are uniquely captured in “Endowed by Their Creator”. - General J. H. Binford Peay III, Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute
“Endowed By The Creator” is a magnificent historic collection of military prayers. For those of us who have experienced the horrors and stress of combat, it reminds us of the comfort and strength we drew from prayer. This blessed work reminds us that America’s Warriors and leaders have called on our creator in the darkest of times to help us through our trials. We should never forget or abandon the value of prayer for our men and women in uniform.” - General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (ret.)
“I wanted to send a quick email to you thanking you for the book sent a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, we do not have a chaplain available at the camp I’m stationed at, so finding my own source of spiritual material has been important. I particularly enjoy the historical aspect of the prayers in your book, as it connects me to the long tradition of men serving in America’s military, which is a tradition mostly ignored today by the Army at least. We have little discussion of those that went before us and I don’t think most of the people here feel any connection with that history. That neglects something that could be a real inspiration for those having a hard time here. Others survived it before, and we’ll survive it to. The preface of the book was very interesting as well, particularly its connection to the VMI Supreme Court case a few years ago.” - Reservist Serving in Afghanistan
“Prayer is under attack in the military institution. As a Vietnam combat veteran, 34 years as a Marine officer, a former Defense official, and a lawyer, I spent 10 years collecting American military prayer books from before the nation’s founding to the present day. I did this research not as a man of the church, but as a military historian and a lawyer to make the case for the “military necessity” of prayer, because there are ‘no atheists in foxholes’. I found that while over 70 percent of those serving today in the US military self identify as Christians, their Chaplains are threatened and discouraged from praying in the name of their God, Jesus Christ and leaders are officially prohibited from leading their troops in pray – even in battle in this, One Nation Under God”. - Colonel Ronald D. Ray, USMC (ret.)
Our nation certainly needs to be reminded of the importance and necessity of prayer, especially those who are serving in our military and political offices in a time as this. I personally believe that leaders and chaplains at all levels of government and military service will reap spiritual blessings and immense benefit from the inspiring an invigorating compilation of prayers in your book. - Colonel J. Tyler Ryberg, USMC (ret.)
Thank you so much for the military prayer book, “Endowed by Their Creator”: A Collection of Historic American Military Prayers 1774-Present”. What a beautiful and meaningful book! We are touched by the depth of Godly faith, the love of country, and the honest pleas for help and protection from Almighty God expressed in these prayers. Both known and unknown writers are consistently humble and eloquent in their words, and because the needs are often so personal, they take us to our knees with them to cry for God’s presence and aid for every priceless individual in our fighting force. There’s so much about this book we like. The history of prayer in the U.S. Military, the Chronology of American Wars, the beautiful hymns, and the experts from presidential addresses are all special parts on addition to the prayers. The topical section and the index make the book easy to read and the little section on “How to Use the Bible” is nice. Thank you for putting this wonderful prayer book together and for your efforts to keep prayer before our U.S. military personnel. How much they need it! How much our nation needs it! - Retired Air Force Pilot
The Historic and Crucial “Military Necessity” of Prayer -
Video by Col. Ronald D. Ray
Col. Ray is a practicing attorney in Kentucky and a highly decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War (two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart). He served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan Administration and was appointed by President Bush to serve on the American Battle Monuments Commission (1991-1994), and on the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. From 1990 through 1994, he served as Military Historian and Deputy Director of Field Operations for the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C.