Prayers

Most of the time chaplains don’t need help with prayers, it’s what we do. Sometimes, however, we face situations where we need to get the creative juices flowing or we’ve been asked to pray at an event that we’ve never prayed at before so seeing what others have used can be helpful. I publish these prayers here to help you. Feel free to use as-is or adapt to best fit your situation. For most, there is no need to give credit, they’re here for you. Most of these prayers are original to me, though a few have been adapted from other prayers passed on to me or that I found online. If a prayer only adapted by me or is wholly somebody else’s, I’ll make note of the author if I remember who it was.1

A few thoughts about prayers: Some chaplains bristle at the thought of writing a prayer or praying a written prayer. If that’s you, and you’re able to pray an effective prayer extemporaneously, keep it up! For many events, I don’t write prayers, but have in mind a basic outline to guide me when I pray. For more unique or high-visibility events, I’ll usually write out a prayer to ensure that it fits within the program’s theme and I don’t forget anything. I believe that God hears our prayers whether they’re fresh from our heart and mind, or planned out beforehand.

I am indebted to Chaplain (COL, Ret.) Hugh Dukes, who was the Installation Chaplain at Fort Knox when I was there for my first assignment as a chaplain. In an email he sent out to us chaplains on 8 June 2004, he encouraged us:

For ceremonies, graduations, parades, Changes of Command, memorial ceremonies and other functions where we provide public invocations or prayers and Soldiers are in formation on the field, prayers should be less than one minute in length. For chaplains from some traditions or chaplains with free-form public prayer styles, this may require writing our prayers or drafts or making notes to keep our praises and petitions targeted and direct and still honor the interests of Soldiers standing in formation in the sun or rain. This standard is also appropriate for public prayer during indoor ceremonies with troop formations.

Being the sensitive chaplain he was, Chaplain Dukes added,

Do not interpret this standard as an attempt to instruct your prayers or their content…but in the interest of Soldiers standing in the formation we need to be spiritual leaders, military professionals and technically proficient at disciplined public prayer.

I’ve used this 1 minute standard throughout my time as a chaplain though I usually come in under a minute realizing that the prayer isn’t the “main event” but should enhance (and empower) the main event.

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Army Day – Prayer

(written by Chaplain (MG) Luther D. Miller & published in the DA OCCH Circular Letter, 1 March 1949)

O Eternal God,

Who art a shield and buckler to all who put their trust in thee, bless us, thy servants, and the Army in which we serve.

Lead us and guide us by thy Good Spirit, strengthen and defend us by thy might, that we may be to our land a sure defense against every enemy.

Support us in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep us safe from all evil: endow us with courage and loyalty, and grant that in all things we may serve thee and our country without reproach.

Let the light of thy countenance, O God, shine upon our comrades departed, that they may go on from strength to strength in thy Heavenly Kingdom.

Strengthen us in our resolve to keep faith with all patriots and comrades-in-arms by fearlessly maintaining our liberties so nobly won.

Grant us thy help, O God, that we, the members of the United States Army, may valiantly fulfill our role in the Armed Forces of our country as a sure, strong arm for national defense and a power for the establishment of a just and lasting peace.

Amen.

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Change of Command Ceremony for a Troop/Company – Invocation (Christian)

(written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at several Change of Command Ceremonies, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this day and for this ceremony that brings us together, which reminds us not only of the strength of our Armed Forces but also the freedom of our nation. We thank you for this great country and your providential care over us as you have sustained us through many difficult time sin our history. We pray for this ceremony today, that your presence will be with us. Bless all who have gathered here today.

Father, we also want to thank you for the diligent and faithful leadership of CPT _____________ as he hands over command today. Bless him as he moves on to be better prepared to prepare others for service in the Army. Bless also the new commander, CPT ______________, that as he executes his new responsibilities he will do so with wisdom, courage and strength.

Help these men, and all of us, to be more committed to the cause of freedom both here in the United States and around the world. Let this commitment be molded by our Army training and empowered by your grace.

Thank you Father, again, for all that you do for us both in and out of harms way. Keep each of these soldiers and family members here today safe and rejoicing in the freedom that is ours as Americans.

In your precious name we pray, amen.

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Change of Command Ceremony for a Squadron/Battalion – Invocation (Christian)

(written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed the 5-15 CAV Change of Command Ceremony, Ft. Knox, KY, 2005)

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this beautiful day that we can stand before you. On this day we ask for your presence with us as the command of the 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry Regiment is handed over. We come to you because this peaceful exchange of command reminds us of the freedom that we have as Americans–a freedom that you have provided and that you allow.

We thank you for the faithful service rendered by LTC _________________ during his time in command of 5-15. Thank you for all that he has done for the Squadron and for the Army. We pray that you will continue to be with him and his family in the days ahead as they shift their focus and energies to other things. We know though, that LTC _______________’s commitment to the Army and to the United States will not change and we thank you for this.

We ask also that you will be with LTC ________________ as he assumes command today. Bless him and his family as they seek to be an inspiration to the soldiers and families of the Squadron. Strengthen LTC _________________, encourage him, and empower him to command as you would have him command.

Finally, Lord, we ask that you will be with us all today, that this ceremony will not be just another event on our calendar, but a benchmark of excellence for us all to follow as we seek to be all that you have called us to be and all that our country needs us to be.

In your precious and holy name we pray, amen.

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Change of Responsibility Ceremony for a Troop/Company – Invocation (Christian)

(written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at several Change of Responsibility Ceremonies, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Dear Heavenly Father:

We thank you for this day and for your blessings that come with it.

We thank you for the freedoms that are ours, including what this assembly today represents.

Thank you for each Soldier here, both cadre and trainees. Continue to be with each of them as they further develop as Soldiers and scouts.

I ask that you be with us here today as the responsibility for the fine Soldiers of _____ Troop goes to 1SG __________. Let your presence be a blessing to us today and forevermore.

In your name I pray, amen.

Change of Responsibility Ceremony for a Troop/Company – Benediction (Christian)

(written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at several Change of Responsibility Ceremonies, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Dear Father:

Again we thank you for your presence with us today.

We thank you for the service of 1SG _____________________ while he served and led the Soldiers of ______ Troop.

I pray now that you will be with 1SG __________________________ as he takes over. Give him the wisdom, the courage and the strength to be an effective and compassionate leader. Guide him each day as he serves our country in this position.

Be also with his wife, ___________________, that she would not only be supportive of her husband, but that she will also receive all the support that she needs.

Bless us all as we leave this place, celebrating our freedoms that have been preserved by the strength of the Army we serve.

In your name I pray, amen.

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Change of Responsibility Ceremony for a Brigade – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 501st MI BDE Change of Responsibility Ceremony, Camp Humphreys, ROK, 11 February 2016)

Most Gracious Heavenly Father:

 Thank you for this day that you have given to us and for this occasion that brings us together which reminds us of the strength of our military and the freedom it defends, as well as the role that the 501st plays in the defense of freedom here in Korea.

 Thank you for Command Sergeant Major Xxxxxxx and for his committed and faithful service as the Brigade Command Sergeant Major. Thank you for the positive impact he has had on the Soldiers and mission of the brigade. I pray that you will continue to be with him, and bless him and his wife as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.

 I also pray that you will be with Command Sergeant Major Xxxxxx as she takes on this challenge. Provide for her everything that she needs to serve with faithfulness, courage and integrity as she continues the great work that Command Sergeant Major Xxxxxxx has begun.

 Finally Lord, I pray that you will bless this time that we share together and pray that everything that is said and done here today will be pleasing to you, as you continue to bless us, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America.

 In your precious and holy name I pray, Amen.

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Christmas Prayer (Christian)

(From the program for the Christmas Day Dinner, Vietnam, 1968, by Chaplain (COL) Gerard J. Gefell, Staff Chaplain)

Heavenly Father, we confess that it is our custom to accept Thy gifts and direct little thought to the giver. We thank Thee for invading history that we might for all time understand the intensity of Thy love for us. We ask that the gift of Thy Son may guide us to present our gifts of service to Thee regardless of the station of those to whom Thy love is to be revealed. Make of us modern wise men who dare to serve Thee from the heat of Vietnam to the pavement of our cities. Grant that as we celebrate Thy Nativity our lives shall radiate Thy love, Thy humility and Thy selflessness. Amen.

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Far East Forces, Prayer for (Christian)

(From “Places of Divine Worship: Far East Air Forces, United States Air Force” circa 1946-49)

Almighty God Who maketh the clouds Thy chariot and Who walketh upon the wings of the wind, regard, we pray Thee, with Thy love and continuing mercy all our brothers whose duty or pleasure it is to fly, that encompassed by assurance of Thy protecting care we may serve our country and our fellow-men with gladness; and without fear or regret.

Enkindle in our hearts and minds a deep loyalty to righteousness and liberty, that in service of the ideals for which our country was founded we may deal justly with one another and with all peoples of the earth who now are brought ever closer to us through the medium of flight.

Keep safe in Thy care all who are bound to us by ties of love, or friendship, or responsibility, and grant that by no carelessness on our part may their happiness or welfare be cast away.

Accept our thanksgiving for the accomplishments of all those comrades who have gone before us and now rest in Thee, that in remembrance of the costliness of their sacrifice we may here now strive to complete the works they would still seek to do.

Renew in us clean spirits, O God, and cheerful hearts, that with all our fellow-men, particularly those whose labors support our own, we may ever grow in mutual respect and helpfulness.

Enable us so increasingly to know the sources of true strength and courage that throughout all our days we may ever grow more kindly in thought, more gentle in word, more generous in deed.

All of this we ask in the name of Him whose service of Thee enriched us all. Amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, Armor Crewman AIT – Invocation (Christian)

(Adapted by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at multiple 2-81 AR graduation ceremonies, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for watching over us and sustaining us as a nation. Your sovereign will established this great country and Your strong hand has steadied us during times of difficulty. We give you thanks today for the United States.

Throughout our nation’s history you have raised up such strong and courageous men and women to lead the way in the defense of freedom, those willing to put their lives on the line for that freedom. We give you thanks today for your providence for these great soldiers who graduate today, willing to fight for the causes of our great country.

Thank you also, Lord, for their families and friends who support hem in this worthy and honorable profession.

Be with us today as we celebrate their graduation and entry into the ranks of those who have served honorably. Be a blessing to us all as we rejoice in their accomplishments–and may everything bring glory and honor to you.

In your name we pray, amen.

Graduation Ceremony, Armor Crewman AIT – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford  [with some elements from the CAV graduation prayer] and prayed at multiple 2-81 AR graduation ceremonies, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this time we have had together honoring those who have done so well over the past several weeks.

Thank you for their accomplishments and their commitments.

Thank you for their families and friends who support them so well.

Thank you for their leaders who have rained them to be the best soldiers that they can be.

Go with these soldiers to their next assignment, that they will go with pride and confidence, ready to face what lies before them, depending on you for their strength and comfort.

We ask that your hand be ever on these soldiers who graduate today, both in and out of harms way. May we never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom and grant us the courage to protect what you have given us.

This we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, Basic Combat Training – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at multiple BCT graduation ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO 2010-2011)

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this great day and for the occasion that we gather. This gathering reminds us of our freedom as Americans and we are grateful to you for that freedom and for what it means to us all.

As we look over this group of graduates today, we’re also reminded of the great cost of our freedom over the years. Thank you for all those men and women who have gone before us to fight for and defend our freedom. Thank you, also, for these soldiers here today who have volunteered to serve their country during this very important time in our history. Be with them as they continue in their training to be all that you have made them to be and all that our country needs them to be.

Keep them safe as they go from here to places unknown. Help them to turn to you as they need the strength to go on; and the courage to face another day. Bless them for all that they have given up and all that they will give to keep our country free from terror; and other people free form oppression.

Thank you for the families and friends gathered here today. Bless them for their support of their loved ones and for our country. Be with us all as we celebrate the great accomplishments of these graduates and as we seek to please you in all that we do.

In your precious name we pray, amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, Scouts AIT – Invocation (Christian)

(Written and further adapted by successive 5-15 CAV chaplains, including Brian Curry and Daryl Densford, and prayed at Fort Knox, KY)

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for watching over us and sustaining us as a nation. Your sovereign will established this great country and Your strong hand has steadied us during times of difficulty. We give you thanks today for the United States.

Throughout our nation’s history you have raised up such strong and courageous men to lead the way. Such men that embody “Tous Pour Un…Un Pour Tous”… “All for one and one for all.” We give you thanks today for your providence for these great scouts.

Thank you also, Lord, for their families and friends that stand behind them cheering them on to success.

We ask that your hand be ever on these soldiers who graduate today, both in and out of harms way. May we never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom and grant us the courage to protect what you have given us.

This we pray in Jesus name, amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, Scouts AIT following a death of a trainee – Invocation (Christian)

(Adapted by Daryl Densford and prayed at D-Troop, 5-15 CAV graduation, Fort Knox, KY, 9 June 2005)

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for watching over us and sustaining us as a nation. Your sovereign will established this great country and your strong hand has studied us during ties of difficulty. We give you thanks today for the United States of America.

Throughout our nations history you have raised up such strong and courageous men to lead the way. Such men that embody “Tous pour un…un pour tous” … “All for one and one for all.” We give you thanks today for your providence for these great scouts.

Thank you also, Lord, for their families and friends who stand behind them today cheering them on to success. Thank you for their commitment to our Soldiers and to our country.

Lord, Delta Troop has seen a lot of good times and a few bad ones this cycle–and you have been with them through it all. I pray that their experiences here at Knox will strengthen them even more for the mission that lies before them.

Father, we pray especially for the family of SGT ____________. Thank you that they could be with us today. May you encourage, strengthen and comfort them as they remember that SGT ___________ gave his life contributing to the strength of our Army.

We ask now that your hand be ever on these soldiers who graduate today, both in and out of harms way. May we never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom and grant us the courage to protect what you have give us.

This we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, Joint College – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Joint college Graduation Ceremony, Fort Wainwright, AK, 29 April 2019)

Dear gracious heavenly father,

Thank you for this day you have given us and especially for this occasion that brings us together as we celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates here tonight.

Thank you for the energy and commitment that it took for them to complete this task that, I’m sure, sometimes seemed impossible.

Thank you for their family members and friends who provided the support and encouragement these graduates needed to finish their course work.

And thank you for their professors, advisers and everyone else who helped them through their course of study.

Finally, Lord, I pray that you will bless this time tonight with your presence, knowing that what we say and do here tonight will not only be pleasing to you but also a blessing.

In your holy name I pray, amen.

Graduation Ceremony, Joint College – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Joint college Graduation Ceremony, Fort Wainwright, AK, 29 April 2019)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Again I thank you for this occasion that we have come together to celebrate the graduation of these students, and for all of the people in their lives who made it possible.

Thank you for your presence with us tonight, as well as your help all along the way.

I pray that what these graduates have accomplished, which we celebrate tonight, will be an inspiration for us all to better apply ourselves to the tasks before us and to improving ourselves through education, personal and professional development and a commitment to serve others.

In your name I pray, amen.

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Graduation Ceremony, MPBOLC – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at several MPBOLC Graduation Ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-2015)

Most gracious heavenly Father,

I thank you for this day you have given us and for this occasion we celebrate as these new MP officers graduate their basic course and enter the force.

I first pray, dear Lord, that you will be present with us this morning and that this ceremony will be pleasing to you.

I thank you for the friends and family members of these graduates. Thank you for their love and support which enabled these officers to successfully complete their studies.

I pray that you will bless each officer here today as they graduate, reminding them of what they have overcome and accomplished over the last few months.

Again, Father, bless us with your presence this morning as we seek to honor you in all we do.

In your name I pray, amen.

Graduation Ceremony, MPBOLC – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at several MPBOLC Graduation Ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-2015)

Our God in Heaven,

I thank you for your presence with us during this graduation ceremony.

Again, I thank you for each graduate and ask that you will not only bless them but give them strength, courage and wisdom for the assignments they will now enter into.

Keep each of them safe, both in and out of harm’s way and remind them–and us–as we wear this uniform, that we defend and represent the freedom that has been won for us by past generations of men and women in uniform.

Go with us now, keeping us ever-aware of your presence and your love for us.

In your name I pray, amen

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Graduation Ceremony, Warrior Transition Course, Invocation (Christian)

(Adapted by Chaplain Daryl Densford from the CAV graduation prayer and prayed at several WTC Ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-2015)

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for watching over us and sustaining us as a nation. Your sovereign will established this great country and your strong hand has steadied us during times of difficulty. We give you thanks today for the United States.

Throughout our nations history you have raised up strong and courageous men and women to lead the way in the defense of freedom, those willing to put their lives on the line for that freedom. We give you thanks today for your providence for these great soldiers.

Thank you also, Lord, for their families and friends who support them in this worthy and honorable profession.

We ask that your hand be ever on these soldiers who graduate today, both in and out of harms way. May we never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom and grant us the courage to protect what you have given us.

This we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Hispanic Heritage Observance Ceremony – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Hispanic Heritage Observance Ceremony at Yongsan, ROK, 2015-2016)

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this day that you have given us and for the opportunity to come before you. We thank you for the freedoms that are ours as Americans and for those who have fought and died to provide and protect those freedoms for us.

We thank you today, especially for the heritage of Hispanic-Americans. This heritage which provides strong and colorful threads in America’s fabric contributes to not just the beauty of America, but also the strength of our nation and the might of our military.

Thank you, Father, for all those with Hispanic background who are a part of what makes America great. Bless them in these days, encourage them, strengthen them, and help us all to appreciate the special contributions that are theirs.

Be with us now, dear Lord, as we celebrate this heritage and these contributions Let this celebration be not just educational for those of us who may not be fully aware, but also appreciative to all those who have given us so much.

Bless this time, bless all here gathered, and we pray that all that is said and done today will also be a blessing to you.

In your precious name we pray, amen.

Hispanic Heritage Observance Ceremony – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Hispanic Heritage Observance Ceremony at Yongsan, ROK, 2015-2016)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Again we thank you for this time together and for all who have gathered here today.

Thank you for each one who participated in this ceremony and made it a special event.

Thank you for all that we celebrate today as we consider the contributions of Hispanic-American.

Go with us now as we leave this place but not your presence. Keep us ever-mindful of your love for us which enables us to live each day in the bounty of your blessings.

We ask all this in your powerful, loving and matchless name, amen.

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IET Dinner Prayer

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at a dinner for Scout IET trainees and their families just prior to their graduation, Ft. Knox, KY, 2004-2005)

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the good things in life that you give us. We thank you for your provision for these scouts during the past 16 weeks and the love and support of their families. We recognize your provision of all things. Please bless us now as we eat and fellowship together. May each person be nourished and refreshed emotionally, physically and spiritually.

We give you glory, honor, and thanks, in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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Instructor of the Year Ceremony – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at the MSCoE Instructor of the Year Ceremony, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-2015)

Most gracious heavenly Father,

I thank you for this day and for this occasion which brings us together. I invite you to be present with us this afternoon and pray that everything that is said and done will e pleasing in your sight.

I thank you, dear Lord, for each of the instructors represented here, who are so integral to the training of the force. I especially thank you for those who will be honored for excelling in what they do. I pray that they will be extremely blessed for their effort and excellence and that they will be an inspiration to everyone gathered here–that each one of us will aspire to do better in our appointed tasks.

Again, Lord, bless this gathering with your presence and each one present with your love.

In your name I pray, amen.

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Memorial Service for a Chaplain – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at a memorial service held for Chaplain (CPT) Dale Goetz at USACCS, 3 September 2010)

Our most Gracious God and Father,

We thank you for your presence and love which helps us to endure through difficult times.  We thank you for moments like these when we don’t have to be alone but can gather among brothers and sisters in the faith.  We thank you for the peace that you have brought us today, your peace—that can exist within us even when all around us there is no peace.

As much as you comfort us who have gathered here today, we pray that in an even greater measure you will comfort Dale’s family, especially his wife Xxxxx and their three sons Xxxxxx, Xxxxxx and Xxxxx.  Be for them all that they need you to be just now and continue to provide for them in every way in the days, weeks, months and years ahead that they face life without their husband, father and son.

Finally Lord, we pray that you will bring real peace to our land, so that we can rest in safety and comfort and not have to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way.  Bring to us, we humbly ask you, the time when parents don’t have to grieve the loss of their children killed in war; hasten the day when spouses don’t have to say goodbye to their loved ones because they serve their country; provide for us, dear Father, a world whose children do not have to grow up fatherless because of the sin that envelopes us; and be victorious, Almighty God, over the Evil One, establish your Kingdom on Earth finally and forever, that we may enjoy your loving and peaceful presence for all eternity.

Go with us now, Lord we pray, as we reluctantly return to the world out there.  Please don’t let us soon forget our brother Dale but help us to honor his sacrifice through our lives lived for your glory and Christ’s life lived through us.

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  (Heb13:20-21)

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Memorial Tribute – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Memorial Tribute at the U.S. Army Military Police School, 23 September 2013)

Our most Gracious God and Father,

We thank you for your presence and love which helps us to endure through difficult times. We thank you for moments like these when we don’t have to be alone but can gather among others who know, at least to an extent, what we face. We thank you for the peace that you give us, your peace—that can exist within us even when all around us there is no peace.

As much as you comfort us who have gathered here today, we pray that in an even greater measure you will comfort the families and loved ones of those who have fallen. Be for them all that they need you to be just now and continue to provide for them in every way in the days, weeks, months and years ahead as they face life without their wife, husband, father, mother or child.

Finally Lord, we pray that you will bring real peace to our land, so that we can rest in safety and comfort and not have to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way. Bring to us, we humbly ask you, the time when parents don’t have to grieve the loss of their children killed in war; hasten the day when spouses don’t have to say goodbye to their loved ones because they serve their country; provide for us, dear Father, a world whose children do not have to grow up without a father or a mother because of the evil that envelopes us.

Go with us now, Lord we pray, as we reluctantly return to the world out there. Please don’t let us soon forget our comrades, friends and family who have fallen, but help us to honor their sacrifice through our lives lived for your glory.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:22).

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Military Ball – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Military Intelligence Ball in Seoul South Korea 7 May 2016)

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,

I thank you for this day you have given us and for this occasion that we gather together to celebrate the alliance which exists between the United States and the Republic of Korea, particularly tonight- in the Intelligence community.

We realize that it is our ability to work together that preserves the armistice and protects the freedom and independence of our friends.

I thank you for all of those involved in this task before us, from the newest private to the most experienced officer, and pray for each of them that they will be protected as they perform their duties but also that they will be blessed because of the significance of our mission.

I pray now that you will be with us tonight as we celebrate the successful, continued, execution of our mission and the alliance we enjoy with each other. Bless this time with your presence and bless each one here gathered.

In your holy name I pray, Amen.

Military Ball – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Military Intelligence Ball in Seoul South Korea 7 May 2016)

Dear Father:

Thank you for this time that we’ve had together: The honors, the entertainment, the laughs, and the good food.

Thank you again for all of those here, and all the others who are serving both in uniform and as civilians, in the defense of freedom in the Republic of Korea and around the world.

Thank you also for your presence with us here this evening so far, and as we continue to celebrate. I pray that you will continue to be with us, both those here and those traveling home.

Finally, Lord, I pray that you will provide safety tonight and in the days ahead. And I pray that you will especially bless the Republic of Korea and the United States of America as we live and serve together.

In your name I pray, Amen.

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National Prayer Breakfast – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the USAG Fort Leonard Wood National Prayer Breakfast, 2 May 2017)

Most gracious Heavenly Father,

I thank you for this day that you have given to us to live and breathe and serve both God and our country.

Thank you for this opportunity to gather together as fellow sojourners on this journey, to pause for a moment and lift up our prayers for our comrades, our nation and our leaders. Thank you, also, for each one who has made the time and exerted the effort to be here today to be part of this noble effort.

As we also seek to be renewed and rejuvenated, attempting to gain resiliency and find meaning in a life that sometimes seems hopeless and futile, I pray that your presence will be especially evident to us this morning and that you will speak to us, and maybe even bring healing to us, as you know best.

I ask now that you will particularly bless those participating in the program, in the hope that everything that is said and done will be pleasing to you.

Now Lord, gazing toward that great looking buffet, I pray that you will bless the food that we will soon eat, that it will nourish us to be stronger to serve better.

I pray this in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

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National Prayer Breakfast – Invocation (Christian)

(Prayed at the USAG Fort Leonard Wood National Prayer Breakfast, 2016, author unknown)

Our gracious God and Father,

You have commanded the light to shine out of darkness and awakened us again to praise your goodness and to work for the common good of all. We worship you this morning and thank you for the privilege and honor of wearing our Nation’s uniform. May every aspect of this NPB nourish us and cause us to flourish as citizens of our great country.

Amen.

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Patriot Day or 9/11 Observance – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the Fort Leonard Wood Patriot Day Observance, 11 September 2017)

Most Gracious God and Father:

I thank you for your presence both on 9/11 and today. I thank you for your peace and comfort given to those who lost friends and loved ones on that fateful day and for how you continue to give peace to those who seek it. I thank you for the courage displayed by those, who instead of thinking of their own safety, rushed in to help others in need.

As we have remembered the many who lost their lives through the evil actions of a few, I pray that we few, will be a source of life and hope for many as we live our lives in such a way that reflect the goodness in our world rather than the despair. Help us to be bringers of hope rather than fear. Help us, and our comrades-in-arms, to exemplify dedication to courage and honor in times of war, periods of peace and moments of terror, by our commitment to love and compassion in response to attitudes and actions of hate.

Finally Lord, I pray that as we leave this solemn place of remembrance, that you will continue to bless us as bearers of goodwill. Bless all who serve in uniform under the flag of the United States –and our Allies, and please Lord, help and bless the United States of America.

In your holy name I pray, Amen.

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Patriot Day or 9/11 Observance – Benediction (Christian)

(Prayed at the community 9/11 service in Toronto, Ohio on 11 Sep 17,  by Rev. Eric Frey, pastor of the Toronto Church of the Nazarene)

We came tonight, O God, looking back over our shoulder. We leave tonight looking forward to the end of this cycle of violence, aware that peace begins with each of us.

May the events that we have remembered here tonight be more than just a memory, but rather a lesson. May we learn our lesson well. And remembering our history, may we not be doomed to repeat it.

We pray tonight for the leaders of this nation, as they seek to restore peace to our world. Give them wisdom and give them courage as they chart our course and as they lead our world.

And we pray tonight, just as Jesus taught us to do, for our enemies. You surely love them as much as you love us. May our commitment to never forget never be a convenient excuse to never forgive. May their hearts be won by our love, and may their lives be turned toward your peace.

As so we leave, just as we have come – a people searching and longing for peace. A peace that is eternal, that is found in you, and that begins with us.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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Prayer Breakfast – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 1st ATB Prayer Breakfast, Ft. Knox, KY, 26 May 2004)

Most gracious, loving and holy Father,

We thank you for the opportunity to come before you this morning. We thank you for your good work among us and for your grace that you have given to us.

We invite you to join with us today that this not be just a gathering of people together, but a gathering of people together in the presence of Almighty God.

We pray that everything that we say and do this morning will please you and also that it will bring glory, honor and praise to your name.

Bless this time together with your presence and bless all those who have gathered here.

In the name of the one who came and died of us all, amen.

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Redeployment Ball – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 3-159 ARB Redeployment Ball in Bad Windsheim, Germany on 23 October 2009)

Most Gracious God and Father,

We are gathered again in celebration of the safe return of 3-159 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion from Iraq. We give to you the thanks and praise that flows from our hearts as we celebrate our return to Germany and reunion with our family and friends.

We are grateful to you for your help each day not only for those of us who deployed but for those who remained here in Germany protecting our backs and caring for our homes. Additionally, we give you thanks for the help that you provided our spouses and children while we were away.

But as joyful as we are for what you have done for us, our celebration is dimmed some as we remember our imprisoned, missing and fallen comrades from this war and wars past; so we also remember them and their families and ask you to provide to those affected your continued help and comfort.

Finally, Lord, we ask that you will be with us here tonight. May you be pleased with our words and actions and help us to honor you with our respect and moderation.

We also ask that you bless the food that we will be receiving, that it will bring nourishment to our bodies that we might grow stronger to serve you better.

We humbly ask all these things in your holy presence, Amen.

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Redeployment Ball – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 3-159 ARB Redeployment Ball in Bad Windsheim, Germany on 23 October 2009)

Dear Lord,

We again come to you and thank you for your goodness to us and for the good time and wise words of the evening.

We thank you for your presence with us tonight and every night.

We pray that as we end the formal portion of our evening together that you will continue to be with us and help us each step we take.

Help us to be ever mindful of your presence with us and your desire to know us personally.

Again we pray these things in your name, Amen.

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Regimental Ball – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 15th Cavalry Regimental Ball Ft. Knox, KY, 2005)

Our Heavenly Father,

We come to you this evening with grateful hearts:

Grateful for this great country and the freedom we share.

Grateful for the 15th Cavalry Regiment-it’s history and role in preserving our freedom.

Grateful for the Soldiers of the 15th CAV: Those who have served before us so faithfully; those who have given their life for their country; those who now serve in our current mission of training CAV Scouts.

And Also for those who will come in the future–those who are now training to be the Army’s finest.

Father, we ask you this evening that you would be with us. Bless us as we celebrate the history and victories of the Regiment. Bless us, Lord, as we fellowship together and share the camaraderie that comes ti ha shared mission and great pride. Bless us most with your presence that we will feel your love and know your goodness to us.

This we pray in your name, amen.

Regimental Ball – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 15th Cavalry Regimental Ball Ft. Knox, KY, 2005)

Our gracious and mighty Heavenly Father,

Once again we thank you for your goodness to us.

You have watched over this Regiment from the Philippines to the Cuban shores.

You have been God to us from the Mexican border to the trenches of France.

You have shown us your power on the beaches of Normandy and in the streets of Berlin.

Whether this Regiment’s mission was to defeat the enemy or train those who would, you have been with us, and for that we are grateful.

Please continue to keep your hand upon us, both those who serve now only in their memories and those who daily face their tasks with honor.

Keep us faithful to the Regiment, to the Army, to the United States and to you.

Enable us to always live as those who embody “All for one and one for all.”

And I pray that you will keep drawing u nearer to you, that we may know you fully and live daily in your presence.

In your holy and loving name we pray, amen.

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Regimental Prayer, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

(Author unknown, from http://www.jrtc-polk.army.mil/2ACR/pray.html, 19 Apr 05)

Almighty, merciful, and loving Father,

You are the one who hears all our prayers and grants our petitions. We, the troopers of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, ask you to remember, as we do, the tremendous sacrifice made by those who went before us. They have given their lives so that we might live and breathe freely. We ask you to receive them into your hands.

Father, give us the strength and wisdom to learn from their example, to uphold freedom and life at home and around the world. Keep us vigilant as we guard the frontiers of freedom. Give our leaders the wisdom and the strength to lead well. Grant all of us courage and confidence.

Be, for all of us troopers, a wise counsel in keeping peace and a strong shield for us against our enemies. Oh heavenly Father, give us the determination that the peace and freedom won at such a high price be lasting!

Father, hold all of the troopers of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in the palm of your almighty hand and protect us in the shadow of your wings. Amen.

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Regimental Prayer, 3rd Armor Cavalry Regiment.

(“The time, date, place and author of the original [3d ACR] Regimental Prayer is unknown. It is normally presented by the Regimental Chaplain at the conclusion of a formal dining-in. The prayer was revised in 1965 and then again during the command of COL Robert Wilson, the 66th Colonel of the Regiment to reflect the diversity of faith among our troopers…”)

Heavenly  Father,

We acknowledge you as the Almighty and Eternal God of all people, armies an nations. We thank you for your comfort and blessings in our lives and for the knowledge that you see our needs, hear our prayers an desire to bless us as your people.

We thank you for your continued guidance over the destiny of our Regiment of Mounted Riflemen” and pray that each of us as Cavalry Troopers will follow your direction throughout our lives.

We ask you to help us to remember the courage and the heroic achievements of past “Brave Riflemen” who served you and now entrust the lineage of our regiment to us. Help us to serve you, our country and our regiment in a manner worthy of our glorious heritage.

We ask you to bestow your blessings upon our regiment. Guide our commanders and staffs to lead us into victory. Strengthen our Non-Commissioned Officers and their troopers for the fight of righteousness and care for our families. May we carry our colors with courage, honor and distinction. In times of combat, may we be victorious over our enemies so that a just and lasting peace will reign over your Kingdom.

Father, when the trumpeter sounds our final “Taps” may the “Brave Riflemen” who served you be called before your throne to receive their eternal reward that you have prepared for them.

These blessings we ask in thy name and for they glory. Amen.

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Regimental Prayer, 46th Infantry Regiment.

(Author unknown, from “Annex C (Narration) to OPORD 05-01 (Torchlight 05)”)

Almighty God,

We enter your presence through the matchless name of Jesus, asking you to incline your ear and and hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the honor you have bestowed on the 46th Infantry Regiment in past victory. We plead for your help and grace to lead us to victory in future conflict and for the same honor to our colors as we pray for guidance through the word of your grace.

Lord, we count our might not in numbers or weapons, but in our allegiance to you, for, “the battle is the Lord’s.”

Help us to respect our enemies in conflict and in peace, and by your grace we will preserve a just and lasting peace. May all who serve you be faithful to your name.

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Retirement Ceremony for a Post – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the USAG Yongsan/8th Army Retirement Ceremony, 31 July 2015)

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,

 Thank you for this day you have given us and for this occasion that brings us together as we honor these Service Members who are retiring.

I thank you for their many, many years of faithful and honorable service to our nation as they have been a part of our military which has brought freedom and peace to many people around the world, while preserving our own.

Thank you for the impact these retirees have undoubtedly had on countless other Service Members as they have modeled, mentored and trained character, competence and commitment both in and out of uniform.

I pray that all of us gathered here today will be inspired by their careers and achievements to seek to excel in our remaining time in uniform or civilian service; to be examples of integrity and excellence; to also finish the course well as these Soldiers have done.

Finally Lord, I pray that you would bless this time today with your presence and that you would be honored as we honor those who retire today.

 In your precious and holy name I pray, Amen.

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Retirement Ceremony for a Post – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain (COL) Thomas Wheatley and prayed at the USAG Yongsan/8th Army Retirement Ceremony, 27 April 2016)

Dear Father,

We give You thanks today for the many years of service and sacrifice of all of our retirees – and their family members who have made tremendous sacrifices of their own – in support of the Army and the nation, and in furthering the cause of freedom worldwide.  Only You know the true impact each of them have had over the years.

We thank You for equipping each of them with a heart for service; and we thank You ahead of time for the service we know that they will continue to provide for our nation in the next chapter of their lives.  We know that You have a good plan for each of them, and we pray that You make clear to them those good plans You have for them.

We give You thanks for being with them every step of their journey in the Army – and we Know You will continue to be with them in their future.  Your Word promises that You preserve our going out and our coming in from this time forth and even forevermore.  Thank You for Your constant presence and Your care for each of us, no matter where we go and what we do.

We pray now Your blessings on this ceremony and all who are attending.  And we pray that You keep all of us strong and vigilant as we guard the frontiers of freedom around the world.

Amen.

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SGT Audie Murphy Club Induction Ceremony – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at multiple SGT Audie Murphy Club Induction Ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-1015)

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this day that you have given us to enjoy the freedoms that have been won for us. We also thank you for this opportunity that we have to induct into the SGT Audie Murphy Club those who have demonstrated excellence. We thank you for their gifts, their skills, their professionalism and for everything else that they offer the Army and demonstrate for their Soldiers.

We ask that you be with us today as we celebrate their accomplishment and help us to remember that it is because of you that we have life and can accomplish anything. Father, it is your blessings poured out on us that cause us to rejoice.

I ask that all that is said and done today will bring glory and honor to you.

In your precious name we pray, amen.

SGT Audie Murphy Club Induction Ceremony – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at multiple SGT Audie Murphey Club Induction Ceremonies, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 2013-1015)

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for your presence with us today–and everyday.

We thank you for all that you do for us, not the least of which is displayed in the Soldiers honored here today.

I ask that you will bless in a special way those who have demonstrated the loyalty, discipline, professionalism, and caring that gained them this honor and help them to be an example and inspiration for us all-in all that we do.

Go with us now as we leave this place but not your presence. Grant us the strength to live right before you and the courage to continue to defend freedom and liberty around the world.

In your holy and precious name we pray, amen.

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United States, Prayer for – (Christian)

(Written by George Washington and included in a circular letter sent to the Governors of the States, now United, when the Army was disbanded in 1783)

Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that thou wilt keep the United States in thy holy protection; that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the divine author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Veterans Day Prayer for Our Nation – (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Michael L. McCoy, published in The Military Chaplain, Vol 89, No 4, Winter 2016)

Almighty and Eternal God who gives us the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation, come visit us in this most sacred garden where many of our veterans have gathered and many of our nation’s heroes rest. Fill our hearts today with thankfulness for our veterans who answered the call to defend the honor and just causes of our great nation. We thank you for their patriotism, their devotion to liberty and justice, human dignity and rights, compassion and self-giving. We thank you for their diversity and their unity in mission.

Let all who would forget war reach out in compassion to those who must always remember. May the nightmares of all wars cease, so that healing can take place.

To honor our veterans, may each American find reasons to love, not hate, and strength to build than to destroy. Renew our sense of unity, hope and faith through times of testing and difficulty.

God give us a joyous spirit of celebration of our nation’s veterans and their families. Bless us now with your presence. In the Name of our God who challenges us to care. Amen.

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Weather, Good – (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain James O’Neill, 3rd Army Chief of Chaplains, at the request of LTG George Patton, 8 December 1944)

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.

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Welcome Ceremony for a BN CSM – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the 5-15 CAV CSM Welcome Ceremony, Ft. Knox, KY, 2005)

Dear Father,

We thank you for this day that you have given us, and for this Welcome Ceremony for Command Sergeant Major _________________. We thank you because it gives us another opportunity to celebrate the freedoms that are ours as Americans and the strength of our country that we contribute to as American Soldiers.

Thank you, Lord, for the strong leadership of CSM ______________ during his time in 5-15. Be with him now as he is active leading soldiers in the War on Terror. Thank you for SGM _______________’s time in the CSM seat, as he stood in the gap and maintained effective operations in 5-15.

Thank you, now for CSM _________________. We pray that he will feel a warm welcome in 5-15 CAV. I ask that you will empower him to be a strong and wise leader: as enlisted soldiers depend on him for leadership, and the officers count on him for guidance.

Bless this ceremony with your presence, as we are all blessed by your grace.

In your name we pray, amen.

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Women’s History Month Observation – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford, prayed at the Women’s History Month Observation, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, 22 March 2012)

Dear Heavenly Father:

We thank you for this day and for this opportunity to gather together. We thank you for the contributions of women throughout our nation’s history and specifically within our Army. I pray that you will continue to bless them, encourage them and strengthen them for the days ahead.

I pray that you will be with us all during this observance today that everything that is said and done will be pleasing to you, honoring to the women present, and an encouragement to us all.

Finally, Lord, I pray that you will bless the food that we will be enjoying this afternoon; that it will be a nourishment to our bodies that we might grow stronger to serve better.

In your name we pray, amen.

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Women’s History Month Observation – Invocation (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the USAG Yongsan, ROK Women’s History Month Observance, 25 March 2016)

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this day and for this occasion that brings us together to remember, honor and encourage women who have served and sacrificed in our military, in public service and in our government.

 Thank you for each one: those who have gone before, those present with us here today, and those yet to come. Thank you for the enormous contribution that they have made to our nation’s defense and development as they have served around the world both in and out of harm’s way.

Thank you also, for everyone who chose to attend this observance today to remember and honor these women who have done so much.

Finally, Lord, I pray that you will bless this time today with your presence, with the hope that all that we say and do today will honor you and will bless all of us here gathered.

In your holy name I pray, Amen.

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Women’s History Month Observation – Benediction (Christian)

(Written by Chaplain Daryl Densford and prayed at the USAG Yongsan, ROK Women’s History Month Observance, 25 March 2016)

Dear Father,

 Thank you for your presence with us here today, and for all that we have heard to inspire and encourage us.

 Again, I thank you for the contributions of women throughout our history who have dedicated their lives to public service in a variety of roles. I pray that their examples will not only motivate other women to keep the course, but all of us –men and women- as we serve together to make our military strong and our nation great.

 Go with us now, I pray, and empower us to do good both when on duty and off, remembering that our faithful service can be the model that others follow to excellence.

 In your precious name I pray, Amen.

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Other Collections of Prayers

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Prayers for the Unit Ministry Team

In 1986, while the FORSCOM Command Chaplain, Chaplain (COL) Matthew Zimmerman compiled a “prayer book” to “inspire, instruct and assist chaplains in their preparation of … public prayers.”

Here’s a PDF file of Chaplain Zimmerman’s Prayer Book: Prayers for Military Chaplains

Book of Prayers

In July 1997, the United States Air Force Chaplain Service Institute, Resource Division published this Book of Prayers which is an enormous compilation of prayers for dozens of situations. This booklet includes both contributed prayers from Air Force Chaplains as well as Army and Navy Chaplains; and also includes several significant historical prayers. Its stated purpose is to “provide the Air Force Chaplain Service with a resource of prayers relevant to the varied occasions they encounter in military ministry.” One editorial note: it seems the order or arrangement of the pdf file is out of order, which many of the “preliminary” sections being at the end.

Here’s a PDF file of Book of Prayers: Book of Prayers

The United States Air Force Chaplain Corps Book of Prayers

The Air Force Chaplain Corps’ Book of Prayers has been updated (probably several times) and “is provided as a quick reference of secular and nonsecular prayers. Special effort has been made to maximize the inclusiveness of the contents and should be adequate in meeting the pluralistic needs of our diverse military community. The content was provided by various U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps personnel as well as several commercial publishers.”

Here’s a PDF file of The United States Air Force Chaplain Corps Book of Prayers: Book of Prayers

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If I inadvertently claimed or applied authorship for a prayer that was adapted or borrowed, it is not intentional but as a result of my memory or incomplete information. I have sought to properly give credit for all prayers posted here.

  1. Thank you for the listed prayers! I will be using a few of them as a guideline for my first cadet military ball prayer!

    Like

  2. Thank you for these prayers and the Air Force Chaplain Book of Prayers. I’ve just become the Chaplain of our MOAA chapter and these will be quite helpful.

    Like

  3. What an awesome resource! I am not a chaplain but have the honor of giving the invocation and benediction for a JAG dining-out. I obviously want to say a prayer that is appropriate for a group setting and not how I personally pray. Thank you so much.

    Like

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