Prayers for the Military

to the National Anthem of the United States

Thank You, Lord, for the men and women of our armed forces. Protect them as they protect us. Defend them as they defend us. Encourage and strengthen their spirit, soul, and body in the execution of their duties and responsibilities. May they be mentally and physically strong when required to face the challenges of combat. Undergird them with Your Holy Spirit and might when they are called upon to endure the hardships of battle.
I pray that nothing would take them by surprise, but that they would be aware of all potential aggression. Enable them to curtail hostile actions before they start. Reveal to military leaders the strategies and plots that enemies would wage. Give leaders wisdom and insight in all decisions. May response to any aggression by enemies of this nation be swift, accurate, and effective.
Father, give our military favor with the governmental agencies of this country. I pray that our Congress would appropriate sufficient funds to keep our nation's military preeminent and strong in the world.
Thank You, Lord, for providing America with the best trained, equipped, and lead military force in the world today. Fill them with Your saving grace and the gospel of peace that they may be shining witnesses of Your heavenly love.
Enrich them spiritually that they may cope with life and death situations on the field of battle. When their military brothers and sisters fall in action, give them the strength to continue the good fight. Relieve any feelings of guilt that they may experience if they have to kill another of Your children, in every situation. Help them to realize that they are called to perform at capacity, and unfortunately killing others may sometimes be required of them. Instill in them Your love, showing them mercy and forgiveness when they must break the fifth commandment out of necessity. Whenever possible, guide them to find more humane ways to achieve their goals, keeping the number of casualties at a minimum.
In Jesus' Holy Name, I humbly pray. Amen.

To the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

Queen of the Holy Rosary, we implore you to bless our military forces at home and abroad.
Guide their steps into the way of peace. Amen.

For Our Men and Women in Military Service

O Prince of Peace, we humbly ask Your protection for all our men and women in military service. Give them unflinching courage to defend with honor, dignity, and devotion the rights of all who are imperiled by injustice and evil. Guard our churches, our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our factories, our buildings, and all those within from harm and peril. Protect our land and its peoples from enemies from within and without. Grant an early peace with victory founded upon justice. Instill in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere a firm purpose to live forever in peace and good will toward all. Amen.

~~Franciscan Mission Associates; prayer card

Prayer for the Families of Our Military

In the Holy Name of Jesus, I lift up to You, Father, the families of our military. I pray that all will feel Your love and mercy while they are concerned for their loved ones who are away serving our great nation. May they know abundance, being well provided for and well taken care of until their loved ones return home safely. Give them the courage of warriors. May the peace that passes understanding sustain them in seasons of separation. Comfort them with Your Word, that they might have faith to see their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives returned to them in wholeness and safety. Amen.

For our Veterans

O Lord, today I thank You for our veterans, for their willingness to risk all so that our nation might dwell in peace and safety. May they find the honor and recognition they truly deserve. I pray that You will heal the physical, spiritual, and psychological wounds some of these veterans have suffered. Bring a lasting peace to those who mourn the loss of comrades. Help them to find Your love and mercy, so that they may cope with the actions they may have had to take while they served our country. Make them realize that the rules of engagement in war do not always follow the laws of Christianity, but give them solace by Your scripture passages that show them that sometimes battle is necessary for the common good. Amen.

Prisoners of War

Father, in the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray for those who have been taken captive in war. Give them courage to persevere and also the knowledge that they have not been forgotten. May our nation find ways to rescue them safely and quickly, so that their suffering is not prolonged. I pray that they will not be used as pawns to the advantage of our enemies. Enter the hearts of their captors, that they may be merciful. Do not let the Evil One control their hearts and minds, tempting them to be cruel and torture their captives. Shine Your Light of Love upon all involved in military prisons. Remind them of Your commandment to love one another, as You love us all. Amen.

For Those Missing in Action

O my God, may we find more efficient ways of tracing and identifying those who are missing in action. Let them not be forgotten. Fill them with the hope of freedom and knowledge that their loved ones and comrades anxiously await their safe return. I fervently pray that the truth would come to light quickly so that the living may be rescued, and the families of the deceased may find timely closure. For those whom You have received into the next life, grant them eternal rest, O Lord. Let perpetual Light shine upon them. By Your mercy, may they rest in peace. Amen.

During Time of War or Conflict

Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of our Lord Jesus, to lift up in prayer this present military action. Father, I pray that there might be a quick resolution to this action, and that the truth and righteousness would prevail. May You guide, bless, and protect all those engaged in this conflict. Heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds that may be inflicted. Let all our soldiers, both home and abroad, turn to You for guidance, courage, and hope. Amen.

For Our Deceased Service Men and Women

You are all-powerful, God, and live forever in light and joy. Look with pity and love, we beg You, on those men and women who bravely fought and gallantly died for their country. By laying down their lives, they showed supreme love for others.

Accept, we ask You, their sacrifice and their belief in the justice of the cause they died for. Let their offering not be in vain. Please forgive any sins and faults they may have committed. Speedily, we implore You, bring them into Your Presence where fear, sadness, mourning, and death cannot exist.

Have pity in Your loving kindness on those they leave behind. In Your own unsearchable ways, make good for their absence, and lavishly bestow Your love and consolations on those deprived of their presence. This we ask in the Name of Christ, our Victor King. Amen.

~~from "Let us pray for our faithful departed," published by Franciscan Mission Assoc.

See also prayers to St. Martin of Tours, Patron Saint of Soldiers,
and prayers for our nation.

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Many of these prayers were taken from "Pray for Our Nation," published by Harrison House, 1999.