In World War 2 there were seven occasions when the nation of Britain was asked by King George VI to pray.
On June 6 1944 he broadcast a quietly spoken speech on the radio saying ‘I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication… We shall not ask that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God… We who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the suffering of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen who go forth to set the captives free… If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages, and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please, God, both now and in a future not remote the predictions of an ancient psalm may be fulfilled: ‘The Lord will give strength unto His people: the Lord will give His people the blessing of peace’.
After the victory had eventually come the king didn’t forget to thank God, saying, ‘In the hour of danger we humbly committed our cause into the Hand of God, and He has been our strength and shield. Let us thank him for His mercies, and in this hour of victory commit ourselves and our new task to the guidance of that same strong hand’.
But what was it like for the ordinary person in the London blitz? Here’s a diary extract which has been published:
‘In those moments one doesn’t think; one only calls on God, and the power of God, to protect us. For there is nothing else. Who have I in heaven but Thee, oh God! Oh God save us! Theology, doctrine, truth, vanishes. There is only you and your agony and peril, and you flee to God. You throw yourself at His feet with your terror and your helplessness and lo, He enfolds you, underneath are His everlasting arms. Prayer. Prayer and the mercy of God, who lays His hand on your anguished mind, and lo, you are serene, safe in His keeping; the peace of God which passes all understanding.’
Not all of us are facing a time of war and danger now, but there’s still a spiritual battle for each one of us, and our nations, although sometimes we forget that this is so. We still need to call on the power of God to protect us from attack by the enemy. We need to be enfolded in ‘the everlasting arms’ during times of personal peril, but also in times of peace. And we need the peace of God which passes all understanding. Our intercessions need to rise up to God. There are those who go forth in ministry to set the spiritual captives free. Others can pray for them and be the ones to fortify them in their determination to do this.
Prayer: Our Father, please help us to remember to call out to You to protect us from all danger and attacks of the enemy. We thank You that You desire to bring us into Your everlasting arms and give us the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.
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