This prayer was written for the Confederate Soldiers but it is also appropriate for our service men and women facing battle. It is also appropriate for those facing the battles of life.
No. I. A Prayer in anticipation of Battle.
- GOD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, you have said, Call upon me in the day of trouble, and 1 will hear you and deliver you. We, therefore, now approach you in our time of danger. The enemy is near and round about us, and we may soon be called upon to hazard our lives in the field of battle; and some of us be wounded or suddenly cut down in the midst of our days. O God, who has called yourself a man of war, be not far from us.. You fought for Israel; and our fathers have told us what wonders you performed in their days; how you dashed in pieces their enemies, and subdued them under them; and how in the greatness of your excellency you overthrew those that rose up against them. We, therefore, look to you who delivered them from death, and ask you to go with our army; to become our Leader and Commander; and to teach our hands to war, and our fingers to fight, that we may wax valiant and fight manfully, and be made mighty through you, to drive back and to destroy our enemies.
- We thank and praise your glorious Name, that you have afflicted us less than our iniquities deserved. Do not remember our innumerable offences. Let your tender mercies save us from their guilt, and wash us from their pollution in the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness through Jesus Christ your Beloved Son. O Lord, be gracious unto us for Christ’s sake, that being-justified by faith in him we may have peace with God, and with our own consciences. Impart to us a sweet hope that you are our reconciled God and Father; that the Spirit of love may cast out all fear. Hearken unto our voice, O Lord, while we now cry unto you. Have mercy upon us, and hear us. O Lord, you are the strength of each heart, our light, and our salvation; and then, though a host should come up against us, yet shall we not be afraid of them who, when they have killed the’ body, have nothing more that they can do.
- But, while thus confessing our sins, and imploring mercy for Christ’s sake, we plead before you the righteousness of our cause. We contend for liberty of conscience, liberty of worship, and liberty of life. We stand in defense of home, and happiness, and the heritage you have given us, and which our fathers bought for us with their own blood. Arise, O you to whom belongs vengeance, and plead our cause against an unjust and ungodly nation, who have wrongfully come up against us to destroy us.
- Most powerful and glorious Lord God, who sits in the throne judging right: we beseech you to take the cause into your own hand, and judge between us and our enemies. Stir up your strength, O Lord, and come and help us.
- Avenge us speedily for the oppression of the poor; for the sighing of the needy; for the miseries of the widow and the orphan; for your sanctuaries denied; for your Name blasphemed; for your laws despised and made subject to a higher law; for virtuous chastity dishonored, and innocent blood shed without cause; for thousands of your own dear children—the friends of Jesus, and the nursing fathers of your Church — ruthlessly slaughtered; for these things, O God, who will not hold their perpetrators guiltless, arise and be known by the judgments you shall execute upon them. May it be made evident to us, and to our enemies, that this battle is the Lord’s, that the Lord God of hosts is on our side, and fights for us, and that you are our Savior and mighty deliverer.
- We have no might, O Lord, against this great company who come up against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon you. Lord, it is nothing with you to help with many, or with them that have no power, for the battle is not to the strong, neither is it by might nor by power. With you, O Lord, is wisdom and strength. You have power to exalt, and to cast down. O Lord, yours is the greatness and the victory. O Lord our God, go with us, and lead us up against our enemies, and save us. Inspire our generals with wisdom, and power, and strategy, and skill, and cover their heads in the hour of battle, and let no weapon aimed against them prosper. Instill the minds of all our officers and soldiers with confidence in you, and in each other,*’with calmness, coolness, valor, and heroic devotion; and crown our contest with victory.
- And now, O God our Savior, into your hands we commit each other, not knowing what shall befall us. But being joyfully assured that with you are the issues of life and death; that you have the keys of death and the grave; and that as you appoint for each one of us the time, and place, and manner of our death. You are able to keep all that we now cast upon your merciful providence, so that if we live we may live unto the Lord, and if we die we may die unto the Lord, that whether living or dying we may be the Lord’s.
Book: The Soldier’s Prayer Book
Publisher: Charleston: Published by the South Carolina Tract Society 1863
Printer: Evans & Cogswell, Printers
Revised and Adapted by: Karrol Sneed 2013