©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
“But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts,” prayed President Franklin D. Roosevelt on D-Day 1944 in a radio address to the nation.
Troops numbering some 156,000 swarmed five beaches in Normandy. Omaha Beach. Utah Beach. Gold Beach. Juno Beach. Sword Beach. Americans numbered 73,000; Brits – 61,735; Canadians – 21,400. Ships advanced; amphibious vehicles poured troops out; paratroopers dropped from the sky. When the day was over, more than 4,400 Allied troops had given the ultimate sacrifice and thousands more were injured. The blood of brave fighters for freedom poured red onto the beaches.
As we mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I hope you’ll spend a few minutes to ponder the prayer by President Roosevelt on D-Day. On that momentous occasion, he called on Americans to pray fervently and frequently, and for family members and those at home to rededicate themselves in renewed faith to “Almighty God.”
Oh, friends, let that be our desire today as well.
Communal prayer unites us with God and one another. It allows us to identify what our collective needs are and to focus on Who we trust to deliver them. When we pray together to ask for God’s divine delivery of strength, courage and wisdom either for ourselves, those we love or those in leadership, we, in community, acknowledge that God’s power is greater than our own.
Our 32nd President led Americans to ask God for strength, for faith and for favor. He prayed not only for the preservation of our nation, but also for peace that would provide freedom for all.
Oh, friends, let that be our prayer today as well.
Prayer with others is a unifier. We focus more on what we all desire and less on what divides us.
President Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer stands as one we can today still pray for ourselves, our military, our country and for all who seek to live freely.
“My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.
(The above prayed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on air June 6,1944)
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 NIV
- Who do you know who fought in World War II? Who do you know currently serving in the armed forces?
- At what time in your life did you pray a prayer in crisis? When have you asked friends or others to pray with you?
- What prayer to God for our nation do you think is most needed now? Write it. Pray it.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Psalm 90:1 NIV
- Prayer from FDR Presidential Library and Museum (bold emphasis added). https://www.fdrlibrary.org/d-day
- Photo by CPHOM Robert F. Sargent, 1923-2012
- DOD Fact Sheet – https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/features/2016/0516_dday/docs/d-day-fact-sheet-the-beaches.pdf
- National D-Day Memorial – https://www.dday.org/the-memorial/
- History (Channel) – https://www.history.com/news/d-day-casualties-deaths-allies
Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™