Continue in Prayer… with Thanksgiving

From Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, November 21, 2007:

Continue in Prayer being Vigilant with Thanksgiving

This is the seventh year of war for us Americans and our British allies. Many of our peoples are war-weary. It’s understandable. We are grateful for good news for our country in Iraq. Attacks on our forces are way down. We can see substantial progress, especially in Anbar Province. Still, the daily reports come to us from the Department of Defense. Just this week, we learned that three more American warriors have laid down their lives for freedom. Let me share their names: PFC Marius L. Ferrero, 23, of Miami, Fla., Cpl. Jason T. Lee, 26, of Fruitport, Mich., and Cpl. Christopher J. Nelson, 22, Rochester, Wash. They are so young, so brave.

More than sixty years ago, Prime Minister Winston Churchill attended an American Thanksgiving service in the Royal Albert Hall in London. The year was 1944. The British, Canadian and American forces had stormed ashore at Normandy less than half a year earlier. They took heavy casualties on those beaches, and heavier casualties still breaking out of the Cotentin Peninsula. They were fighting across France, Belgium, and Holland. Churchill could not know then what lay ahead. The Battle of the Bulge would be fought in Europe’s coldest winter in a century.

He did not suspect that Hitler would wreak his vengeance once again on London with V-1 and V-2 rockets. Churchill liked Americans and he liked especially this very American holiday of Thanksgiving. As these English-speaking warriors gathered together to pray, he told them: “We are joined in this union of action which has been forced upon us by our common hatred of tyranny. Shedding our blood side by side, struggling for the same ideals, until the triumph of the great cause which we serve…Then, indeed there will be a day of thanksgiving, one in which the whole world will share.”

Our American Thanksgiving began with our Pilgrim fathers, to be sure. But our national holiday of Thanksgiving, often observed on a cold, gray day in November, was the result of Presidential Proclamation. First, from President Lincoln in 1863; then with President Roosevelt and the Congress, permanently fixing the date in World War II. So it is fitting that we acknowledge our thanks to God on this day. And remember those whose blood and sacrifice make it possible for us to do so in freedom. Many of them will eat their Thanksgiving dinner on metal trays, ducking incoming mortar rounds.

Paul encouraged Believers at Colosse to “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Col 4:2) With the Apostle word in mind I would like to encourage you to spend a few moments in prayer with your family and friends as you gather for Thanksgiving dinner. Pray for our men and women serving in our nation’s military. Pray for our leaders that they would make wise decisions that would honor the sacrifices made throughout the history of our nation. Pray for the pastors and priests of this nation that they would be as bold and courageous to defend truth here at home. Finally, pray that as Christians here in America, we will seek God and do our part to make this country a nation deserving of His divine protection. May God bless each of you. May you be surrounded by your loved ones. And may He bless all our valiant soldiers until that Day of Thanksgiving in which the whole world will share.

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