…Americans boldly proclaimed the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, in the public and government arena. I was reading an article by Reverend Mark H. Creech titled, Public prayer in Jesus’ name: yes or no?, and it made me wax nostalgic for the times before I was born. Yes, its possible to do that when you love old books, like the reverend and I do. In his article, he tells of an old Army and Navy Service book for chaplains that his daughter bought for him and in it he noticed George Washington’s prayer. I will refer you to his article to read that prayer and his commentary. My commentary will be similar to it.
Well, this prayer of Washington’s piqued my interest so I dug out my old Army and Navy Hymnal book that my late fiance had when he was in the service during the Viet Nam War. Its copyright date: 1941. That old? I love it! It was from the time of WWII and I immediately wondered at the history it has seen if it could only talk. Sadly, it had to be retired. Besides, the next big war was the Gulf War and it would have been replaced with a newer, more generic hymnal by then, I’m sure, since the mentioning of Jesus’ Name was starting to wane by public and state proclamations. Thankfully, this treasure fell into my hands. I love the old book. I just have to use the computer to search for the old hymns to hear their tune. Some of them I do know. Oh! I once attended a church that had Old Hymns night, where all the gray heads would play their respective instruments, if they played one, and belt out those old songs with smiling eyes and tapping foot.
I opened up the book to its first page and there’s ”A Prayer for the Army.” It says:
Lord God of Hosts, whose power is from everlasting, and whose Name is above every name in heaven and on earth: keep, we pray Thee, under thy protecting care the Army of our country and all who serve therein. Defend them amid violence on land or sea or in the heavens, and grant that they may be a sure defense and a safeguard for the people of the United States and a security for such as come and go in peaceful and lawful pursuit. In time of peace keep them from evil, and in the day of conflict suffer not their courage to fail: that they may guard the American heritage against those who would destroy or straiten the liberties of government by the people, and to the end that the blessings of religion and law may be preserved to posterity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I’ll make no more comment on our great religious heritage that has now been relegated to the private citizen’s closet so as not offend the athiest and islamist. You, my reader, may have your own thoughts on this and I hope you will share them in the comments below. Please do read Reverend Creech’s article, too. Its a “good-un!”
(I do want to add this little note though-that the only religions mentioned in the Hymnal are the Catholics, the Protestants, and the Jewish. Hmmm…Islam gets no mention. Evidently, Muslims were of no consequence at that time.)