War Eagle, Iraq

by Chaplain Mark Johnston

bullet holesSeated in the small plywood chapel outside Baghdad, praying men and women felt compelled to thank the Lord for sparing life in the 1st Brigade Combat Team thus far while deployed in harm's way.

Members openly prayed and thanked the Lord for His sovereign grace. Intercession was voiced aloud.

At the conclusion of the service, staff officers arrived and informed us that one of our soldiers had just been shot outside of Ur -- the very place Abraham left in obedience to follow the living God.

The soldier who was shot was on a humanitarian mission -- passing out soccer equipment to neighborhood children.

While doing this, a sniper took aim and fired. The bullet penetrated the Kevlar helmet of the unaware soldier from the back of his head.

The helmet exploded by the impact of the bullet, but the intended killing-round ricocheted through the helmet, above the soldier's head, exiting through the front of the helmet, only grazing his scalp!

The time of the shooting at Ur coincided exactly with the prayer of the soldiers at War Eagle!

While some might call this good luck, coincidence, or good fortune, one thing is certain; prayers were being made at the very moment that incident occurred. What we can assess from this includes:

An Air Force chaplain shakes hands with a soldier returning home to the United States. a) The Living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is our source of protection and our shield in times of trouble. He protects us from the "arrow that flies by day" and will guard our steps as we seek to do the right thing (Psalm 91:5).

b) It's always a good thing to pray with the knowledge that the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous, casting all our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective (James 5:16).

c) Always wear your Kevlar with the Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17).

P.S. The soldier recovered well and attended the next chapel service!

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