Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice …that those who love your name may exult in you.
—Psalm 5:8, 11
OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, in what is likely the capstone of their ministry efforts for God’s kingdom purposes, OCF leaders at the service academies and various ROTC small group fellowships gathered for spiritual commissioning ceremonies. Having sacrificially invested themselves by mentoring these newly minted military officers in the ways of Christ, they prayed over them with the moms, dads, and other family members who had invested themselves in the raising of their loved ones to adulthood, about to go out service to Christ as they serve their nation.
These new second lieutenants and ensigns, in their military calling that will take them all over the globe and into situations fulfilling, bewildering, joyous, and sobering, have also been sent out by Christ to make a difference, to be salt and light in flavorless and dark places.
If we could see with spiritual eyes what surrounds the unseen of those spiritual commissioning ceremonies, in our humanity we would be aghast and terrified at the spiritual warfare taking place. We might see God’s armies of warring angels with swords drawn against “the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV) clawing to get at these young, new leaders for their vows of allegiance to Christ.
Consider the words of this simple prayer: “Almighty God…Lead [our troops] 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.” It was a prayer by the President of the United States, who led his anxious nation to plead for God’s faithfulness and mercy as U.S. Armed Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy with its allies to break evil’s grip over Europe from Nazi tyranny.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prayer should be one we commit to for all the military, especially for these new second lieutenants and ensigns, and those already serving as Christlike leaders. It’s a far, far different society and world in innumerable ways from the 6 June 1944 day when President Roosevelt prayed. We are no longer a nation of its leaders and its people who at least come together to pray, even if not all believe in God or pray. Neither does the Church as a whole in the western world call out to God in unified, urgently beseeching prayer. In a 2023 Barna Research report, among self-identified Christians, only 6% have a biblical worldview. Said George Barna, “As things stand today, biblical theism is much closer to extinction in America than it is to influencing the soul of the nation.”
Our spiritually commissioned new officers have made a commitment to God to serve Him as they serve in duty, honor, and country. OCF prayer warrior teammates—let’s wholeheartedly commit to support and pray for them to continually grow in the fullness of Christ as they step out to impact others for Him. How can we pray for you?