Sermon Notes: There are No Atheists in Foxholes !
THE FOLLOWING ARE PASTOR CRUTCHFIELD’S NOTES FROM THIS MORNING’S SERVICE AT COMPASSIONCHURCHOFKATY.
This week I want to do something a little different. I want to share with you an illustration of how prayer, specifically being prayed for can get people through one of the toughest things a person can face. This story is from the summer issue of Leadership Journal a magazine we ministers read and comes from an article written by Marshall Shelley.
In it Shelly recounts the experience of an Army chaplain serving with an airborne battalion. This particular night the chaplain’s unit was working with an elite commando unit. The chaplain prayed for his own unit quoting
“Have I not commanded you ? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
In the chaplains unit he always prayed with the men of the unit before they went on a mission so his prayers and comments were quite welcome as the members of the unit had grown accustomed to drawing on the chaplain for comfort.
He then turned his attention to the nearby commando unit they would be serving with that night. He asked the master chief in charge if he could have a moment of prayer with his men. The master chief agreed. However the chaplain had trouble getting the men’s attention so the master chief helped him get their attention. The chaplain then prayed for these men also.
Both units went off on their mission. They didn’t even reach their target before one of their choppers was shot down. Miraculously not a single man was seriously hurt ! Both units were rescued ! Every mission from that night on the commandos insisted this chaplain pray for them before they left. In some cases comm links had to be set up between the chaplain’s unit and some of the forward operating bases where the commando unit was. But for the rest of their time in theater, they made sure they were prayed for before they set out.
This story is a real world example of what scripture tell us in,
“ For this reason, confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful for what it can achieve.”
When I was in the Texas State Guard I was a peacetime soldier, so I never served in combat. But I know from those who have, that is a horrific experience. Not only could you be hurt or killed but you are often cold, tired and hungry. You also could be half a world away from those you care about. It is the difficulty and the fear involved which gave rise to the old saying “There are no atheists in foxholes.” the idea being that combat is so difficult and horrifying that only belief in a higher power can bring you through it.
Maybe like me you have never been in combat. However in your life maybe you are facing “foxholes of your own. Maybe you battling cancer. Or for whatever reason even face to face with death itself. If you find yourself in a situation that tests all your limits at once, take the lead of those who face death for a living ! Prayer works ! Seek out your pastor, a local minister or an accountability partner and ask them to pray for you. Pray also for your own needs, and challenges.
If you are lucky enough to not be in this kind of situation open yourself up to pray for others. The results can be powerful, and God will bless you for it. If you notice someone who seems to be going through a tough time, pray for them. They may be embarrassed or for whatever reason find it impossible to discuss their situation with anybody. You don’t have to know their name, God knows their name. You don’t have to know their need, God knows their need. For God knows every need. Prayer is a simple, yet powerful weapon. Commit yourself to praying for someone when the opportunity presents its self. Be the spiritual hero somebody need today !
- Are Military Chaplains Helpful or Harmful? (patheos.com)
- One of the items on Obama’s agenda is to root out traditionally Christian chaplains from the military (crisismagazine.com)
- Chaplains Help Newtown Find ‘New Normal’. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)
- WWII Then and Now: Sidney “Sid” Savage saw much suffering as a combat medic (cantonrep.com)
Posted on January 20, 2013, in Compassion Church of Katy and tagged Army Chaplain, Chaplain, hardship, Leadership Journal, Life's struggles, Marshal Shelly, Prayer, Texas State Guard, There are No Atheisits in Foxholes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.