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War Cries: Military Prayers from Barracks to Battlefield

Author: Mark Davidson
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 149
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 978 0 281 07364 1

Reviewed by Paul Beasley-Murray.

This is the first public collection of British military prayers. The very first prayer in this volume is ‘the soldiers’ prayer’, composed in August 1914 by the Chaplain-General to the Armed Forces, John Taylor Smith, and given to all members of the British Expeditionary Force: “Almighty and most merciful Father, forgive me my sins; grant me thy peace; give me thy power, bless me in life and death, for Jesus Christ’s sake.” A further 224 prayers then follow, including a modern prayer from the Commando Prayer Book: “Lord, as we remember with sadness the horrors of war, help us to work for a better understanding between race and nations. Open our eyes to see our own part in discord and aggression between peoples, forgive us our pride and divisions, and renew in us the search for peace so that trust may replace suspicion, friendship replace fear, and your spirit of reconciliation be known among us all.” It is never easy knowing how to pray in war. Perhaps above all we need to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln quoted at the very beginning of the book: “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right”.

Paul Beasley-Murray

Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford<br>and Chair of Ministry Today

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You are reading Issue 66 of Ministry Today, published in March 2016.

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