Footsteps in Faith: Praying is not a sign of military weakness

| June 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Josh Llano
45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command



In his article “The True Story of the Patton Prayer,” Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) James O’Neil, 3rd Army, discusses the mystery behind the Patton Prayer.

O’Neil has a firsthand account of the power of prayer.

Gen. George Patton questioned him about how much praying the Soldiers of the 3rd Army were doing. He reluctantly answered that not much praying was going on, much to the chagrin of Patton.

“Chaplain, I am a strong believer in prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want: by planning, by working and by praying,” Patton said to O’Neil. “Any great military operation takes careful planning or thinking. Then, you must have well-trained troops to carry it out; that’s working.

“But between the plan and the operation, there is always the unknown,” he continued. “That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. … I call it God. God has his part, or margin, in everything. That’s where prayer comes in.

“If we all pray, it will be like … plugging in on current sources … in heaven,” Patton said. “I believe that prayer completes that circuit. It is power.”

Soon after this speech, the 3rd Army needed the weather to change to turn a possible defeat into victory. Patton called for the chaplain to pray for a miracle, for a change in weather, for a victory over his enemies.

Whether by help of divine guidance that was asked for in prayer or by just the normal course of events, the day after the prayer was issued, the weather cleared up and remained perfect for about six days. This timeframe was long enough to allow the Allies to break the backbone of the enemy’s offense and turn a temporary setback into a crushing defeat for the enemy.

This story helps illustrate how we must continue to be people of prayer to receive God’s blessing of victory and protection.

Matthew 6:6 says, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your father who is in the secret place, and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

A good prayer life can help us face our daily battles with confidence and hope.

May God continue to bless you and answer your daily prayers.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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