Allen West is a national treasure. He reminds us why prayer is vital to America, especially in these perilous times.
— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) May 5, 2021
West: “I am so thankful that as a nation we have the privilege of joining together in prayer during the annual National Day of Prayer on May 6, as I believe our country is in need of prayer more than ever.
As I think about what a National Day of Prayer means, I am reminded of the powerful painting ‘The Prayer at Valley Forge’ by Arnold Friberg, depicting Gen. George Washington kneeling beside his horse in the snow.
You can just imagine he felt the weight of his entire fledgling nation’s future on his shoulders at a time when things looked very bleak. I often feel that weight today, as I am sure many others do, as well. But I keep a print of that painting in my home to remind me that there is hope – that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does answer the prayers of His people lifted on behalf of a country at a crossroads. When I view that painting, I am inspired by the power of prayer, and how it was integral to the founding of our nation.
Another historic prayer I am reminded of is that of Gen. George S. Patton, which he asked his chaplain to write at an equally pivotal time when our troops were risking their lives on behalf of our freedoms. This prayer preceded the offensive that became popularly known as The Battle of the Bulge, an attempt by the German army during World War II to drive a wedge between the Western Allied armies. The Germans were initially successful in this rare wintertime offensive, with the wet and cold weather working to their advantage. With a powerful belief that God would intervene in the affairs of humanity, Patton asked Third Army Chaplain Msgr. Francis O’Neill to draft a prayer for more favorable conditions. While this was a theological challenge, the chaplain was inspired and penned these words within the hour:
‘Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.’
While we may not be facing enemies at the gate, we are clearly in a battle for the heart and soul of our nation. We must follow the extraordinary examples of these two historic figures who were so pivotal in winning and preserving the freedoms we enjoy today.”