SPRING HILL, Tenn. (BP)–In 2003, I was given the opportunity to travel to the Middle East twice to report for Baptist Press about the faith of sailors and soldiers that I came into contact with. It was a life-changing experience, putting me on a new course I could never have designed for myself.
Something I’ve never forgotten was a conversation I had with Army Chaplain Jim Murphy, who at the time was stationed with the 325th Regiment 82nd Airborne just south of Baghdad. It was November of that year when photographer Jim Veneman and I sat down with him there and he told us how his men had seen an incredible difference between the summer and fall of that year in terms of casualties.
“We could tell a difference when the people back home were praying for us and when they weren’t,” Chaplain Murphy told us. “It was like night and day.”
Besides the scorching temperatures, summer also brought many reports of death, when conditions were the worst and morale was the lowest. But, Chaplain Murphy said, “When people started praying for us again toward the end of August, that’s when things started turning around.”
As Christians, we know that prayer is the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal. God listens to His people. Unfortunately, I fear that many have come to look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as highly political, paying less and less attention and forgetting that the men and women who are serving overseas, as well as their families, still need our prayers. For safety. For a successful mission. For a happy and healthy homecoming.
That’s why I was excited to hear about a new ministry that recently started through Northside Baptist Church in Del Rio, Texas. Operation M’Brace matches prayer warriors with individual service members. You can request a specific name or have a name assigned to you and for $10, you’ll receive a bracelet engraved with that name, a reminder to keep that individual lifted up in continuous prayer.
Bruce and Sherry Malloy direct the ministry. Two years ago, Sherry ran across a rubber bracelet with the words “Pray for our troops” and had felt it was too impersonal. “How is it possible for a Christian to pray for the entire military, knowing that prayer must be personal, consistent and effective?” she’d asked herself.
That’s when she believes God gave her the idea for a prayer bracelet, like the original POW/MIA bracelets in the 1970s, matching committed individuals to service members, whether they are deployed or stateside. Military members and their families can register to be prayed for, or submit a name they would like to pray for themselves.
Currently the group has more prayer warriors than names. They are encouraging military members to register online for their prayer list. This is a great opportunity for churches and small groups to rally around our military, particularly during the summer months when so many of us become busy with other things.
Visit Operation M’Brace’s website at www.opmbrace.org to purchase a bracelet with a service member’s name on it or to register a name for prayer.
Help our troops see and experience the difference and the power of prayer.
Sara Horn is the wife of a Navy reservist and founder of Wives of Faith (www.wivesoffaith.org), a faith-based military wives support organization. Her new book, “GOD Strong: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Military Wives” is scheduled for release by Zondervan in February. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.