The American military spirit borne of the military’s first principles, virtue, honor and patriotism, is confirmed in the public prayers, public speeches, and writings of senior military leadership in an unbroken line from the nation’s founding to the present. There are prayers found in the speeches and writings of military leaders and published in a plethora of Armed Forces Prayer Books utilized by servicemen through our entire national history.
The concept that prayer is a private exercise without impact on the common morale is novel and without foundation. The conduct of soldiers is highly regulated with uniformity being a priority for combat readiness. The morale of the unit is dependent upon members deferring their individual interests to the function of the whole. This is not a matter of requiring a certain faith or creed. The consequence of eliminating common prayer has implications for military readiness.
Chaplain James O’Neill, Chaplain for General Patton and the Third Army wrote, per the request of General Patton, in Training Letter No. 5, “we must urge, instruct, and indoctrinate every fighting man to pray as well as fight . . . This Army needs the assurance and the faith that God is with us. With prayer, we cannot fail.”
Historically, the military has acknowledged almighty God as sovereign over the affairs of men, especially men of valor in war. Prayer must not be made into a wedge of exception or treated as a dispensable triviality. Great military leaders as well as our Presidents throughout our history have acknowledge a Divine Providence who has created all men equal, and Whose favor has been earnestly sought. Those who cannot participate in this military act, according to General George C. Marshall, are not the soldiers whose souls would sustain them in battle.
Through the Case for Prayer we seek to demonstrate the necessity of prayer to America’s military mission and at a time when prayer is being disregarded, opposed by political and military leaders, and treated as a mere formality in military and non-military circumstances, this site is designed to demonstrate that anyone of any station or denomination has the opportunity to legally deliver a prayer associated with an historic occasion or prayed by an historic figure.
Read more behind the court case at the Virginia Military Institute that inspired this site – The Case