Praying against your enemies

On Thursday will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day. A day on which President Roosevelt prayed for the success of Operation Overlord. The stated goal was to crush the Nazi regime. So praying to God in this situation must be a prayer against the enemies, right?

Absolutely not. Great people pray for all God’s children, never against any of them. The last paragraph of Roosevelt’s prayer sums it up nicely:

“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”

The operation was intended to overcome racism, to ensure peace, freedom and justice. But not even those were really requests, Roosevelt makes of God, but “Thy will be done”. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the Allied Forces were offering blood, sweat, and tears. Nobody parachuted behind enemy lines or landed on the shore in order to get injured or killed. But they all accepted it the way Jesus accepted the fact that God’s will may just mean death on the cross. Jesus did not want to go to Golgotha: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” The more than 160,000 Allied troops did not set out to kill their German counterparts. The goal was to make this world a better place. In times of epic injustice, that may require great sacrifice.

What courageous actions are you taking to overcome racism, to ensure peace, freedom and justice in our day and age?