More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus did not just stand up and say, “Let us pray” and launch straight into the Lord’s Prayer. He gave the prayer half way through the Sermon on the Mount because He took time to draw the thoughts of all the people together before prayer.
So let us also draw our thoughts together in our memory of the First World War before we pray.
I well remember that a picture on the wall of our home had the colour patches of all the Service groups in the 1st World War. The wording at the top said “For God, King, and Country.”
God is the highest power and He established the culture we accept. To serve God means to protect the culture that is basic to the beliefs of this country. Servicemen and women went to war, not to protect specific religions or education systems. They enlisted to protect our way of life which is the Christian culture of the free countries of the western world.
The King or Government comes next and means accepting responsibility for upholding those laws.
And Country means our way of life within that culture.
100 years ago my Father fought in World War 1 alongside men of all religious beliefs. They fought and suffered and died to uphold the Christian culture of Australia and New Zealand in 1914 so that we can uphold it now and not betray them.
I will say a short prayer for us and then we will all join in and say the Lord’s Prayer together.
Lord, we come into your presence in our reverence for the culture you have given us. Today we pray together as one people in our love for all those who protect our way of life in this country.
Please hear our prayer in the words given to all your people in the Sermon on the Mount as we say together the prayer You gave us
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)