Patton’s prayer

In World War II during The Battle of the Bulge, Chaplain James H. O’Neill talks about General George S. Patton’s prayer for better weather during a pivotal time in that war. The General said to Chaplain O’Neill, “I am a strong believer in Prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that’s working. But between the plan and the operation, there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success, or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part or margin in everything, That’s where prayer comes in.

Up to now, in the Third Army, God has been very good to us. We have never retreated; we have suffered no defeats, no famine, no epidemics. This is because a lot of people back home are praying for us. We were lucky in Africa, in Sicily, and in Italy. Simply because people prayed. But we have to pray for ourselves, too. A good soldier is not made merely by making him think and work. There is something in every soldier that goes deeper than thinking or working–it’s his ‘guts.’ It is something that he has built in there: it is a world of truth and power that is higher than himself. Great living is not all output of thought and work. A man has to have intake as well. I don’t know what you call it, but I call it Religion, Prayer, or God.”

Indeed, prayer makes a tremendous difference in securing God’s help. As a new season of rhythms and routines get underway, bathe everything in constant prayer trusting God for help. Just as General Patton prayed for God’s help and received it, we must do likewise. Nothing is too hard for God; however, we must ask in faith.

Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD; hear my urgent cry.  I will call to you whenever I’m in
trouble, and you will answer me.

Psalm 86:6-7 (NLT)