On this night, sixty-eight years ago, our president, FDR spoke to an anxious nation. Our boys were storming the beaches of Europe to a hail of bullets and bombs, many never to return. Those who listened to him that evening didn’t need more information, because special reports had trickled in all day. The nation waited to hear what FDR would say. But instead of a speech, he chose rather to pray. Imagine any president uttering these immortal words across the airways today.
“Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.”
He knew that many of the men he prayed for that evening were already lost, so it was no Polly Anna prayer he uttered. As he continued….”They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and by flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.”
FDR was a man who knew the true nature of our enemy, and so prayed accordingly. “Oh Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in thee…With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances”
Then he signed off in a slow powerful cadence: “Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”
Lord, may such men rise again from our land to lead.