Prayer is God’s lifeline
By Tim Maracle
On July 20, 2006, I was on my way home for leave from
Afghanistan. I couldn’t wait to hug my beautiful wife, Heidi, my 3-year-old
daughter, Abby, and meet my new baby girl, Kaitlynn Joy, who had been born just
two months earlier.
I sat on my bunk and thought of Heidi’s smiling face as she
lifted up Kaitlynn, only a few days old, on a video teleconference just a few
weeks before. I was remembering this as I situated my gear after a long day of
traveling and prepared for the next 20-hour leg of my journey home to Fort
Bragg, N.C. I couldn’t wait.
But in the middle of the night I learned my forward
operating base (FOB) I had just left hours before had been attacked by mortars.
I called my battalion and was told one of the first sergeants of one of our
companies had been killed. He was a close friend.
The next day was a blur as I prepared for a memorial service
for my friend. I didn’t know how I was going to get through this.
As I sat down to finish typing out my memorial message, I
realized I had received an e-mail. I opened it and saw that it was from one of
my many supporters in my home church, Riverside Assembly of God in Methuen,
Mass. God woke up this person in the middle of the night to pray for me, and
they were wondering if everything was going well.
My eyes filled with tears. This person couldn’t have known
what had just happened. The press didn’t even know, and the first sergeant’s
family had not yet been notified. But God had used my prayer partner to cover
not only me but also my entire battalion in prayer.
I believe the simple prayer from this prayer warrior gave me
the physical strength and energy to minister to the 800-plus soldiers, airmen
and sailors on my FOB over the next few days. It reminded me that prayer is not
only a spiritual discipline, but it can result in a physical capability many
don’t see. Many people have told me they have prayed for me and my ministry,
and every chance I get I thank them personally for helping me through a very
tough time in my life and my ministry as a United States Army chaplain.
This is just one of many times when I learned people prayed
for me directly during a combat situation. I write this to let all those who
pray for our servicemen and women know that when you pray, real things happen.
I will always remember the blessings God bestowed upon me to
minister to His people in a harsh environment, and the many incredible things
God did. Who knows what miracles might have been missed if not for those
valiant prayers. “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it
will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19, NIV).
Thank you to all who support our service personnel across
the globe. You know who you are, but you will never know how much you have done
for all of us.
Chaplain (Capt.) TIM MARACLE is currently a student at the
Chaplain Captain Career Course at Fort Jackson, S.C.
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