The following prayers were offered by Chaplain (Col) Robert J. Jenkins in his position as Command Chaplain, United States Forces, Korea:
A Prayer for Our Nation and our Warriors
By Chaplain (Colonel) Robert J. Jenkins
March 20, 2003
Below is my prayer as a Christian. Whatever your religious tradition, I trust you too will be in prayer during such a time as this.
As war has begun, I invite each of you to pray in your tradition as I offer this prayer in mine.
O God of life and endless power, as a Christian soldier I bow my knees before you in this hour and lift my voice in thanks to you that I was born in a country you birthed free and by your grace she shall ever remain so. I thank you that I live in a nation that guarantees my God-given right to freedom in both speech and worship. I thank you, Lord, that you have called me to serve as a chaplain to the armed forces of the nation you have set high upon a hill to serve as a beacon of liberty with humility and justice with mercy in a world growing increasingly dark with fear and bondage. I thank you for an earthly Commander-In-Chief who lives with honor, leads with integrity and recognizes like all of the rest of your creators that one day he too will render an account to you.
More than any of us, O God, you know and feel the suffering of starvation and cruelty rampant in the world you created and gave to us humans to cultivate and live in at peace with each other. Though our hearts yearn for peace, we now find ourselves at war in a land not our own and with a people also created in your image, but led by evil men. Confound their plans and bring to dust the men of evil in Iraq. Confuse their armed forces and bring to surrender every good Iraqi man and woman. Protect the innocent Iraqi citizens and especially the children of their future.
O God of mercy and compassion, look upon our armed coalition forces with favor. In the past you have led our nation as Caissons went rolling along; guided us while anchors were aweigh; provided for us from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli; and sustained us into the Wild Blue Yonder. Lead us now to victory with humility, O God, for we trust our cause is just and our course is right. Vindicate us to the world, O God, and enable us to establish in Iraq God-given freedom and justice with goodwill toward all.
Heavenly Father, when freedom is secured and peace finally prevails in Iraq, may it be said of us all-soldier, sailor, airman, marine, citizen, deployed or not-that we each served both God and country with integrity befitting honor. And, whether friend or foe, for those who die in battle, bring comfort to those who mourn their loss.
I offer this prayer, O God, in the Name of Jesus Christ-my Lord. Amen.
Robert J. Jenkins
United States Forces Korea
Prayer from the Command Bunker: March 19, 2003
As we are involved in a major exercise here in Korea and war with Iraq appears eminent, General LaPorte asked me to pray. The attached prayer was prayed last night in the main command bunker over VTC to the entire ROK/US commands throughout Korea.
I encourage each of you to pray in your own tradition as you also remember to show respect for the tradition of others. By so doing, our prayers will be authentic and by showing respect for others we will continue to exercise the privilege of public prayer in our armed forces-both joint and combined.
Robert J. Jenkins
United States Forces Korea
War with Iraq eminent, I invite each of you listening to pray in your tradition as I offer this prayer in mine.
Almighty, everlasting and faithful God whose command is over all and who alone gives us the breath of life and alone can keep pulsating in us the breathing of holy desires, who is from everlasting to everlasting the unchanging creator, sustainer and redeemer of the universe, I beseech you for humanity’s sake, O God, to sanctify the thoughts and actions of all soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in the U.S. led coalition, that they may neither begin any action without a pure intention nor continue one without your blessing; and grant that having the eyes of their understanding purged to behold the cost of freedom, they may in heart be inspired in battle with your wisdom and power to swiftly win victory with humility; establish justice with mercy; and, secure liberty in peace with compassion and honor for all Iraqis.
On last request, O Lord, should the dictator north of the DMZ desire to come south, Confound his plans and Confuse his forces.
I offer this prayer, O God, in the Name of the one called the “Prince of Peace”—Jesus. Amen.
[Chaplain (COL) Robert J. Jenkins, Command Chaplain, Combined and U.S. Forces Korea, VTC Main 19 MAR 03’ prayer]