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Stories of Faith and Courage From the MarinesSample

Stories of Faith and Courage From the Marines

DAY 1 OF 7


Thirty-Second Prayers

THEY CALLED IT the “night of the mortars.” The Japanese defenders on Peleliu found the range to the Marines’ position and kept firing round after round all through the night. Incoming mortar fire is especially unnerving because it comes in from an almost vertical angle with only a quiet, whistling sound. Open foxholes offer little protection, and there weren’t even many of those due to the hard coral surface. Many of the rounds detonated in the trees, showering shrapnel on the men huddled below.

Bruce Watkins was a platoon leader with the 1st Marine Regiment, landing with the first wave at Peleliu. Contrary to expectations, the resistance was well-organized and fanatical. He and his men fought for every foot of terrain and, over two days, suffered many casualties. On the second night, the mortar fire started, and Watkins moved among his men as best he could, giving first aid and encouragement. At one point he heard a comforting sound:

A Catholic Marine in the next hole was praying with his rosary and it inspired me to employ what I had come to call my 30–second prayers. I’m sure that God received a great deal of communication that night. Mine went something like, “Father, let me do my job and do it well. I don’t ask You to save me, but help me to be a good leader. If I must be hit, give me the strength to carry on- and Your Will always be done.”

I’ve always felt that God would rather hear frequent thirty-second prayers than have us wait for “suitable” occasions to pray longer. In fact, so long as it is heartfelt, this kind of prayer is the perfect way to bring God into our daily lives. We can always manage a short prayer before a meeting, an important phone call, or a trip. I believe that this is what the apostle Paul meant by his advice to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).


Day 2

About this Plan

Stories of Faith and Courage From the Marines

This book is a daily devotional filled with inspirational stories about Marines, vividly demonstrating how our warriors have been sustained by faith through the violence and dangers of war. These individual stories reve...


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