The chaplain of ARCYBER, Col. Gregory Edison, speaking at the 2019 National Prayer Luncheon at the Fort Belvoir Officers’ Club, May 22, said the apostle James made a point that praying with passion and intensity is an important part of seeing our prayers answered, adding that being with each other, and God, will influence how effective our prayers will be. 

“You’ll never see the word ‘prayer’ in modern military doctrine or in field manuals or Army techniques publications but, in Biblical times, it was utilized and strategically effective,” he said, pointing to Joshua’s victories through faith in God, rather than military might or numerical superiority. 

Citing the patriotic portrait of General George Washington praying at Valley Forge before sending his men to battle, Edison explained prayer is in the ethos and fabric of America, built on the First Amendment’s cornerstones of freedom and religion. 

Edison said the Army seeks solutions for certain problem-sets, and so does faith in prayer. To pray with passion, he offers five suggestions: 

•Remind yourself of answered prayers 

•Remind yourself of God’s promises for you (Edison says there are more than 50 listed in the Bible) 

•Make friends with people who are passionate about their faith and their enthusiasm will be infectious 

•Spend time in worship and adoration of the Lord 

•Spend time alone with God; mute all distractions and enjoy God’s praise 

Prayer is more than a tool; it is a conversation, Edison added. 

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work,” he said. 

In keeping with the military’s love of acronyms, he shared one with everyone attending the luncheon, ACTS: 

“A is for adoration. Worship and adore God for his grace and forgiveness. C is for confession. Confess to God about sins before you make requests of him. T is for Thanksgiving. Thank God for your spouse, children, co-workers or anything God brings to mind. S is for supplication. Ask God for those things that are heavy on your heart.” 

Edison advised not to worry about using religious language, and to remember that prayer is a simple conversation with God that is both reverential and relational. 

The National Day of Prayer, an observance usually held the first Thursday in May, was established by President Harry Truman in 1952.