• Today's Daily Devotion
Prayer On the Beach
As the British Expeditionary Force retreated toward Dunkirk, the Green Howards Regiment was part of the rear guard fighting to delay the German advance. This unit, like many ...

Prayer on the Beach

As the British Expeditionary Force retreated toward Dunkirk, the Green Howards Regiment was part of the rear guard fighting to delay the German advance. This unit, like many others, had endured days and nights of constant action, and every man was bone tired, hungry, and anxious. On May 29 orders finally came for withdrawal to the evacuation beaches. A Green Howards rifleman described what he saw:

We looked a sorry sight, covered with dirt and grime with hunger gnawing at our bellies. The going was hard, the sand being so soft and deep. Thousands of men were forming queues leading down to the sea and were in the water up to their shoulders, doing their utmost to get onto one of the small boats, which very often capsized. Beachmasters had a very difficult task keeping some semblance of order, but by and large the lads just waited patiently for their turn to come until the planes came over. Those in the water just ignored the bombs where could they run? I saw some poor lads crying and others, on their knees, praying. In the prevailing mood of many of the men it was common to see groups of soldiers being led by a Padre, in prayer.

Many men were reassured and comforted on the beaches of Dunkirk as they turned to God both individually and in small groups. In the midst of this chaotic and dangerous ordeal these soldiers were able to go to a quiet place inside, where God always waits. We don’t know how each prayer was answered, but we do know that each man was touched in some way and strengthened by God’s presence. This is God’s promise to each of us: if we call out to him, he will listen, and he will be there for us in every crisis.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

—Hebrews 4:16


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