100 years have passed and we’re still saying the same war prayer !!!

August 8, 2006

Many who know me know that I have a dear connection with the great Mark Twain… I’m not much of a fiction reader (got enough of a wild imagination).. but his articles and essays just keep me coming back for more and more.. It’s been a while since I last added to my classic readings.. so this morning during my short break I looked
for a quick read and stumbled upon The War Prayer.. a short story (about a page or two long) by Twain written approximately 100 years ago.. Now I shan’t add the complete story.. as many complain of long posts.. though it is short and easy to read.. (those of you who want to read it click here)

In a nutshell:

During war.. on a sunday morning.. many people are gathered in a church for a prayer, families and their volunteering patriotic young ones.. the pastor is finishing his prayer when an old stranger enters the church, walks down the aisle and stands by the pastor’s side and says:

I come from the Throne – – bearing a message from Almighty God!”

He goes on to say that they have prayed but have left another prayer unspoken..

When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory — must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.”

Get it ?

17 Responses to “100 years have passed and we’re still saying the same war prayer !!!”

  1. Dr.Lost said

    SHOTGUN !! Finally !! in your face zizo biaaaaaaatch ! :)

  2. the 1509 said

    yeah, a lotta ppl dnt get the consequences of war, to them its either about the principles or the end result, but the truth is war is about devastation and death…

    • Esther said

      Yeah I get it already, She’s faiansttc. and she certainly is but could you please post some of the races she’s won or her trophy (& medal) collection. Can you show her some respect for all the training she’s been doing instead of just ooogeling at her? thanks Man, DarrylHarrisburg, PA

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  4. Hitman1 said

    It is the ultimate failure for humanity, when we have to kill one another

  5. Marzouq said

    Very true.. I know what you mean.. and its the people that suffer.. alah ekoon ib 3oon libnaan!

  6. Entrepreneur said

    Ironic how people put so much time and effort into worshipping a “compassionate and forgiving” higher power known as god, yet at the same time ask of him to wreak havoc, destruction and death upon their fellow man.

    Are we all not in essence made of the same thing, experience love and hate, happiness and sadness, confidence and fear?

    Are we not all who we are as a function of our environment?

    The fact that anyone would pray to their loving god (a common trait across all gods of all religions) to bring about death on their “enemy” is totally contradictory to me.

    After all, enemies are usually distinguished as those who possess a difference of opinion.

    We are a close minded selfish species, one day our self destruction will emerge as our greatest acheivement, and the world will experience its first night of utopia in what has been millennia of pain

    I am not an athiest, however i have strong agnostic tendancies. My logic can’t help but prevail

  7. DiiGMaa said

    for all those crazy ppl that bash me on my own blog for what I say.. Please Bugger Off !! If you’re too slow to catch on.. I am an extremely sarcastic character, and even if I offend you in any way.. then grow up and respect other peoples opinions !!

    WoooHooo !! you’re currently Miss D’s shotgun winner..
    P.S. Mind your language darling ;p

    The 1509
    there are so many consequences that all governments and ppl fail to recall prior to going into battle.. even on a long run the devastations far exceed human termination but also the distraction and violation on economic/political/agricultural/sociological so on and s forth.. what takes such little time to cause so much destruction.. creates a lifetime worth of effort to rebuilt what has already been there for centuries !

    History repeats itself !

    SPAM Much ?

    very well put !

    ameen inshalah

    The prayer in this piece was a satire expression to demean WAR.. to me it is a truly smart and catchy way to display an Anti War statement !

    it’s funny you use those words..
    whenever faced with hard situations.. I always say what more wise of a person could I ask for help then “God” or whom ever, or whatever, in that matter, being a person may follow.. and in my opinion.. I always believe that “compassion and forgiveness” are the divine choices for any issue.. I keep repeating it to my friends and acquaintances (especially Dr.Lost)..
    to me it’s not about religion.. a word that has become polluted and wrongly stereotyped..
    it’s more about Faith..
    if one has faith in humanity, their beliefs, customs.. and mostly Compassion and forgiveness.. then one can strive to reach a degree of personal utopia.. now multiply that and spread it amongst many more.. you get Positive energy.. and a whole lot more ppl that can debate without flipping into a bombing frenzy !!

    as for your agnostic tendencies.. what ? you didn’t know society created religion to control and establish unity within a community ;P

  8. Entrepreneur said

    :) absolute power corrupts absolutely

  9. 7tenths said

    I could argue that without war there can be no order, but then you could argue that order is a highly subjective term.

    Truth of the matter be, in my opinion this can’t be classified as a ‘war’. A war involves 2 identifiable armies going into battle for a ‘purpose’, be it legitimate (highly unlikey) or not. While one army is clearly identifiable in this case, the other is not so much.. At all! This second ‘army’ isn’t doesn’t even have any world-wide verification as legitimate.

    Some may argue that this is a ‘war against terrorism’, but clearly terror has multiplied inexplicably following this ‘righteous’ war. So much, that I dare ask the question: Who in their right mind can classify this unproportionate & on-going act as anything but terrorism?

    Wait, I forget, ‘terrorism’ is also a subjective term.

  10. 7tenths said

    PS. Thanks for the link, really nice story; I especially like how he says that each wish has 2 parts, an uttered one & an unspoken one. (Eerie Twilight Zone music plays :P)

  11. ZiZoTiMe said


    Delete Dr.lost’s comment!! Or i’m gonna delete him from this life :P

    This post is really difficult for me to undertand… I need the dictionary girl :P


    Mashalah!! So you’re always online on msn! ;)

  12. Fallen Angel said

    Very Interesting post…thanks for the enlightment ^_^

  13. Mia said

    Isn’t it amazing that the more things change the more they remain the same? Kudo on Mark Twain he has always been a favorite of mine.

  14. Caffeinated said

    Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori


  15. DiiGMaa said

    Abso*%c#inglutely darling ;)

    subjective it is..
    yet.. times change.. and with time our interpretations and definitions of many things shift, adapt and change to suit current times.. hence, war does not have to be “Platoon” movie to be justifies as a war.. look at the results.. they’re the same but even worse.. and the legitimacy of the purpose as you said is highly unlikely.. but there is always a fight and purpose for war, terror, and attacks.. no matter how irrational the purpose is.. it’s there.. and you’re right terrorism is also a subjective term.. a term that will also evolve with times.. just like the means of battle.. only to a more horrid and scary definition..
    your welcome for the link.. it’s eerie ha :P kill the moment with some Jeopardy music in the background :P

    hehhehe ask Dr. Lost to help you out wit this post.. you men of science (except 7) make everything more complicated than it is..
    ok ok it’s just an ANTI-WAR post :)
    Be good yal nizqa !

    Fallen angel
    Welcome to my blog :)
    Glad I could enlighten ;)

    my point exactly sweetums !!
    and yeah Twain is the man.. deff my fav too :) lets start a fan club :P

    Caff bebe !! I loved it ! always count on you for a great read !! thanx boo.. I especially liked this line:

    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

  16. Tinkerbell said

    twain sucks :P

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