Deployment prayer for military spouses and service members
There is nothing like a stressful deployment to make you realize that you can’t handle everything on your own. Maybe it has been a while since you said a prayer. Or maybe you are so angry with God and this whole deployment situation that you don’t know where to begin. That’s ok! You’ve come to the right place. No matter where you are coming from, you know you need super-human strength and patience that only comes from God.
Faith and prayer have always been an important part of my life, so there was never really a time that I stopped going to church. However, there are definitely times I felt closer to God or more distant from Him, depending on when I took the time to pray. During deployment, it’s easy to become busy and stressed and weighed down with all the things you need to handle. Adding prayer time or scripture reading to your to-do list may feel like one task you simply don’t have time for. But I have learned that those are the times I need it more than anything.
“The times when we are busiest are the times we need prayer more than anything.” ~The Seasoned Spouse
When my husband deployed to Afghanistan (both times), I was terrified. He had already done several combat tours to Iraq, been wounded, and earned a Purple Heart. His unit was on the front lines for the Battle of Marjah, clearing insurgents out of a very hostile area. When he left, I was painfully aware that I might never see him again. During those seven-month deployments, I was home with our young children, struggling to handle taking care of them while completing college classes online. He was able to call home about once per month, which meant I never knew how he was doing, and I handled almost everything on my own. In summary, my stress levels were extremely high.
Yet during that time of exhaustion and stress, I remember clearly having moments of incredible peace. These would come unexpectedly from time to time. In those moments, I knew that I wasn’t alone and that God was with me. I didn’t always understand why, but I knew immediately that this peace was straight from God. It wasn’t a result of meditation or calming practices from me. It was simply a gift that helped me though an incredibly challenging time. Sometimes, when I spoke to my family members, I would learn that one of them had been praying for me or my husband during that exact day and time.
There is power in prayer. It doesn’t matter if you believe in it or not. God’s power is there all the time, waiting to bless you. No matter how busy you are, no matter how long it has been since you said a prayer or stepped into a church, God is always there, offering peace. We just have to slow down and listen and accept His love.
Deployment can be the perfect time to grow in faith… or to start a prayer habit if you have never had one before. There will be quiet moments where you feel alone and miss your spouse and wish you had someone to talk to. That’s when you should take a moment for prayer.
There’s no right or wrong way to pray! Everyone has their favorite method or style, and this may be a good time to try something new. Some easy ways to get started are:
- Choose a few quiet moments either in the morning or at night. Use these for prayer and ask God to bless you day or to lift the worry from your mind.
- Find a habit you do every day, like drinking coffee, brushing your hair, or doing dishes. Remind yourself to be mindful of God’s presence during that moment.
- Read a short daily devotional book that speaks to you. There are hundreds to choose from, but one specific to military deployment is Faith Deployed, by Brenda Pace. Another good choice is the 5 Love Languages.
- Start a prayer journal where you write some daily thoughts, struggles, or decisions you want to bring to God.
- Use a bullet journal to list three things each day you are thankful for. Then thank God for them. This attitude of gratitude can get you through rocky times.
- Find a marriage or scripture devotional book that you and your spouse can read through together. Even with limited communication, you can discuss it in letters and feel more connected.
- Choose your favorite book of the Bible and set a goal to read one chapter each day. See how God’s Word speaks to you in your current situation.
- Choose a few Bible verses that will be your prayer or motto during deployment. Post these where you can see them daily and memorize them.
There are two pages of deployment Bible verses in my Ultimate Deployment Guide. Military spouses have told me they enjoy printing them out for encouragement, or sending them in care packages to their service member. You can download a copy here.
Bible verses to encourage you through deployment:
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
- “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2
- “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21
- It was also called Mizpah, [watchtower] because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.” Genesis 31:49
- “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
- “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
- “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5,6
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
Praying may feel awkward at first, but stick with it! Soon it will be a peaceful and calming ritual to help you get through each day. Prayer can be a source of strength and patience that you will need during these challenging times.