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Gracious, Sovereign God, Lord of all nations, On this Memorial Day, we pause to reflect upon our blessings as a nation and the high cost of those blessings for many. Thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, for opportunities to flourish, and for the security of our land. Thank you for those who have served in the armed services of our country, risking their lives for our liberty. Thank you for those who have given their lives in service to our country, sacrificing in such a costly way for the sake of others. Thank you for a day set apart, not just for celebration, but also for solemn remembrance as we consider the sacrifices of so many in our military. O Lord, may we be more aware of just how blessed we are as a nation. May we be more grateful for our blessings, more faithful in stewarding them well, more eager to share them with others. We pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. May they be comforted in their sadness. May they be reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones contributes to a worthy cause. May they be proud of those they have lost, entrusting their ultimate fate into your gracious hands. Even as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we also think of those whose lives are on the line today. We think especially of the men and women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places of conflict and violence. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely . . . and soon. Give wisdom to the leaders of our armed services, that they might know how best to deploy the troops in the cause of freedom. May their efforts be successful, so that true peace with justice might be established in our world. Guide those who lead our nation in international affairs. Help them to pursue diplomatic paths that prevent needless conflict. May they have your wisdom about when and how to use the military might you have entrusted to us. God of peace, stir in the hearts of the leaders of all nations, and in all who would use violence to further their cause. Change their hearts and minds. Give them a passion for peace. Bring an end to the pain, suffering, injustice, and violence in our world. We know, dear Lord, that ultimate peace will not come until your kingdom is here in all of its fullness. Nevertheless, we pray for a foretaste of the future. We ask for the growth of peace throughout our world today, so that fewer and fewer men and women will have to risk and even to sacrifice their lives. May your kingdom come, Lord, and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven! All praise be to you, God of grace, God of mercy, God of justice, God of peace! Amen

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1 Sara Di Diego = "As "sovereign" means "independent of all others" and "superior", this is saying God is in control of all."
2 Sarah R = "The Bible says God is Lord of all, regardless of whether or not nations recognize Him. One day when Jesus returns, "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10b-11)."
3 Ben N = "The quality of life that we enjoy is only made possible through the sacrifice of others. Not just our soldiers, who have died on the field of battle, but also activists (like Martin Luther King, Jr.) who gave their lives for a great cause. And then there are those in other (Third World) countries, whose labor and resources are exploited so that we can have affordable consumer goods. May God bless and keep them all."
4 Sarah R = "Today Christians should celebrate the fact that we can talk about God openly, we can write about Him on sites like deily, we can go to church and worship Him in broad daylight. There are people around the world who cannot do this without fear of persecution, imprisonment - even death. As we praise God for our freedom, we should also pray for those who do not have such freedoms."
5 Cary W = "I see a day when this is no longer needed, when security abounds between nations and people because love has replaced all fear, and trust flourishes because goodness is the only motive of each soul."
6 Sara Di Diego = "This is parallel to the sacrifice Jesus made for everyone to be forgiven for all sins.  Thus the sacrifices of the military guarantee the safety of the nation.  "
7 Cary W = "May we find only truth in our military service and integrity, and that the only cause for any war, is for freedom, safety and equality for all.  May all greed and self gain be exposed and repented and purify our individual and national heart to seek justice and liberty for all.  Amen."
8 Sara Di Diego = "President Eisenhower actually quoted King Solomon's words about military leadership regarding morality, "...decency is one of the main pillars of a sound civilization.  An immoral nation invites its own ruin".Work Cited:Williams, Pat, and Jim Denney. The Leadership Wisdom of Solomon: 28 Essential Strategies for Leading with Integrity. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Pub., 2010. Print."
9 Ben N = "John 14:26"The Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and remind you of all I have said to you."May the Holy Spirit so heal and enlighten the hearts of all men that war and violence shall become inconceivable. Amen."
10 Cary W = "Begin with me, then each member of my family, then city and world oh Lord, let my heart and mind find the peace that passes understanding, so that in peace I may begin to extend that warmth and love to the next one I meet, and then like a pomegranate, the seeds of my peace extend to each and everyone around the world, stilling the heart from all of the mind's mad rantings."
11 Cary W = "May we only bring peace where there is conflict and comfort where there is suffering, thus ending all need for war and violence.  Tenderize our hearts before Thee and before all people."