A Centennial Anzac Prayer. April, 2015.

Filed on 21 April 2015 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

A Centennial Anzac Prayer. April, 2015.

Lord God, we thank you for the special sacrifice made by so many for us.
We thank you, Lord, that 100 years later we still have this freedom through the continuing sacrifice – even today – of all who serve.

We thank you that we can gather in safety at this special centenary time to honour all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. And Lord, we pray for continuing safety – and especially, right now – for safety in all the gatherings across Australia, in Gallipoli and in other nations. May you, in your mercy, keep us safe and bless and equip all those who, in various ways, are working right now to ensure this.

And Lord God, we thank you for the increasing spirit of honour in our country in remembrance of those who died on our behalf and for the hundreds of thousands who gather for this purpose. May we always be so grateful, Lest we Forget.

And, Lord God, as we look at the names here, and as we see stretching fields of crosses, we are horrified to think of the sheer numbers of lives lost and the futility of war.

Help us Lord God – as we think of Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux and Passchendaele and Fromelles and Bellecourt and Pozieres – and so many other places such as Burma – help us as we feel that grief to also feel and know enormous gratitude, pride and honour, and delight in this legacy of freedom we now enjoy.

We have been called, rather disparagingly, by those who currently seek to destroy, “the Nations of the Cross” (Libya, on the beach “A message signed in blood, to the nations of the cross”). And yes, Lord, we wear the cross as a badge of honour and we place it, with solemnity, on the tombs of those who have fallen and we are sobered as we survey those fields of crosses.

And as we see and hear, once again, those immortal words “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” we are reminded that they were your words Lord Jesus, and that the cross also was yours.

We thank you Lord God that around this time of the year we are also able to celebrate the meaning of that cross as we celebrate Easter.

We are appalled Lord, that in some parts of the western world, still known as nations of the cross, it has become an offence to wear this symbol as it may be “offensive” to those of other faiths – even though those of other faiths tell us it is OK.

O Lord, may we always be able to wear the cross as a badge of honour to You, Lord Jesus. May we always be able to place the cross in honour of those who “lay down their lives for their friends”.

Dear God, help us as we celebrate this Anzac centenary to get this mix right. To glory in the love and sacrifice of so many, to remember with grief, to despair that it was ever necessary, to exult in the freedom we enjoy – and to know that this is the Message of the Cross.

What is the Message of the Cross? To remember with grief that You died for us, to despair that it was ever necessary, to glory in Your love and sacrifice, and to exult in the freedom You give to all who will accept this reality.

And Lord God, help us as we celebrate these truths, to communicate to others the glory of the Cross, to hold it aloft with great honour as “nations of the Cross”, to remind people of the reason why we are known as “nations of the Cross”, and to remind them of Your great sacrifice and love for each and every one.

In Your Name we ask these things. Amen.

And we thank you again Lord for this Anzac Centenary. Amen.


What came before the prayer?

It was a renewed realisation of the significance of the cross at Anzac.
With the increased community awareness of Anzac and sacrifice of the one for the many, what an opportunity we have to talk about the cross and the author of the immortal words Greater love hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Without trivialising the significance of Anzac to move on to “something important”, we can gently probe by saying something very personal “when I look at those fields of crosses and as I look at those trenches I am at the same time filled with horror and sadness for what made that sacrifice necessary for my uncles and my friend’s fathers and grandfathers and uncles and I hope ‘never again’.”

And then, maybe after reflection or a response from the person to whom I am talking, to go further “greater love hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends” and “I find it wonderful that those words of Jesus are used so aptly and I am reminded that Jesus did exactly that – He laid down his life for me and through that I have new life” and “it is His cross that we use then to honour our fallen because they made the ultimate sacrifice.

“And I think what a fantastic symbol to use. It was a very ‘godly’ thing they did for the so many.
“I am so grateful for my uncles – and others – sacrifice and I have great pleasure that crosses honour their memory. I thank God for the cross.”

And we can add a little or a lot or subtract from the above according to the circumstance and people.

OR (quite different)

Preamble the same as above “when I look at those fields…”

“I find it staggering that when the ISIS terrorists in Libya beheaded those 21 Coptic Christians they said, as their blood streamed into the Mediterranean, ‘a message signed in blood, to the nations of the cross’.

“They got it – they understood, those terrorists – they understood that the West was built on Christian principles even though we may no longer follow them diligently and they insultingly called us nations of the cross.

“And they got it right to call Christians people of the cross. The cross to them is offensive as it represents Jesus as God instead of just a prophet and that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

“Wow, what an amazing title to call us – so accurate.

“I am so pleased that we can honour those who have fallen, the one for so many and yet the many who fell for so many more, with the cross – a symbol of great honour.”

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One Response to “A Centennial Anzac Prayer. April, 2015.”

  1. Stella BROMILOW 25 April 2016 at 10:59 am Permalink

    Good thoughts! I think Anzac Day observance is becoming more popular nowadays because many don’t go to church, but still need to sense the value of human life, the sacrifice of some for others, and simply to spend some time contemplating things much bigger than our usual day to day concerns.