The Weapons of Our Warfare - The Warrior's Journey®

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.(2 Corinthians 10:3) 

Have you ever heard the story of the “Patton Prayer”?  In an article from The Army Chaplaincy (Spring 95, pp. 2025), Chaplain (BG) James O’Neill tells how he came to write it and how it affected the outcome of a famous WWII battle. On December 8, 1944, Chaplain O’Neill was summoned by General Patton. “How much praying is being done by the 3rd Army?” Patton asked his chaplain. “I don’t believe that much praying is being done,” the chaplain reluctantly answered. Patton expressed his concern about the incessant rains that had drowned his march to a halt. The General went on to make the most profound confession about his faith. 

“Chaplain, I am a strong believer in prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want – by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have welltrained troops to carry it out; that’s working. But between the plan and the operation, there is always the unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call it ‘getting the breaks.’ I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything.  That’s where prayer comes in.  If we (the 3rd Army) all pray, it will be like … plugging in on a current whose source is in Heaven. …Prayer completes the circuit. It is power.” 

Chaplain O’Neill wrote the following prayer and, at General Patton’s request, distributed 250,000 copies to the 3rd Army. The 3rd Army Soldiers prayed, “Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend.  Grant us fair weather for Battle.  Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.” 

The effect of the 3rd Army’s prayers was immediate. The incessant rain and snow turned to clear blue skies, permitting the Allied air forces to destroy the German Panzer divisions and win the Battle of the Bulge. Let’s never forget that a spiritual battle is raging behind the scenes of every earthly battle. The weapons of our warfare must go far beyond the material. We must pray. When Paul commanded us to use the armor of God to fight this spiritual warfare, the final weapon was prayer (Ephesians 6:18).   


  • What did Jesus spend His nights doing (Luke 3:21; 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 29; 11:1)? Wasn’t that where the real fighting was done – on His knees in prayer? 
  • Weren’t the battles of the day won through His prayers the previous night? 
  • Make prayer your first response, not your last resort.   

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