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Monday, Feb. 22, 2010

Praise the Lord & pass the ammunition

“And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

Nehemiah 4:9

In this passage, the author Nehemiah shares his two-fold plan for dealing with an attack from enemies on his wall-building project.

This plan includes the most important thing we can ever do when facing a challenge:  bring it to God in prayer.

However, Nehemiah also showed self-responsibility in posting a guard to watch for an enemy attack. This is not a lack of faith, but simple prudence in being prepared.

A legendary story from December 7, 1941 relates of a chaplain on the USS New Orleans rallying the shell-shocked sailors as the Japanese attack took place. He went up and down the line of men, patting them on the back, repeating, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”

His words became part of a popular WWII song. Here are my favorite lines:

Praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission!

All aboard, we’re not a-goin’ fishin’

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition

And we’ll all stay free.  *

Nehemiah’s twin goals of prayer and careful planning, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” still stands up. Success in any endeavor comes from the Lord; however, this shouldn’t ever prevent us from working hard and doing our part.

Attempt great things for God.

Expect great things from God.

–William Carey

Prayer for today:

Lord, teach me the careful balance between total dependence on you and personal initiative and hard work. Amen.

*Complete Lyrics to “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Down went the gunner, a bullet was his fate
Down went the gunner, then the gunners mate
Up jumped the sky pilot, gave the boys a look
And manned the gun himself as he laid aside The Book, shouting
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free!

Praise the Lord and swing into position!
Can’t afford to sit around and wishin’
Praise the Lord we’re all between perdition
and the deep blue sea!

Yes the sky pilot said it
You’ve got to give him credit
for a son – of – gun – of – a – gunner was he,
Shouting;
Praise the Lord we’re on a mighty mission!
All aboard, we’re not a – goin’ fishin;
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free!

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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