Thursday, June 06, 2019


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

As dawn broke on June 6, 1944, German soldiers defending the French coast at Normandy beheld an awe-inspiring sight---the largest amphibious invasion force in the history of the world---amassed in the English Channel. The long-awaited invasion was underway. It was the beginning of the end for Hitler's Nazis.

Gen. Eisenhower told the troops, "The eyes of the world are upon you. We will accept nothing less than full victory."

Churchill said, "We shall fight in France..we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight on the fields and in the streets...we shall never surrender."

But the spiritual battle of D-Day has not been fully told.

Be informed.

The human story

The US Army website says this:

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s crack troops.

But there was more to D-Day than President Franklin Roosevelt's "Grand Strategy" Eisenhower's expertise, and Churchill's will to win.

All were important. Absolutely necessary--- strategies that would become a model for modern-day war are studied today.

And there was the "will of the men and women who fought" for freedom.

The spiritual story

WW ll was definitely a war against flesh and blood. But it was also a battle against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

President Roosevelt unashamedly stood before the world, asking the world to join him in prayer---praying this prayer on the radio:

Text of Radio Address - Prayer on D-Day, June 6, 1944:
"Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen."

As word of the assault trickled out, Americans began to pray. Stores closed, and prayer services were quickly organized in small towns and large cities.

Some photos memorialize the spiritual aspect of the D-Day. But not enough.

Photographs taken on June 6, 1944 show how widespread these prayers were. One picture shows a sign in the window of a novelty button shop that read, "Sorry, no covered buttons today. We are praying for the success of the invasion." A sign in front of a church read, "Come in and pray for Allied victory: Hourly intercessions on the hour." Another photo shows Americans in a synagogue, bowing their heads in prayer. At a noon mass, we see men and women on their knees, fervently praying.

Even New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia took to the airwaves, urging citizens to "send forth prayers to Almighty bring total this great and valiant struggle..."

God heard and answered the prayers of D-Day.

War correspondent Ernie Pyle arrived at Normandy on June 7 and reported that the Allies had achieved victory, "with every advantage on the enemy's side and every disadvantage on ours."

"Despite this," he wrote, "it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all."

Yes, it was a miracle. And we must take a moment and remember those who gave their lives for the world and freedom today ---June 6, 1944.

And we must remember those who fight on today---June 6, 2019, for that same freedom.

It is written,. "To whom much has been given, much shall be required."

Be Prayerful. Be Grateful. Be Faithful.