"When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

'O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.'

[After a pause.] Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
Mark Twain
[Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) American author and humorist
from The War Prayer, 1904. Having directed it to be published after his death, Twain said, "I have told the truth in that... and only dead men can tell the truth in this world."
see http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_War_Prayer
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Reader comments about this quote:
Should be sent to George Bush!
 -- Douglas A. Reid, Hull     
    I give this quote 5 stars for the accurate depiction of the shallow war mongers that the US has seemingly become (at least enough to keep the current type of politicians in); and, a thumbs down for the anti-Christ rhetoric it spews. Christ said: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matt 5:44) Another example of those calling themselves Christians giving the Great 'I AM' a bad name is the current treatment of Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad may be as evil an individual as has ever lived but, when he is invited to speak, he should be afforded the civilities due to any of God's children. There is a time for war and, when it is thrust upon us, let us purse with all diligence, not forgetting the civility of Christ's teachings and that it is our brethren whom we kill.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Very good Mike. Though I do not believe in organised religious based churches I am sympathetic to you point of view. Another example of the reality of war is in Wilfred Owens great poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est' Nothing will change in this world or the next while we continue to think of ourselves as separate peoples and countries. Unless there is a fundamental shift towards understanding and compassion we will remain ignorant and continue our wars.
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Samual Clemens became very bitter as he aged. He was active in politics, campaigning against imperialism (He seriously apposed the annexation of Panama.) Where is he when we need him?
     -- Senor Reek, Heartland West     
    I signed up for the Liberty-Tree email notifications just yesterday. After receiving the Twain quote this morning, I mailed it and the following personal note to everyone on my e-address bar, including my congressman: Rest easy All, I don't cuss at you in this one. For many years I lived in Plainwell (Michigan) and usually drove to and from Kalamazoo on Douglas Ave. Though it's gone now, for a very long time there was a sign in the front yard of a house on the SE corner of Douglas and 'D' Ave, at the 4-way stop in Cooper Center. It read: "God bless our military." I was often bemused by this sign, certain that the nation/people behind whatever army that was 'enjoying' the current focus of American free fire, surely held the same sentiments and prayers for their own armies. The prayers for safety and success of our military are certainly as prevalent in the US today as ever it was -- as is my bemusement toward these entreaties of God for the destruction of others. People do not realize what they ask of the Almighty and they forget the Lord is not bound by widely varying fashions of dogmatic prayer, national borders or economic suasion. God's face is turned away from the devastation, fear and hatred that accompany warfare and its practitioners -- and especially its drivers, like the "Christian" evangelical right who seek more Mideast conflict simply in order to hurry along the rapture -- as if the Almighty needs their puny help for initiating His grand plan. I have very few heroes and fewer still American ones. One of those is Mark Twain. He wrote what follows and it deals directly with what I ponder above: (Twain quote here) Written in 1904, because of the devastating meaning and great effect these words hold for the human soul, especially from one as celebrated as he, Twain never allowed his prayer to be published until after his death. He said this about it: "No,' I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead." Tragically, to this day his prayer is not taught in US classrooms alongside Huckleberry Finn (where allowed) or Tom Sawyer. If you want the complete version, it's here: . Don't ever forget that arms of war, including civilization-ending thermonuclear warheads, point in both directions. And don't ever forget that because of George W. Bush's madness and unending invasive war and torture, that the prayers entreating God Almighty to provide the above devastation on YOU and ME can now be counted daily by the BILLION. For many, many reasons, and not just because of President George Warpig Bush, God may ultimately hear this prayer -- and justifiably act on it. Peace? Mann
     -- John L. Mann, Kalamazoo     
    Or, said another way, "God Bless All Countries". Mike seems to forget that all who call themselves followers of Christ are not really following the ways he laid out... I know that I know many good Christians, sadly I know many more hate mongers who choose to self-label themselves as Christian, yet by your very quote above such hate and that label are incompatable.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Anon, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. It seems I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be either. I believe in God Blessing All Countries regardless of individual sin, transgression, iniquity, majority religious or political belief system, race, or otherwise as all individuals are His children. I also do not believe in the suffering of the innocent. All those claiming to be followers of Christ are not (see Matt 7:20-27) Hate and war mongers are not compatible with Christ's teachings. Anon, thanks for helping clarify my point.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Powerful words. Every child knows this. All the rest is excuse.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Any one that thinks that the U.S. is a warmonger is an idiot. We abhor war and always have. That is why we always wait till it is almost too late to do what is necessary to defend ourselves. It is an inherent weakness in any free society. A free society however is also worth defending.
     -- warren, olathe ks     
    Warren, there is a list of covert wars we have started and we have financed - its the same thing if not worse - we didn't wait two seconds before jumping into Iraq. There are other words for waiting on the side-line when there is no benefit for taking the high road.
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Yep. We are just like the terrorists. We hold women and children hostage, set up our camps in hospitals and schools and dare the enemy to strike back after our unprompted attack. We murder, rape and pillage, film the carnage and cheer in the streets when it happens. We behead the enemy and use it as a symbol of our courage. We air cartoons which glorify suicide bombers to make sure our children are indoctrinated in murder. And we never let anyone oppose the government. Anyone who speaks against the war in Iraq is either running for their lives or has been slaughtered as an example. We are just like our enemy and definitely war-mongers.
     -- Dana, Lincoln     
    Good satire daughter dear. Glad to see you finally come into this site. Unfortunately it seems that the idiots are becoming way too prevalent. Your help is needed. The definition of a covert war is that it is secret. There for there is no list that can be considered anything but propaganda. The existence of any such war is only speculation and calls into question the person that promotes such rumored events.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Twain's comments in Letters from Earth were hysterical. The god/war statement here shows us how very bitter he became in his dotage...and how very right he was. America has always been on the warpath about something...and, interestingly, rarely has been able to go it alone. Even now in Iraq we use mercenaries to do the heavy lifting - something, by the way, that goes back to bibical times. And in all wars.
     -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
    To those who speak good of the USA, I am America's biggest critic To those who speak bad of the U.S., I ask them, "Perhaps you'd rather see Russia, China, or France be the world power?" Be thankful for the U.S. of A. - the least worst!
     -- Balancing Act, Chicago     
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