Memorial Day Prayers

Christian prayers for our military families, troops, and nation

Close up of hands clasped on open Bible
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On Memorial Day, usually the last Monday in May in the United States of America, we remember those who died in active service of our country. We honor them with thankfulness for their service and prayer for our military families, our troops, and our nation. The day has been set aside by presidential proclamation since 1969 as a day of prayer for peace.

A Memorial Day Bible Verse

The Bible calls us to pray on Memorial Day:

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity."

(1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Memorial Day Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

On this day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we consider how they have followed in the footsteps of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray for your peace, provision, hope, and strength to fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with the courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

Sovereign God and Lord of all nations, may we take time to reflect on the great blessings we share as a nation and as a people. Our blessings have come at a high cost to others. May we remember these sacrifices always with deep gratitude.

We ask that you would grant wisdom to the leaders of our armed forces. Guide and direct them in their decisions. May they be led by your will and your heart as they pursue our nation's freedom. We continue to pray for peace in our world. Lord, let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.


Catholic Prayer for Troops

All-powerful and ever-living God,
When Abraham left his native land
And departed from his people
You kept him safe through all his journeys.
Protect these soldiers.
Be their constant companion and their strength in battle,
Their refuge in every adversity.
Guide them, O Lord, that they may return home in safety.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Spike Mafford / Getty Images

American Presidents Comment on Memorial Day Prayers

Former President George W. Bush reminded citizens why it's important to remember our military families in prayer on Memorial Day:

"They defended our nation, they liberated the oppressed, they served the cause of peace. And all Americans who have known the loss and sadness of war, whether recently or long ago, can know this: The person they love and miss is honored and remembered by the United States of America."

--George W. Bush, Memorial Day Address, 2004

As we remember our war dead, it is fitting for Christians around the world to ask God to bring about peace in our nation and in our world. During Ronald Reagan's presidency, he urged Americans to put prayers for peace on their Memorial Day agenda:

"Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 1983, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 o'clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance. ."

--Ronald Reagan, Memorial Day Proclamation, 1983

In his Memorial Day proclamation, President Jimmy Carter asked Americans to pray for peace on their Memorial Day programs:

“I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to join in this observance.”

--“More Meddling with the Wall.” (1977). Christianity Today, 21(16), 943.

We can pray that those who fought and died for our country did not die in vain. We can ask that their sacrifice would live on to inspire others to live in freedom and to serve and love their fellow citizens:

"That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

--Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863

Memorial Themed Bible Verses

This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
--Exodus 12:14 (ESV)
And you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for remembrance.
--Exodus 28:12 (ESV)
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Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "Memorial Day Prayers." Learn Religions, Sep. 4, 2021, Fairchild, Mary. (2021, September 4). Memorial Day Prayers. Retrieved from Fairchild, Mary. "Memorial Day Prayers." Learn Religions. (accessed March 26, 2023).