Righteous God, you rule the nations.
Guard brave men and women,
Who risk themselves in battle for their country.
Give them compassion for all.
Give them hope for the nations in which they serve.
Keep our sons and daughters from hate that hardens, but fill them with the fruits of the Spirit: faith, hope, and love.
Though they must be at war, let them live for peace,
As eager for peace as for victory.
Encourage them as they encourage one another, and never let hard duty separate them from loyalty to your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
When all of us, here, safe at home, see this flag that we raise today, remind us of those who have fought and died for what it represents; remind us of those who serve in far away places for our sake. Help us to keep them in our hearts, that though they are separated from us, often by oceans of worry and fear, we might always be unified by a common faith in your son.
Holy Lord, look after our sons and daughter.
Keep them ever in your sight, watching over them that they might come home to us safe and sound.
 This prayer draws on a prayer from the Book of Common Worship (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993) 818.