Gracious Father, the life of man is a warfare upon earth, and the dangers which assault us are diversely pointed against us. We humbly beseech Thee be present with us in all the course and passages of our lives, but especially in the Secession we have undertaken, and the hostilities in which it has involved us. Suffer no malice, or treachery, or stratagem — whether civil, diplomatic, or military, to hurt us; no cunning to circumvent us; no surprises to come upon us unawares; no falsehood to betray us. That which we cannot foresee we beseech Thee to prevent; that which we cannot withstand we beseech Thee to master; that which we do not fear we beseech Thee to unmask and frustrate — that being delivered from all dangers of spirit, soul and body, we may praise Thee our Deliverer, and experience how secure and happy a thing it is to make the Lord of Hosts our Protector and Helper in the day of fear and trouble, of peril and distress.
O, our God, though mighty and numerous States gather together on heaps, yet let them be driven away from our borders as the smoke before the wind; and though they take counsel together, bring it to nought. For though they pronounce a decree, yet it shall not stand, if Thou, O God, be with us. Be with us, therefore, O God, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Almighty and merciful father, at this time we need Thy more especial assistance both by land and by sea, and for the mercy of Christ deny us neither. Defeat, we implore Thee, the designs and confound the machinations of our enemies; abate their pride and assuage their fury; soften their hearts and change their unnatural hatred into Christian love. and forgive them all their sins against Thee and against us.
Grant that their ships may find no way in our seas, nor any path in our floods; may their spies be speedily detected and effectually banished from our midst; preserve us from war and tumult; from battle, murder, and sudden death; guard us from sedition, conspiracy, and rebellion; defend our soil from invasion and our ports from blockade — that we may glorify Thee for these deliverances, no less than for Thy signal presence and power in the mercies of our bloodless victory; and thus being sheltered by Thy grace and favor from every spiritual and temporal evil, and from all personal and national calamities, we may ever obey and serve Thee in purity of heart and holiness of life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to whom with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all praise, worship and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
—The prayer of a Confederate Soldier from “Prayers Suitable for the Times in Which We Live” 1861