I know not this Man In Grey, but I love him. I don’t even know his name, this Man In Grey. He taught me, he comforted me, and he strengthened my faith in my God when he penned the following prayer.
I found this prayer at a midpoint in my life. It was as if these words were hand delivered. The prayer gave words to my experience with my God. When I read it for the first time, I reflected on the lifelong affliction and uncertainty in my past. When I read it for the first time, I reflected on the lifelong affliction and uncertainty beginning in my past. I reread the prayer throughout the forthcoming years as a comfort to myself in times of grief. The truths in the prayer are like fertile soil in which root my hope. My spirit needed that hope for the loneliness and poverty that would be in my future. I imagine this Man in Grey, dirty and discouraged, as he watched his comrades in arms, one after another, succumb to disease, starvation, injuries, and death. I imagine him, in poverty of spirit, remembering his life lived with the Lord. I imagine him turning his eyes from the foxhole to the Father and taking pencil in hand. Here are the words of strengthening from the Man in Grey:
I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to humbly obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men:
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered:
I am among all men most richly blessed.
…unknown Confederate soldier
I would love to hear what words or actions of others have encouraged or strengthened you.
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