As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived this book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out to others facing the same struggles. She's the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.
While My Soldier Serves
Why was it so important for you to write this book?
I struggled with fear while our son was deployed. Often the worst times were when I was awakened with horrible nightmares. I’d make my way downstairs and sit in the recliner, clutching my Bible and trying to pray. So often the prayers wouldn’t come. I longed for a book like this to give me a jumping off point for my own prayers.
How was your own perspective helpful as the mother of an active duty marine?
I think that experience has given me insight into the deepest fears we face while a loved one is away at war. I know firsthand the hopelessness that comes from being unable to protect someone you love.
Why is prayer vital for our military soldiers?
It’s vital that we’re covering our military with prayer. Prayer activates God’s power. Sure, He can and often does work without it, but I’ve also seen how He moves mountains because of it. Our prayers help provide protection, comfort, even peace for those serving so far from home.
Why is it important to not only pray for the soldier, but for their families and loved ones as well?
Our soldiers are not the only ones serving. The families may not be official members of the military, but the battles they face are every bit as real and every bit as dangerous. This is especially true now that terrorist groups are targeting military families in their war against America.
How did you choose the six categories (Wisdom, Strength, Faith, Protection, Peace, Those Close to My Loved One) to pray for the soldier?
I kept a deployment journal while my son was away at war. When I looked back through the prayers I recorded there, these were the things I prayed. It seemed to make sense to go with what brought me peace during those stressful time.
How did you choose the seven categories (Fear, Peace, Patience, Faith, Strength, Anger, Reaching Out to Others) to pray for oneself / those waiting at home?
Again, buy going back through my journal and looking at the things I struggled with.
You offer the most prayers for Faith for our soldiers. Why is faith so critical to those serving during these trying times?
I think faith is what gets us through the dark times. So often when things are the blackest, it’s hard to hear from God. Even though it isn’t true, it feels like God is far away with His back turned. It’s only our faith in what we know is true, instead of what we feel, that keeps us moving forward.
Each prayer provides a perfect notable quote as well as dedicated scripture to tie in with the prayer’s message. How and why did you choose these?
I love quotes, and I felt that adding a quote would be another way to illustrate the focus of each prayer.
How can the book be used for prayer groups praying for the military?
This book is a powerful tool for prayer groups. We know that when many people are praying the same thing it multiplies the power of those prayers. The idea of potentially thousands of people praying the same thing at the same time for our military is one of the most exciting aspects of publishing a book like this.
Worthy Inspired (Edie’s publisher) has given her a dedicated hashtag, #SoldierServes to use with any social media that goes out in regard to this book. Please tweet this post and use that. Another popular hashtag for military families is #MilFam.
While My Soldier Serves
Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military
Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.
In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.