Risky Business and The Power of Prayer

FB_IMG_1433118518709From 2012 to 2013, I was given the awesome opportunity to pray in the Strategic Operations Center (SOC) of the 1st Sustainment Brigade Support Command. My commander told me early on that if anyone disapproved at any point to him about these prayers I needed to stop openly praying at each shift change. Out of 540 shift changes, I prayed at over 420 of them. The ones missed were due to traveling to advise the commander, to minister to soldiers, or to rendering honors to fallen soldiers, which always superseded shift change responsibilities.

At this point two truths about prayer must be shared. One location does not matter and two neither does who is present. According to the Apostle James, the efficacy of prayer is based on God’s ability to hear and answer our prayers: “The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” Therefore, even though I was not physically present in the SOC nearly 40 times for shift change, God still heard not only my prayers but the prayers of those who prayed regardless of location and audience.

Later during a nine month deployment, I just returned from a northern location to religiously cover down on a unit that was having issues. Having completed the prayer at shift change, I was sitting at my desk and trying to catch up on two months of emails when a CPT from the SOC came running down the hallway and slid past my door in a Risky Business style of sliding (only with his uniform on) and calling “Chaplain, Chaplain.” He went on as he composed himself apologizing for the interruption and said, “It is incredible, your prayer came true. Come to the SOC with me. The commander wants to show you something.”

Now this was a crew of practical jokers so my first thoughts were, “What is he up to? Yet another innocent CPT falling for the gimmicks of superiors.” So as we scuttled down the hall to the other end of the building, I told him, “this better not be a joke…I’m way behind on emails…and you know all I have to do is pray for you by name.” He smiled as he opened the coded door, “Watch the left screen!” He insisted. As I observed the right screen on the back wall of the SOC, I noticed that it was helicopter optics following insurgents who were in the process of embedding a large IED. It took four of them.

Then it happened, in a breathe they blew themselves up. All four of them and the bomb left a huge hole in the ground. The SOC erupted in the clapping and cheering and found myself caught up in the excitement and celebration as well. The helicopter was a lead element for an important LOGPAC convoy coming through but more fascinating was the scripture I had quoted in my prayer just 45 minutes before.

“But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;
in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.
Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers,
from the snares they have laid for me.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.” AMEN! – Psalm 141:8-10

IED_Controlled_ExplosionRight about then and as the clapping returned to monitoring, the CPT said “Don’t you see God answered your prayer?” My response other than amazement….”Ya think?!”

I use the word amazement because only one other person in the SOC at the time actually attended the Bible Studies, chapel services, or events we sponsored, but everyone there that day saw the hand of God through answered prayer. Never underestimate the power of prayer or concern yourself with the location or how many people are present. Prayer is God dependent, not man. BTW, God still answers and hears prayers.

I mentioned two truths about prayer at the beginning…here is a final one: Praying the scripture weighs more. When you pray recite scripture because God’s promises have never been broken and His words will never be removed. The same cannot be said for ours.

Since that day, several of those who were present in the SOC when the insurgents blew themselves up have reached out to me personally. Although not strong in their belief in the power of prayer, they remember that there was one day that God answered the prayers of their Chaplain. Is it possible that He could do it again? Absolutely!

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.