Safe in Iraq

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Arthur Branner personally recounted his call to Iraq to be chaplain of a battalion for one year.

When he arrived he counted the number of men he would be serving and portioned out their names so that he could pray for each one by name at least once each week.

Before their convoy left for the first mission Chaplain Branner called them together and offered to pray. He informed them that he was going to pray Psalm 91 over them. The response was quite open from some expressing clear resentment of this formality as they shifted their position, sighed, and rolled their eyes. Nevertheless he earnestly prayed, and they left on their mission.

The time passed when they were scheduled to return. Finally, two and one-half hours later they returned with a harrowing story. There was a van planted on the roadside filled with shrapnel and a bomb. At the very middle of the convoy the bomb exploded and shrapnel flew everywhere. Standing in the turret, with his upper body exposed, the gunner was a living target. Marvelling, he saw the shrapnel fly all around him, and some even scored the faceplate behind him, but not even one piece hit him-- or anyone else in the convoy!

When he heard this miracle of deliverance from harm Chaplain Branner exclaimed, “Remember, I prayed for you before you left, for God’s protection. God heard and answered that prayer with His protection promised in Psalm 91.”

From this experience, and many that followed, his battalion of soldiers became convinced of how precious life is when at war, and that there was special protection being afforded them through the prayers of their chaplain. One of his soldiers asked, “Chaplain Branner, aren’t you afraid as you go with us without any weapon or ammunition.” He replied, “I have more ammunition than you, with 66 rounds of ammunition –(the Bible). I know that God’s angels protect me.”

Upon their return to United States the commander spoke to all assembled spouses and families informing them that not one of the members of this battalion was lost in death or any missing limbs. He credited this miracle of God’s protection to the prayers of Chaplain Branner. It was an awesome realization that they had gone on more than 4,000 missions with full protection of Almighty God!

Although we who read this are not in actual physical combat, all are in a spiritual war daily. Prayer is our connection to heaven. Scriptures such as Psalm 91 are promises that God protects from harm and evil those who connect with Him. The safest place we can be is to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:2).

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