When I was serving on active duty as a military chaplain, we would regularly get prayer requests from all sorts of different organizations. One of the primary topics at each staff meeting was to decide who would cover each event. One week, we were going through the list and the wing chaplain said, “Well, here’s one that’s different. We’ve got an invocation at a memorial service – for a dog.” The room buzzed. “Who’s asking?” It ended up it was from the Security Forces. It was for one of their working dogs. I shot up my hand, “I’ll take it.”
I didn’t know what to expect. Would this be with the dog’s handler? Or would there be more people? It ended up being over forty Security Force personnel, including their commander, who gathered for a 30 minute service. After the national anthem and prayer, the dog’s handler told her story and showed a video of the work she did which included more deployments than most Air Force personnel will ever see in an entire career. This dog had seen combat as well. I was honored to be a part of it.
I am glad in my current church that during the prayer requests, members and friends of the church do not hesitate to ask for prayers for their pets. In some churches this may be thought of as inappropriate. But I find it to be most appropriate. God creates all life and calls on us to care for his creatures. He knows we will love the animals that become part of our life. Why in the world wouldn’t we pray for them and give thanks to God for their lives once they are gone?
People may have a special role in God’s creation. But let’s never just limit our prayers to animals of the two legged variety.
All the best and until next time,