Sermon Illustrations

Moore notes from his book The History of Prayer in America One Nation Under God. Of a famous story of a dying soldiers last moments with God prior to his death from pages 312-313. The dying soldier’s last moments were discovered in the pocket of this dead American soldier, a casualty of the North African campaign. “Written in the form of a poem, the prayer was composed in the unvarnished language of a young man scribbling down his thoughts on the battlefield, experiencing a catharsis of monumental proportions when he realized that death might not be far behind:

Look, God, I have never spoken to you

And now I want to say, “How do you do?”

And see, God, they told me you did not exist,

And I, like a fool, believed all this.

Last night, from a shell-hole, I saw your sky,

I figured that they told me a lie.

Had I taken time before to see things you had made,

I’d sure have known they weren’t calling a spade a spade.

I wonder, God, if you would shake my poor hand?

Somehow I feel you would understand.

Stranger I had to come to this hellish place

Before I had time to see your face.

Well, I guess, there isn’t much more to say,

But I’m glad, God, that I met you today.

The zero hour will soon be here,

But I’m not afraid to know that you’re near.

The signal has come-I shall have to go,

I like you lots-this I want you to know.

I am sure this will be a horrible fight;

Who knows? I may come to your house tonight,

Though I wasn’t friendly to you before,

I wonder, God, if you’d wait at your door?

Look, I’m shedding tears-me shedding tears!

Oh! I wish I’d known you these long, long years.

Well, I have to go now, dear God. Good-bye,

But now that I’ve met you I’m not scared to die.”

- Prayer is always within reach in the foxhole experiences of life!