If we took a glance throughout our history books, scanning over the names of the heroes and major figures, we would be surprised to find out how many of them possessed a vibrant relationship with God through faith in Christ. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a Civil War general, is one of these men. Military historians consider him to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history, but his gifted mind was engaged in far more than military strategics.
“Stonewall” Jackson He is known most for his backup reinforcement at the Battle of Bull Run, where a fellow commander exclaimed to reform and rally his men, “Look at Jackson standing there like a stone wall!” Mr. Jackson’s faith in Christ, was too like a stone wall. He responded once to a captain,
“My religious beliefs teach me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and all men would be equally brave.”
Stonewall Jackson was a man fixed upon the sovereignty of God and His absolute dominion over life. However, his rock solid theology is not the only thing to be admired; Jackson was also a man of prayer, exemplifying prayer publicly before his men, and in private quarters. Jackson is an example of a man who held dearly to the sovereignty of God, but who also prayed diligently. We are not to know how the two are connected on this side of glory, and we may never know, but we must hold to the simple truth, “you have not because you ask not” (James 4:2-3).
Stonewall commented on the discipline of prayer,
“I have so fixed the habit in my mind that I never raise a glass of water to my lips without asking God’s blessing, never seal a letter without putting a word of prayer under the seal, never take a letter from the post without a brief sending of my thoughts heavenward, never change my classes in the lecture-room without a minute’s petition for the cadets who go out and for those who go in. “
How often do I send up a prayer before drinking a glass of water, or sending a thought heavenward before I send a text? How many daily activities could we simply and routinely speak with our Father before or as we do them? Is this the secret to “praying without ceasing?” Oh to God that we would become more like some of the saints of old, who poured out their hearts to Him and lived their lives in prayer. My dear friends, please consider this military genius, a man of faith and prayer, and let him encourage you to a deeper prayer life!
How can we fix the habit of prayer in our minds?