Thirty-five years ago this week, I entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. We were the Class of 1988. In our first week, we had to learn the West Point Cadet Prayer.
Jump forward to today. The Class of 2023 has begun their journey as part of the “Long Gray Line” and the West Point Cadet Prayer is still an important guide for today's cadets.
In honor of Independence Day and the men and women who serve allowing us the freedom to speak and to pray as we see fit, I would like to share The West Point Cadet Prayer.
Before you read it, ask yourself: “What challenge does this prayer offer me?
Whether you are a person of faith or not, this challenge is open for you.
Duty – Honor – Country.
These three core values of West Point have stood the test of time for the last two centuries. The West Point Cadet Prayer is used by graduates as a reminder of these and other values which are meant to form the character of our nation’s future leaders.
I would like to welcome you to let this prayer challenge you as you and your family reflect during our nation’s holiday.
The West Point Cadet Prayer
“O God, our Father, thou Searcher of human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.
Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretense ever to diminish.
Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won.
Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.
Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.
Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country. All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all. Amen”
From our team to you and your family, Happy Independence Day!
Dig Deep Question:
How many different character challenges does this prayer present to you, your family or your team?
What portion of the prayer challenges you the most?