A prayer from Mark Twain

A prayer from Mark Twain

O Lord our God,

Help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead: help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it.


For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet.

We ask it in the spirit of love, of him who is the Source of Love, and who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all who are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.



A friend emails about this “prayer”

“In the story, the buildup to this is terrific, in a church, with all of the prayers for victory, usual sanctimonious crap, and then this old guy shows up with a message from God: if you want to pray for victory, at least be absolutely certian what you’re praying for.


After he tells them, he leaves, and they all decide that he must be insane because what he said made no sense.


Mark Twain also had a piece, something like “A Letter From the Recording Angel”, which is a written answer to prayers. Per request, a variety of people are being afflicted with disease and catastrophe.  Meanwhile, prayers for the poor and unfortunate, said aloud in church, have not been granted, as they conflict with secret supplications.”