National Day of Prayer breakfast celebrates unity
May 7, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (May 8, 2014) - The Fort Belvoir Garrison Chaplains Office hosted the 2014 National Day of Prayer breakfast, May 1 at the Officers' Club.
Guest speaker, retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, the 22nd Army Chief of Chaplains, discussed this year's theme, "One voice united in prayer," and reminded everyone of the importance of spiritual discipline.
"I just wanted to let everyone know we need to be seeking after the heart of God in everything we do," said Carver. "We need to fulfill the great commandment of loving God with our heart, soul, mind and strength."
Carver referenced the book Simply American during his speech; a book about 1st Lt. Noah Harris, who was killed in Iraq in 2005. Carver said Harris lived by four principals he thinks everyone should follow; Live for a noble purpose, Live with courage, Look for ways to help others, and I do what I can.
The fact that only one percent of our nation knows the nobility of wearing a military uniform is the example Carver used to illustrate what it means to "live for a noble purpose."
Deciding to live with God is an example of how to "live with courage," according to Carver.
As a servicemember, loving those we serve is how to "look for ways to help others," because it is the American people who servicemembers protect.
To Carver, "I do what I can" is anything a person does to incorporate the other three principals into their lives.
"Having read his parents' book about his life, it influenced and challenged me about those things I mentioned during my talk," said Carver.
The four principals Carver mentioned are spot on, according to
Chaplain (Maj.) Neal Durham, Fort Belvoir Soldier and Family Chaplain. Durham feels Carver did an excellent job illustrating how a Soldier who has given everything for the Army and the United States used these principals while serving.
His favorite of the four principals is "I do what I can."
"That is an absolutely great mantra to live by," Durham said. "We get caught up in the circumstances of life so much sometimes that we lose focus on what we need to have focus on, which is to help others. We need to do what we can to help others and it's important we keep that at the front of everything we do."
Others, like Spc. Melissa Brown, Intelligence and Security Command, Chaplain Assistant, identify with "Live with courage," and "Looking for ways to help others."
"If you are only living for yourself, the world isn't affected by Gods work in your faith," said Brown.
Carver's emphasis on the four principals is heard by U. S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Commander, Col. Gregory D. Gadson as well. Gadson first met Carver during his rehabilitation at Bethesda Medical Center and is encouraged every time they are together, according to Gadson.
"He's helped me grow in my faith," said Gadson. "I am touched by the 'I do what I can' mantra. It's a great lesson to have reinforced."
The military is drawing down from the longest war in the Nation's history with scars that need mending, said Carver. Our servicemembers maintaining a strong faith will allow those scars to heal quickly, according to Carver.
"A spiritually healthy servicemember is going to be a healthier individual," said Carver. "It's proven if one is spiritually healthy it can mend them together quicker than those who aren't practicing their faith. So, faith is very vital to our resilience."