FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Building spiritual resiliency to overcome life's struggles was the message impressed upon more than 300 National Prayer Breakfast attendees by Chaplain (Col.) David Smartt, Installation Management Command command chaplain, at The Landing Feb. 11.

Breakfasts like this one are conducted across the country every year to pray for national and local leaders, the country and its people, including Soldiers and Army Families.

Touching on resiliency here reflects Army-wide intentions to build emotionally and mentally resilient servicemembers and Families, said Installation/Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Stephen Cook. Having strong religious foundations creates well-rounded individuals.

Soldiers stationed here are often training up for future deployments and must ready themselves professionally and spiritually for impending challenges, Cook explained.

"If you have the sense of how things are going to turn out, God is going to take care of you," Cook said. "That gives you some strength to weather tough parts (of life)."

This strength is critical to success anywhere, officials said.

"Spiritual resilience is bounce-back ability," said Smartt. "God reveals himself and is present even in the direst circumstances. Just because you don't see God acting in the way he has before doesn't mean he's not there acting in very important ways."

Smartt recalled the biblical story of the Israelites, who displayed resiliency when facing enemy oppression. People today can learn from historical experiences, he said.

"We need to recognize we cannot make it on our own," Smartt said.

Regardless of their specific faiths, chaplains, Soldiers and community members bonded together to pray during the breakfast for everyone to reach these levels of resiliency.

Remembering to pray for those in uniform is especially important, because it's too easy to forget those serving in harm's way, Cook said.

"Prayer keeps you from looking down (on life). It makes you think about the bigger picture and makes you a better person," Cook said.

Senior Catholic Chaplain (Capt.) Sean Magnuson also prayed during the breakfast for Soldiers serving overseas to have courage, compassion and mercy while fighting, and asked Families at home to display patience and share God's love with others.

Officials hoped the breakfast left everyone feeling rejuvenated and motivated. Garrison Commander Col. Yvette Kelley said she aspires for people to find their strength in divine authority, quoting Luke 1:37, "For with God, nothing should be impossible."

Page last updated Thu February 18th, 2010 at 17:04