FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 25, 2014) -- Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me.”

What makes warriors resilient? This question could be answered several different ways; but I would like to focus on spiritual fitness. Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness states that spiritual fitness is one of the elements that build the human spirit inclusive of the diversity of the force.

What builds the human spirit? Again, several answers may be applied; the one I will focus on is the power of prayer.

In the Old Testament, the Bible introduces a man named David. He was called a man after God’s own heart, but he did face his share of trouble. Some of it was self-inflicted, but he was able to bounce back from each trial and tribulation through the power of prayer. His relationship with God was his center of gravity. Most understand that the center of gravity helps us accomplish objectives and if that is lost, the mission is in jeopardy.

The mission here is joy. God wants everyone to have joy. He does not want life to beat people down. The Bible says in Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Through each trial and tribulation; David was strengthened by the Lord and David was able to move forward.

In his book entitled “Resilient Warriors,” Robert Dees (retired U.S. Army major general) talks about the differences between tennis balls and eggs. He simply states that tennis balls will bounce and eggs will not. He then asks the question, “Which are you, an egg or a tennis ball?” Tennis balls bounce high when slammed on the ground; an egg will not. Eggs make a mess. If we are going to bounce high and not become a mess; then we might consider the power of prayer.

Authors T.W. Hunt and Claude V. King state 10 reasons to pray:

1. To spend time with God.

2. To identify with God by becoming like Him.

3. To identify with God by working together with Him.

4. To gain strength to resist temptation.

5. To be made right with God.

6. To find forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

7. To learn God’s will.

8. To offer sacrifices to God.

9. To learn authority.

10. To release God’s power.

David found great comfort in the Lord through prayer. His life was empowered and full of joy. He was able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He was able to bounce back from each trial and tribulation. Dees stated, “I challenge you to likewise embrace the benefits of such a personal faith - before, during, and after trauma – in dealing with ongoing and future body slams of life. You, and those who journey this life with you, will be glad you did.”

Will you consider the power the prayer? God is a master carpenter. He wants to build you up and make you a resilient warrior.