THE WAR PRAYER
The War Prayer takes place in present day, during Sunday services at a church in Any Town, USA. On the eve of war, our Reverend leads the congregation in a prayer for the protection of our soldiers. In closing, he makes one last, seemingly innocuous request “...and grant us the victory, O Lord.“
“Amen”, and the service proceeds as usual until the arrival of a mysterious stranger, “a messenger from on high”, who silently ascends to the pulpit and proceeds to explain “the full import” of the congregation’s request, the “unspoken” part of their prayer.
What follows is Twain’s masterful, yet horrifying depiction of warfare, an unrivaled indictment of the carnage that man has committed against his fellow man since time immemorial.
With The War Prayer, Twain grabs our conscience by the lapels, and challenges us to re-examine our most cherished beliefs about patriotism, and what it truly means to be an American.
“I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.“—American Writer, Mark Twain