​Anglicans serving the Australian Defence Force have offered prayers following the deaths of five Australian soldiers in two separate incidents on 29-30 August – Australia’s worst combat losses in a 24-hour period since the Vietnam War.

Three Brisbane-based soldiers were killed in a “green on blue” attack when an Afghan army sergeant shot them at close range as they rested at a patrol base in the Baluchi Valley in Uruzgan. Two other soldiers were wounded.

The latest incident means that a total of seven Australians have been killed in “green on blue” attacks, while 12 have been wounded.

In a separate incident this week, two Special Forces soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Helmand Province.

The website of Defence Anglicans – the community consisting of Anglican military chaplains (also known as padres), lay Christians, military and civilian members of defence-related sections of the Australian Public Service and the families of defence members – has published three prayers in the wake of the deaths, including one based on the Epistle of James, chapter one, verse 17: Every generous act of giving, every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

The prayers can be found at www.defenceanglicans.org.au

The Defence Anglicans community urges prayers for members of the ADF and their families, especially for the families who are grieving.

Here are the prayers as published:

A Prayer inspired by James 1:17

Every generous act of giving, every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (Epistle of James, 1:17)


God of unchanging love, shine your light on our nation as we mourn the loss of five young lives, members of the Australian Defence Force.

In this time of darkness and shadow, we uphold each and every member of their family and friends that they may know the consolation of your love.

(We pray for each mother, father, son and daughter; we pray for each brother, sister, niece, nephew and grandparent.)

We ponder and wonder about the circumstances of our loss; we pray for the injured, for other members of their units; we pray for all deployed personnel and military chaplains who care for them.

Seeking true peace and justice for our world, give wisdom and courage to our national and military leaders as they commit and deploy men and women who serve our nation each day, ready, even to give up their own lives.


We gather our prayers in the faith of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to save us, and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in glory for ever.  Amen.

A Prayer for the Australian Defence Force

Eternal God, the only source of peace,

We pray for all who serve in the defence force of this land.
Give them courage and comfort in danger,
Patience in waiting, and discipline in the just use of force.
Help us to seek for all people
The freedom to serve you and each other in compassion and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Military Chaplains

Lord God of Hosts, we pray for your clergy whom you called to the ministry of uniformed chaplaincy,
and for those who proclaimed you love and compassion on battlefields and Defence establishments where Australian military personnel serve.

Lord, strengthen their faith as they seek to witness to you in the secular world.

Protect them from all dangers and comfort them in the long separation from their families and the familiar things of church that they must endure.

Lord who blessed peacemakers, bless especially those chaplains serving overseas,
helping to bring peace to nations new and old which are struggling to find their identity and place in the world.

We ask in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.