Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
The Salvation Army often gives away Bibles

The Bible and prayer lead us into battle

Added on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The heart of The Salvation Army’s mission is walking with people through hardships. Often times, it is financial crisis that brings people to their knees.

We respond from our knees as well – bowing down in prayer, asking for strength from God to serve the hurting. We strive to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth.

We are an Army fighting a war against despair, and we use the word of God – the Bible – to lead us into battle.

While we serve without discrimination and never require any spiritual belief or commitment from those we help, we are always prepared to share the hope we have through our faith in Christ. Sometimes it is an offer of prayer, a gift of a Bible, or just the unconditional love we show through service.

“The truth is, in all the years I have worked for the Army, some of the greatest faith I’ve witnessed has come from those who have lost so much,” said Lt. Col. Robert Thomson, Salvation Army Northern Division commander. “I guess it isn’t that shocking – when you have enough to eat and a comfortable life, it is easy to think you arrived there without any help from above. But someone who has nothing looks to the heavens for relief. And we are dedicated to be that relief, in Christ’s name.”

Prayer and Bibles

People from all faiths or no faith come to us for help. Often times, the door to a conversation about Christ opens when people see signs hanging quietly on the walls inside our service centers. The signs read: “Free Prayer – How can we pray for you today?”

Officer hands out BiblesOther times, the door opens after we hand people a Bible. During the 2014 Christmas season, for example, the Twin Cities Salvation Army gave away nearly 8,400 Bibles at its six metro area Toy Shops. People received a copy after “shopping” for toys with a volunteer (pictured).

“I was at the toy shop in Anoka County – about 90 percent of the families accepted Bibles,” said Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army commander.

Many of those families received prayer, too. Some were offered it, while others flat-out asked. “I prayed with four families who requested it,” Strickler added.

Even the volunteers got involved.

Praying with people at Toy Shop“A lot of the volunteers at the toy shop in St. Paul offered prayer, or stood with the people when a Salvation Army officer prayed with them (pictured),” said Jennie Connors, Salvation Army volunteer relations associate. “That was prevalent at the St. Paul location. It was awesome.”

The Salvation Army was founded 150 years ago in London, England by William Booth, who used prayer and the teachings of the Bible to create a ministry that has since grown to reach millions of people in more than 125 countries.

Take the Bible Challenge

We invite you to join us in reading the entire New Testament this year through a fun and easy online program presented by the International Salvation Army.

General Andre Cox“Boundless – The International Bible Reading Challenge” takes readers on a journey through the New Testament, with a brief new story and discussion questions posted every day of 2015. Email reminders are available, along with Android and iPhone apps for reading on the go.

General André Cox (pictured), leader of the worldwide Salvation Army, instituted the program as way to celebrate The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary.

“As we share in God’s word, may we grow in wisdom and understanding – together,” he said.