The War Prayer begins with the excitement and patriotism that is going on during this time. The pride of fathers, mothers, sisters and sweethearts of the soldiers who are being sent off to war and those who are coming home. The town will send off troops the next morning so they gather in the church to pray, they pray that their men seek victory and that they will do things to bring pride to their family. During this church service an old man comes into the church and stops the pastor and begins to talk. He says that with these things the congregation prays for there is also an opposite. He says if you pray for your men to win then you are also praying for others to lose their lives, homes and food. There is always an opposite side to what you are praying for. When the man left it was said that he was a lunatic because he didn't make any sense.
This is an interesting look at religion and people of every time period. This old man is incredibly right in that when you pray for something good to happen to you, you are also praying inadvertently that something not so good happens to someone else. Whether it be something less important like rain for a crop, or more serious like someone's life and shelter after battle. The people called him a lunatic because he didn't make sense, but I think what's really happening is that they don't want to look at themselves as anything but good Christian folk. In the bible God says to look at the log in your eye before pointing out the sick in someone else's, I think this is where Christians have difficulty in this story. If these people were to actually think about what this "lunatic" of a man said they might try to just pray in a way that won't also be taking away from someone else.