Scenes from Dunkirk(Image by WikiImages from Pixabay)

As Britain commemorates the 80th anniversary of D Day on 6 June, let’s not forget that there would have been no D Day without God’s deliverance at Dunkirk four years earlier.

Shamefully, today neither Church nor nation gives much thought to this miracle resulting from our first WW2 National Day of Prayer, but it serves as both a warning and encouragement today

Soldiers trapped at Dunkirk
Soldiers trapped at Dunkirk. Only a miracle could save them

By Pastor John of Strengthen the Faithful

When King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer for 26 May, it was because there was no military solution to the Dunkirk crisis.

With 350,000 Allied troops trapped on French shores by the advancing German army, Britain was on the verge of total defeat and panic was beginning to set in.

Successive governments in both Britain and Europe had ignored all the warning signs of an impending war in the 1930s; indeed, many people argued that such a war would never happen, because there were now cast iron alliances between nations and common sense would prevail.

There was an almost hypnotic denial of these warning signs. Those like Churchill who repeatedly warned of a coming storm were mocked and ignored.

In 1936 Churchill and his friends embarked on a strenuous campaign to awaken Britain to the danger ahead. In one newspaper article which was published in 14 countries, he wrote “The peoples of Britain and Europe are chattering, busy, sporting, and toiling, amused from day to day by headlines and from night to night by cinemas….Stop it now. It is worth supreme effort to control the hideous drift of events which we are witnessing”. But few listened.

Instead, the majority of people simply continued to plan their careers, build up their businesses, and arrange their next holiday, pretty much oblivious to the coming storm. Now the Nazis were able to sweep all before them and Britain was next. There was no human help. As we know however, there was divine help.

King George VI
King George VI rallied the nation to prayer

In a national broadcast the King called for the people of the UK to turn back to Almighty God in a spirit of repentance and plead for divine Intervention. Literally millions of people across the British Isles responded to his call and flocked into churches humbly praying for deliverance.

Many who read this article will have seen the iconic photograph of the queue of people a quarter of a mile long outside Westminster Abbey. People were terrified and yet they knew instinctively that God could help.

Two events immediately followed this National Prayer Day. First a violent storm arose over the Dunkirk region, grounding the Luftwaffe which had been killing thousands on the beaches.

Then a great calm descended on the Channel, the like of which hadn’t been seen for a generation. This allowed hundreds of tiny boats to sail across and rescue 335,000 soldiers, rather than the estimated 20-30,000.

National Day of Prayer, 26 May 1940. The scene outside Westminster Abbey as people queued to pray for deliverance
National Day of Prayer, 26 May 1940. The scene outside Westminster Abbey as people queued to pray for deliverance

God’s response to the National Day of Prayer was so clear and dramatic, that people referred to it as “the miracle of Dunkirk” and Sunday 9 June was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving.

In the film ‘Dunkirk’, reference is only made to the “little boats” and, shamefully, it fails to admit that without the miraculous Channel calm coming precisely when it did, those little craft wouldn’t have been able to sail. God’s intervention in answer to prayer is totally ignored in the film just as it is today by many churches and politicians.

In all, seven National Days of Prayer were held at crisis points throughout the war and after each one, God responded with his blessing and protection.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr H A Wilson wrote, “If ever a great nation was on the point of supreme and final disaster, and yet was saved and reinstated it was ourselves…it does not require an exceptionally religious mind to detect in all this the hand of God.”

Winston Churchill

Now fast forward to 2024 and ‘Broken Britain’. We are in chaos socially, morally, politically, economically and spiritually. Many people are frightened, not just by world events but by what they see happening in our own society.

Today’s generation thinks that the teaching of the Bible, Christianity and churchgoing are irrelevant. The Lord who delivered the nation from invasion has now been driven out of our culture, out of our government, out of the education of our children and literally hundreds of churches have closed down. The result has not been peace and harmony, but turmoil and discontentment.

These consequences are a direct fulfilment of the principle stated in Psalm 107:34: “A fruitful nation will become impoverished because of the sinfulness of those who dwell in it,” and Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness will exalt a nation, but sin will destroy any people.”

This principle has never been revoked because God is holy and will not be mocked.

God wants to bless our nation and our individual lives, and to enjoy good things. But for years people in Britain have ignored and rejected the very moral laws and commandments in Scripture which would have brought blessing and plenty. As a nation we are now simply reaping what we have sown.

Many politicians have come up with ideas on how to fix Broken Britain, but actually there is no political answer. Scripture teaches that there is no political answer because the root cause of our problems are spiritual – so it needs a spiritual solution.

To reverse our national decline and the disintegration of our society, Britain needs to return to obeying the laws of Almighty God, the God of the Bible, who delivered us from invasion in the past. This would allow him to bless, protect and prosper us, as he did so before.

To discover more about God’s forgotten deliverance and the National Day of Prayer, scan the QR code on the right, click on or go on to YouTube and type in ‘A Dramatic Answer to Prayer. The Miracle of Dunkirk’. If you would also like an email copy of this article to share as a witness to your pastor, MP or local councillor then simply email putting ‘God’s Forgotten Deliverance’ in the subject box.

‘A storm is coming’

If you missed the April/May paper’s feature of artist Julie Ann Scott’s paintings divinely inspired by the WW2 miracles, and why she was led to warn, through art, of an impending storm, please order it from or call 01903 209383

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