Twain starts off telling us about how everyone in the town is cheering on the new volunteers of the war, He tells us about how the volunteers families and friends are waving goodbye to them as if they were excited about them leaving, but I feel as if Twain automatically expected his audience to understand the sadness of the families as well. Twain talks about how people gather at the Church that following Sunday including men who want to enter into the war. He also mentioned how the "bronzed heroes" were returning and everybody was excited to see them. Twain also mentions how there were people at the Church who were envious of the volunteers because they did not have any sons or husbands to send off to the war.
The preacher then starts the "long prayer" and begins it out with asking the Lord to watch over the soldiers who are participating the war. The preacher also talks about how he wants the soldiers of his town to beat their opponent and win the war successfully. Twain then tells us about a strange looking man that appears at the Church and how he is dressed compared to everyone else. The man just walks in hoping no one would notice and stands beside the preacher as he is praying. He touches the preacher and hopes for a chance to speak. When the stranger speaks he talks about how he is there to speak the words that were running through the audiences minds as the preacher was praying, the "unspoken" prayer. He then re-prays to the audience and adds in the words that he thinks the people were thinking. He talks about what would happen to their foe if they won the battle as the preacher had mentioned earlier. The stranger described the situations of the losers of the war for example, "help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst..." The stranger is trying to make the audience feel guilty for praying this prayer and wanting them to win the war.