Used at a recent Bible study for Houston Police Department officers and chaplains.
Most of us are aware that the day-to-day work of police officers can be full of potential dangers. They can be injured or killed by criminals or traffic accidents. In the current climate they are often underappreciated and disrespected. Shift work and stress can contribute to poor sleeping habits and fatigue. Post-traumatic stress from being involved in dangerous incidents and witnessing death and destruction can lead to depression and suicide. So we need to pray for police and other law enforcement officers. Here are some Scriptures to help us do that.
- Matt 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Police officers are responsible for stopping conflict and keeping peace, often at great personal sacrifice (physical safety, mental health, relationships). Many view their work as a calling, not just a job.
Ask the Lord to help them be faithful peacekeepers and keep them safe today. Ask God to bring wholeness, peace, and security to their families too. Ask the Lord to bring order through law to our city and justice with mercy. God loves cities because there are lots of people in cities and the Lord loves people. Do we reflect God’s heart for cities and our city in particular?
- Deut 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of enemies, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Christ is the best source of strength and courage for police officers, their families, and all of us. Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in our weakness. When we are weak, He is strong. So we admit our weakness, so that Christ’s power and peace may rest on us.1
Ask Jesus to be alongside our officers at every traffic stop, on every domestic call, in every split-second decision they have to make today. Ask God to give them wisdom, strength, and courage. Ask the Lord to give the same blessings to their families who carry the heavy burden (and privilege) of having a police officer as a dad, mom, husband, or wife.
- Psalm 144:1,2 “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”
Ask God to support our officers: loving them, supporting them, training them, giving them all the necessary skills, and shielding them from the danger they face every day. Ask the Lord to be the solid Rock for their spouses and children too.
- Proverbs 21:15 “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”
Ask the Lord to remind our officers that what they do matters to God greatly. In promoting justice they resemble the Lord and terrify troublemakers. That is God’s intent! “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”2
- Rom 13:4 “The one in authority is God’s servant for your good, benefit, and help. And for your righteousness and happiness. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for they do not bear the sword [weapon] for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” This Scripture sums up much of what police officers do and their importance to the Lord. They are here to serve God and us, promoting the Lord’s goodness, so we should pray for them.
Ask the Lord to make all our citizens honor, respect, trust, help, and cooperate with police officers. Peace in our city happens best when police and citizens have a good working relationship. Ask God to make and keep our officers trustworthy and help our citizens to trust them.
Notes (various translations used) : 1 2 Cor 12:9; Psalm 29:11. 2 Prov 9:10. This is adapted from: Inspiring Scriptures for Police Officers by Leah Everly. Leah has also written The Proverbs 31 Police Wife.