July 2018 Ministry Update (Police Chaplaincy)

Bob Roane

This month I attended a training session for Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Police and Clergy Alliance (PACA). We heard again from Chief Art Acevedo and I ask you to pray for him and his team. See below for 5 Scriptures to Use in Praying for Police.

Chief Acevedo leads a department of 5,200 sworn law enforcement officers and 1,200 civilian support personnel. He stated again that he wants to strengthen bonds between the community and HPD. He wants to practice “Relational Policing,” forging a positive relationship with each citizen an officer comes in contact with. He stressed the need for police to obey Jesus’ Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12), with integrity, fairness, kindness, and public service.

The first Hispanic to lead HPD, Acevedo brings a unique understanding to the concerns of the diverse communities in Houston. Born in Cuba, he was 4 years old when he migrated to the United States with his family in 1968. Acevedo grew up in California and served there in law enforcement 1986-2007. Prior to coming to Houston in 2016, he served nine years as Chief of the Austin Police Department.

Acevedo expressed strong commitment to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and attends a non-denominational church. The Chief believes that he is here by God’s plan and providence, has a burden to improve our city, asks for our prayers and encouragement, and wants good relationships with churches. He spoke about Satan as the enemy of peace and of all that is good and asked us to help him in this spiritual battle.

5 Scriptures to Use in Praying for Police.

1. Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Police officers are charged with stopping conflict and keeping peace, often at great personal sacrifice (physical safety, mental health, time with family). Most view their work as a calling, not just a job. Ask the Lord to help them be faithful peacekeepers.

2. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them [enemies], for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Ask Christ to remind our police officers that He is the only reliable source of strength and courage, especially when our own is lacking. Ask Jesus to be with our officers at every traffic stop, in every domestic call, in every split-second decision they have to make today.

3. 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 keeping them safe from the danger they face every day.

4. 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!

5. Romans 13:4 “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good/benefit/help (for our 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 the Lord. They are here to serve God and us, promoting goodness, so we should pray faithfully for them.

Adapted from: 13 Inspiring Scriptures for Police Officers by Leah Everly.

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