How to pray for the police

July 8, 2016

They swore to protect and serve. Now they lie dead and wounded.

Last night five law enforcement officers in Dallas were killed and six more were wounded. They need our prayers, as do all the men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe on our streets and in our homes.

Here are eight ways we can pray for the police in America:

Pray for their safety

Ask our heavenly Father to protect those who protect us. Ask him to stand guard over them as they watch over us. Pray on their behalf:

I run to you, Lord,
for protection.
    Don’t disappoint me.
You do what is right,
    so come to my rescue.
    Listen to my prayer
    and keep me safe. (Psalms 71:1-2)

Pray for their peace

Pray that they may be anxious for nothing, and that the peace of God will guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Pray for their wisdom

Pray that they may not be wise in their own eyes, but that they will gain wisdom through fear of God (Proverbs 3:7).

Pray for those who they may harm

As representatives of authority, police officers may be called to be “agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). Pray for those who the police may justly punish as well as those who, through error or evil, may be unjustly harmed by their actions

Pray for those who may harm them 

The enemies of the police are the enemies of society. But as with all enemies, we must pray for those who would do them harm (Matthew 5:43-45a).

Pray for their families

Pray for the wives who lost husbands, the sons and daughters who lost father. Pray for every family member who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Mourn with them and pray that God will remind them of his promise to “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Pray for their salvation

Our Lord “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). We should therefore express our desire that every law enforcement officers who does not yet know Jesus might be saved.

Pray for those the police protect  

Say a prayer of thanksgiving for their sacrifice and pray also for the people the police dutifully protect and serve, that in this time of tragedy God will heal the brokenhearted in our nation and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is the author of The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents, the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. He also serves as an executive pastor at the McLean Bible Church Arlington location in Arlington, Virginia. Read More