Joseph Parker: Pray for the Police, Law Enforcement, and Our Nation

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. – Romans 13:1-5

One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a police officer or other member of law enforcement. It is a job that requires very skilled and serious training, often can involve a lot of danger, and typically is not a very high-paying job.

On top of all of that, the mental, emotional, and physical requirements of the work can be very taxing on them. Their spouses and children often may experience extraordinary pressure out of concern for their loved one because of these requirements.

Police and law enforcement officers are public servants. Yes, they are employees, of course, but they are also servants. They have to be. There are many outstanding people — men and women — who serve in our cities and communities in the field of law enforcement.

Sadly, in our country and current culture, it seems to be a very unpopular line of work in the eyes of many people. Too many in our nation today seem to feel that they have valid reason to oppose people in law enforcement.

Those in this field need much prayer today.

We the church need to pray fervently for police officers and others in law enforcement. They are in great need of prayer and spiritual support all the time, but especially right now. Their jobs are to protect people, and often they have to deal with some of the most difficult people in society.

They have to deal with angry people, disturbed people, and people with mental challenges. They have to interact with or arrest people who are drunk, high on drugs, depressed, suicidal, and other states of mind that cause people not to be their normal selves.

How do we expect the police to deal with that kind of pressure every day?

They are public servants and serve a vital role in our world. And they serve in a God-ordained position of authority (Read Romans 13). They are peace officers, and part of their responsibility is to help keep the peace in society. Tragically, we see the kingdom of darkness vigorously attacking these outstanding people who are truly public servants.

Obviously, you will have some in this field who should not be there and whose actions throw a negative shadow on all the others. And yes, there are times in which those in law enforcement do wrong. But by and large, some of the greatest people in the world serve as law enforcement officers. Many of them live every single day sacrificially doing their job and sacrificially serving the public.

I recall reading not long ago about a police officer who’d stopped a young African American man with a child in his car not sitting in a child car seat. The man said he couldn’t afford a car seat right now. Instead of ticketing the man, the officer took him and the child to a local Walmart and bought the man a car seat — out of his own pocket.

This kind of action on the part of law enforcement officers is much more common than most of us realize. By and large, they are public servants who serve the public.

We should always remember what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001. Many heroic acts took place, and many of the heroes of that day were police officers, along with firemen, and many other public servants. Many a police officer ran into the Twin Towers on that historic day and never came back out alive. There were great acts of heroism that day on the part of police officers as well as many others. Yet, dealing with tragedies large and small in our society is part of the job.

There are many voices today calling for the elimination of the police. Those same people who are calling out for this the loudest probably would not hesitate to call the police if they feel the least bit threatened or in danger in their own neighborhood.

The very idea of eliminating the police is a crazy thought. It’s actually a demonic thought. Yet, it should be expected from the devil and the kingdom of darkness. Satan would love to eliminate this God-ordained authority we call law enforcement. If this were to happen, he knows exactly the kind of chaos that would easily follow in a lawless society without police.

Not only should the police not be eliminated, they probably should receive raises and generally much more support than they presently receive from government and our culture.

The church needs to pray fervently and faithfully for our police men and women and all others who serve in law enforcement. They are in great need of grace, wisdom, guidance, and protection that only God our Heavenly Father can provide for them.

Let’s make it a priority to pray for them every day.

A prayer for police and people in law enforcement:

Our Father, thank you for the men and women who serve as police officers and in law enforcement. Pour out your grace, mercy, and peace upon those men and women who serve in this role in our community, our city, our state, our nation, and in our world.

Give them wisdom, discernment, patience, and grace as they work with people, many of whom can so often be difficult to deal with.

Keep them safe from danger, evil, and harm. Give them supernatural grace, wisdom, and insight to do their job with excellence, understanding, and efficiency. And give them supernatural protection daily wherever they go.

Thank you Lord for all of these public servants. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. – II Chronicles 7:14

We also must continue to pray for our nation and our leaders, and we must continue to pray for God to pour out His healing grace upon the church and our nation as well as the world.

Individuals, families, communities, and our nation as a whole need to see so many things differently. We desperately need to see things from Christ’s point of view. All the other perspectives are wrong.

Jesus really is the answer for our nation and the whole world.

Joseph Parker serves as the pastor of Bethlehem A.M.E. Church in Winona, Mississippi, and the Director of Outreach and Intercession with the American Family Association. He has been in the ministry for almost 40 years and hosts the radio broadcast, “The Hour of Intercession,” on the Urban Family Communications Radio network.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

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