Praying for Law Enforcement

While it’s not an issue currently making local news, although it did briefly during the holidays, most of us are familiar with the controversies surrounding law enforcement around the country. As a police officer’s spouse it’s alarming, to say the least. I am going to keep my commentary and opinion to a minimum here for that reason, except to say this: there are noble and brave law enforcement officers who are willing to lay down their lives for strangers every time they put on their uniforms. They are human just like the rest of us with good days and bad days. I also realize that injustice exists in every human institution. I am not African-American, and so I do not know what it’s like to be looked at differently based on my race, but I am very aware that it still happens all the time. There are problems to be addressed on all sides of the issue. But hate from either side only exacerbates the problems. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Jesus is our only source of light and love. We must look to Him to address these issues in our society. So for those brave men and women who are out doing their best to protect and serve our cities, let’s pray. It is the best thing we can do in the situation. Psalm 91:1-4 –  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Lord God, You are our Sovereign God and King. You see everything, and You have provided the answer to every issue and question in the person of Your Son Jesus Christ. You are the God of Justice, and we can trust You even when it seems justice is far off.  You are our Redeemer and Deliverer. We pray for our law enforcement officers around the metro-Birmingham area, and even around this nation today. Father, I see and hear so much hurt and frustration among them as a result of how it seems the public has turned against them, and as a result of the hard things they have to see and deal with every single day. Heal their hearts, Lord. Do not let them become embittered and angry, or hateful. Instead, turn their eyes upon Jesus, to look full in His wonderful face. Let them know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge. (from Eph. 3:19) Cause them to dwell in Your presence, and to rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You are a refuge to those who will run to You. Cause these men and women to run to You, Father. Be their fortress and strong tower from the onslaught of their real enemy, Satan. We pray that in the current climate, we would see many law enforcement personnel giving their lives to Christ. Let this cause a revival not of hate or fear, but a revival of salvation and redemption. We pray that time and time again, they would see Your hand bringing deliverance on their behalf. Spring every trap that is set against them. At the same time, though, we also pray that You would expose those who are corrupt and too hate-filled to do their job in a way that honors You. Remove those officers in Your way. Father, cover these men and women with Your righteousness and faithfulness, as well as with Your protection. Cause them to fix their eyes on You and to call out to You. You promise to answer when we call out to You. (Jer. 33:3, for example). And like 2 Chronicles 20:17 says, do not let them fear or be dismayed, but let them stand and see the salvation of the LORD on their behalf. Thank You for Your Word, Lord, that helps us to pray without letting our emotions and opinions get in the way. Amen. I know the other side of this issue needs to be covered in prayer as well. If you feel so led, please feel free to do so in the comments.

How to Pray for the Fallen

I’m sure by now most everyone has heard of the sad news regarding the arrest of Matt Pitt, founder of the youth ministry, The Basement. I debated and prayed for several days about whether or not to post anything, and if so, if it should be a whole blog post or just a post on our Facebook page. I also wanted to be careful not to just post my opinion on the situation. See, I’m the wife of a Birmingham police officer, so I have strong feelings regarding the case.

One of the tragedies, though, in any situation where a well-known person gets into trouble, is the onslaught of public opinion that person, and their family, have to endure. No matter how deserving the person is of the arrest/trouble they’ve brought on themselves, the comments are horribly abusive. We forget it’s a real person with real feelings, and that but for the grace of God, we could find ourselves in a very similar situation someday.

So how should we, as Christians who are called to pray, respond? I think one of the first things we must do is choose to fast from our opinion and emotions about the situation. I had to choose to set them aside, because otherwise, I was too angry at the pride that caused such wrong choices, at foolishness, at sin. I was too hurt for all the young people who are very hurt and confused because of these events by someone they greatly admired. I feared for the direct harm he may have caused some of those young people, if they got sucked into his bad choices. I could not hear how the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray with all of those emotions and opinions drowning out His voice. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel those things, but that I need to choose to lay them at the feet of Jesus.

The next and real first thing we do is pray for Matt Pitt. If we still can’t bring ourselves to pray as we ought, and are tempted to either pray for his complete downfall so that he “gets what he deserves”, as some comments have said, or if we are tempted to pray for so much grace that he gets off scott-free, then we can turn to Scripture and pray the Scriptures.

We can pray out of Genesis 50:20 by praying, “God, what the devil and man have meant for evil, You meant it for good. We pray that You would cause Matt Pitt’s present result to accomplish Your purposes, to bring many people to You.”

We can pray out of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 – “Heavenly Father, You are holy and Your name is holy. Would you preserve and display Your holiness in the face of this public fall-out from a Christian leader’s bad choices? Let Your kingdom come through Your people, and let it stand in stark contrast to the kingdom of darkness. We pray that Your will would be done for Matt Pitt and The Basement here on the earth, as it already is in Heaven. Cause Matt to feed daily on Your Word so that He can receive Your forgiveness that You freely grant to all who sin and have fallen. Deliver him from the evil that has gotten a hold of his life right now. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Those are just two examples of how we can use Scripture to pray for Matt Pitt and any leader who lets us down by succumbing to sin. This kind of praying does not excuse their sin, nor does it condemn him. We have no right to do either of those things. This kind of praying lines us up with the heart of God for all of His children. May we all be so blessed to receive such prayers on our behalf in our time of need.

What are some other Scripture-based prayers the Lord has led you to pray for Matt Pitt, or the The Basement ministry?