Just a cursory glance at headlines and you’ll know—police need our prayers. They need everyday citizens like you and me to pray for law enforcement—immediately and fervently.
With over 800,000 sworn officers in the US (more than the estimated 2019 population of Denver, Colorado), it’s inevitable that some become jaded. They’re encased in negative environments, confronting those who are facing their worst days in the most troubling circumstances. Some officers become angry while some feel the pull of power. There are some who make unexpected, detrimental decisions in the blink of an eye. A few “bad apples” have climbed the ranks of leadership. They’ve then developed subordinates with misguided and horribly unfortunate demeanors. That’s just wrong.
It’s easy to see that not all cops are good guys. But I’d go so far as to say that the vast majority are. They are kind-hearted men and women who work hard to serve their communities well. Officers would prefer that judgment from the media, politicians, and celebrities address individual issues rather than police lives as a whole. Too often they feel attacked at the core of who they are and who they’ve worked hard to be.
What Causes Stress for Police Officers?
Most law enforcement officers embraced their call to serve to help others and protect their communities. The majority have stayed true to that calling, despite negative press, half-truths reported in the media, personal sacrifice, and the ghastly—unimaginable to most of us—situations they address. Such experiences would tear at the hearts of even the strongest among us, yet masses of men and women in blue uphold strong morals and continue to serve with integrity amidst great personal sacrifice.
The Toll Law Enforcement Takes on Families
The job of law enforcement is hard on marriages. When I meet the wives of young officers, the deeply planted seed of fear that I see in their eyes touches my heart. I feel it.
Young wives often believe their fear is invisible, as if no one can see that they’re afraid. But women who have lived in the same place of uncertainty recognize it in an instant.
One thing I’ve learned through over 30 years as a law enforcement wife is, we cannot fight a spiritual battle in the flesh.
A Message to Police Wives
We must remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). We do not fight the government, or the criminals, or those who have developed a hatred for cops, or even our husbands. Our battle is against the enemy of our souls who desires to steal, kill, and destroy. He must not win. So we must pray daily.
As wives of our officers, we have no choice but to stand firm in our roles and fight for our men. They need us, our prayer coverage, and our steadfast courage in the fight. Our ONLY offensive weapon in spiritual battles is the Word of God and we are to pray at all times in the Spirit. In a supernatural sense, praying for our husbands brings a level of peace and trust in the Lord that we may not expect.
If I had one piece of advice to give the wife of a law enforcement officer, it would be this: Offer a prayer for your police officer husband and continue to pray at all times.
Why Good Police Officers Are Quitting
Law enforcement places a huge strain on families. It takes a nasty toll on physical health. Without intentional effort, the job can make a horrible impact on mental well-being. Suicide rates among officers have seen a dramatic increase. The hatred of one person could literally end the life of a police officer in a split second. Yet the officers run into dangerous situations so that you and I are protected from harm. They serve us well, even when they don’t know who holds a gun and if they’ll be the target of the next fired round.
After years of helping victims find hope and healing, many officers are now reflecting on why they signed up for this job. They’re questioning whether they have the strength to continue. Not because of the horror they see on the streets, but because of the current abhorrence and disrespect they receive from those they so faithfully serve. Good officers are quitting every day because they’re vilified even as they protect the public.
Society, which is now encouraged to reject authority and to blatantly disregard law enforcement, is empowering people who are intent on committing crimes. Politicians know this. Sadly, the politicians who stand in public nodding in agreement with “defund the police” movements are the very ones asking local police chiefs to provide extra patrol coverage for their personal homes. It’s a double standard that’s hard to reconcile. Yet we shouldn’t be surprised.
Lawlessness in the “Last Days”
God’s Word told us this was coming. Look at how the last days are described in Matthew 24:12 in a variety of Bible translations:
Because of an increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold (NIV)
Sin will be rampant everywhere… (NLT)
Lawlessness will be increased… (ESV)
Iniquity shall abound… (KJV)
Lawlessness will multiply… (HCSB)
Who stands on the front lines of lawlessness? Our law enforcement officers. Men and women who sacrifice themselves and family to keep their communities safe. When the world rises up to say, “We need no law!” we need honorable men and women in blue to stand firm and say, “We will uphold law and order!”
For most officers, law enforcement is not merely a career or a profession. It’s a high calling that flows into their families as well. One of the best ways to say thank you to a police officer—and the families who sacrifice so much—is to pray for them.
Law Enforcement Support Through Prayer
It’s imperative that we lift up our country’s law enforcement officers and all of our leaders from coast to coast. Most citizens who don’t know what the life of an officer is like, and may not know the best way to pray, so I have compiled 21 prayer prompts for police.
21 Ways to Pray for Law Enforcement
The list of prayers that follows was developed for anyone with a heart to pray for our law enforcement officers, whether the wife of an officer or not. For some, this may be your first attempt at prayer. For others who may be seasoned prayer warriors, this will provide some on-target ammunition for real needs that real officers face.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ve kept the prayers male-specific, but in no way wish to exclude our courageous female officers.
Insert an officer’s name in the blanks if you know it and use these words, often borrowed from the Bible verses referenced in the HCSB translation.
How to Pray for Police
Lord, please go before our officers and be their rear guard. With you before and behind them, they will be surrounded in your great protection (Isaiah 52:12).
You, Lord, are a shield around _______. Be his protection, his glory, and the one who lifts his head (Psalm 3:3).
May _______ be filled with wisdom and all spiritual discernment to walk in a manner pleasing to You, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9). When he faces difficult split-second decisions, give him Your wisdom.
Rescue our officers, Lord, from evil men and women. Keep them safe from those who plan evil in their hearts (Psalm 140:1-2).
Help ______ keep his mind steadfast on You and keep him in perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3)
Father, our officers see far more devastation and evil than most of us can imagine. Guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus with your peace that surpasses understanding. Protect them from replaying graphic scenes in their minds.
May ______ find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man. Shift thoughts of anyone who wishes to find undeserved fault in ______. Help his good work shine brightly for all to see (Proverbs 3:4).
Keep _______ blameless and pure in your sight – faultless in a crooked and depraved generation. May _____ shine among men like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:15).
Help _____ live above reproach, faithful to his wife and family, temperate, self-controlled and respectable. Strengthen his heart that he will not fall into temptation.
Prayers for Police Officers and Deputies
May _____ get good rest to stay healthy and alert. When he lies down, he will not be afraid and his sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24).
Lord, please help _____, a peacemaker who sows in peace, reap a harvest of righteousness. Cause his good deeds to be returned to him a hundredfold (James 3:18).
May _____ devote himself to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Help ______ be vigilant at all times, alert and aware of his surroundings. May he be on the alert, standing firm in the faith, and strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Protect ______’s friendships, both inside and outside of law enforcement, so that he is not prone to isolation. Two are better than one…if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
More Scriptures for Law Enforcement
May _____ never lose hope, remembering that You, Lord, have plans for him – plans for welfare and not for evil, to give him hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Oh, God of hope, fill _____ with all joy and peace as he trusts in You so that he will be filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
Make _____’s love for our community increase and overflow. Protect him, Lord, from adopting an “us vs. them” way of thinking (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Guard marriages of our officers, helping them remember that their spouse is their friend and supporter, not an enemy with whom to do battle. They are no longer two but one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man separate (Matthew 19:6).
Help him love his wife as himself and equip his wife to respect him as her husband (Ephesians 5:33).
Lord, turn the hearts of the fathers (and mothers) toward their children, and the hearts of the children toward their fathers (and mothers). Protect the family unit. Restore broken relationships and continue to strengthen those that are healthy (Malachi 2:6).
Keep _____ from the temptation of repaying evil for evil and strengthen him to do what is honorable in the sight of all. When possible, as far as it depends on _____, may he live in peace with everyone. May ______ not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).
A Powerful Bible Verse to Pray for Police
May _____ walk daily in the full armor of God.
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it, you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
As the wife of a long-time officer, I THANK YOU, for joining the battle by making the decision to pray for law enforcement. Your prayers matter and encourage our officers every day.
For more prayer support, I encourage you to join my FREE 21-day Prayer Challenge. If you enjoyed this post on prayer, you’ll love the growing closer to God through the prayer challenge! I hope to see you there.