We didn’t know it at the time, but we were about to face incredible life changes. I said “I do” to the man of my dreams more than 30 years ago. He was a construction worker and I was a student. The local Sheriff’s Office hired him just six short months later, and I began to feel the burden to pray for law enforcement.
For too long, I declared that “I didn’t marry a cop.” I wore that fact like a merit badge, feeling I earned an “out” if this newfound role as a cop’s wife became too difficult to bear.
I finally realized that whether I became a law enforcement wife by choice or not, it’s one of the callings the Lord placed on my life. My husband has a divinely appointed call to serve our community with integrity; therefore I am also divinely appointed to stand firm in the role of his supporter and prayer warrior. In the Lord’s strength, I’ve embraced that calling and recognize the honor that it brings to our family and future generations.
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Supporting Law Enforcement as we Pray
It’s imperative that we lift up our country’s law enforcement officers and all of our leaders from coast to coast. For many who don’t know what the life of an officer is like, you may not know the best way to pray, so I have compiled 21 prayer prompts that are detailed below.
As you pray, consider the moral decline in our world. It makes me heartsick, but honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised to see it. 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)
Pray for Law Enforcement: Those on the Front Lines of Lawlessness
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!” our men and women in blue stand firm and say, “We will uphold law and order!”
For most officers, law enforcement is not 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 first responder—and the families who sacrifice so much—is to pray for them.
When Families Feel the Burden
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 – that no one can see that they’re afraid. Most of the time they’re right. But women who have lived in the same place of uncertainty recognize it in an instant.
One thing I’ve learned over the years – relating not only to a husband in law enforcement but to our marriage as a whole – is that we cannot fight a spiritual battle in the flesh. 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 and he must not win.
As wives of our officers, we have no choice but to stand firm in our roles and fight for our men. They need us. They need 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 seemingly supernatural sense, praying for our husbands brings a level of peace and trust in the Lord for ourselves that we may not have expected.
If I had one piece of advice to give the wife of a law enforcement officer it would be this: Pray. At all times.
How to Pray for First Responders
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. Please know that God hears them all. For others who may be seasoned prayer warriors, this will provide some on-target ammunition for real needs that real officers face.
For simplicity, I’ve kept the prayers male-specific, but in no way wish to exclude our female officers.
Insert an officer’s name in the blanks if you know it.
21 Ways to Pray for Law Enforcement
- 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)
- 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) ** This is also a great prayer for the families at home!
- 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, which 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.
- 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. May his good deeds 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)
- 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)
- May You, the God of hope, fill _____ with all joy an 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)
- May _____ walk daily in the full armor of God.
Praying The Full Armor of God
This list wouldn’t be complete without emphasizing the armor of God detailed in Ephesians.
“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 (HCSB)
THANK YOU, for joining the battle by making the decision to pray for our law enforcement officers. Your prayers matter and encourage our officers every day.
photo courtesy of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, 2018
It seems that more people are feeling anxious than ever. The truth is, to stop fretting from the uncertainties of today’s world, we can all calm anxiety with the truth of God.
I certainly need wisdom to learn how to give my anxiety to God. Each post in this series points to what God says about anxiety and uses Scripture to help embrace His truth. The Bible allows us to focus on God as the authentic Source of our peace.
Hope for Today—a Bible Verse for Anxiety
Today’s Bible verse for anxiety is one that, at its surface, almost sounds too good to be true.
John 14:1 (HCSB)
Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.
It can seem as if these words of Jesus are oversimplified. How do we gain freedom from a troubled heart by simply believing? God provides a glimpse of His powerful intent for these words. If we desire freedom from a troubled heart, we must believe in God and His Son. That’s what it looks like to calm anxiety with the truth of God.
Before this Bible verse could have it’s powerful, calming impact in my life, I had to analyze what I believed. During past periods of hardship and anxious thinking, I began to believe some incorrect things about the Lord. Those thoughts clouded what the Bible teaches is true. For example, when experiencing past trials:
- I’ve believed God was no longer for me,
- Or that He stopped caring about the people I love.
- In the past, I’ve believed that my sin was too great to be covered by the blood of Jesus,
- And that I was too disgraceful to receive forgiveness.
- I believed that the Lord abandoned me
- Or that I was being punished.
Each statement is completely untrue. If I believe false truths about Jesus, I have no hope to calm or overcoming anxiety.
Calm Anxiety With the Truth of God
To calm my troubled heart, I must believe the truth about God and that truth is found in His Word. When I believe that His love covers a multitude of sins, including my own, then I receive hope for a blessed future walking in the Lord’s favor. By believing that He is a loving Father, I can embrace my identity as His child and know that He is for me. When God allows struggles into my life, they are filtered through His loving kindness. With the belief that God has a good plan for His children, I know He is always working for my good and His glory.
It’s not enough to believe in a God about whom I’ve formed my own perception —especially one based on emotion and disappointments. Complete peace comes when I believe in the God of the Bible—when I believe who God says He is in His Word. The more I read His Word, the more I begin to know and understand His character, His nature, and His ways. A deeper connection and relationship with my Heavenly Father emerge out of the time that I spend with Him. There, I find perfect peace that calms anxiety.
How Do I Overcome Anxiety?
Part of the formula I’ve discovered to calm anxiety is to remain mindful of it. I’ve learned that I cannot allow it to run rampant through my heart and mind or my anxious thoughts will continue to multiply within me. I must tame my thought patterns, and that requires smothering them with the truth of Scripture. When my mind is filled with God’s truth, there’s no room for it to wander off into negative, anxious, and destructive thinking. The Bible is filled with God’s wisdom and instruction that deliver His authentic and unwavering peace. By relying on Him, I can calm anxiety and embrace joy in my jumbled life. May you discover our holy God through His Word today,
The Journey of Calming Anxiety
If you’re wondering how to calm anxiety fast, I invite you to read more through other posts in this powerful series:
Calm Anxiety with God’s Power—2 Timothy 1:7
How to Calm Anxiety and Find Sleep—Psalm 4:8 and Proverbs 3:24
Finding Peace Through Humility—1 Peter 5:6-7
Calming Anxiety Through Gratitude—Philippians 4:6-7
Calming Anxiety Through Surrender—Isaiah 41:10
Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ—Isaiah 26:3
Anxiety, whether common anxiety over life issues or an anxiety disorder, is something that plagues our minds. It takes root in our thought lives and can disrupt so much more: our energy levels, concentration, eating habits, sleep, communication, relationships, you name it! The real struggle is in what we ponder. That’s how we can calm anxiety with a focus on Christ, and why today’s verse is so powerful.
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in You (HCSB)
The more we focus on God, the more we receive His peace. The HCSB says peace comes when our minds are dependent on God. Other Bible translations use the terms “stayed,” “fixed,” or “steadfast.” Each points us in the same direction. When God is the center of our focus, we trust in Him and He brings peace. Perfect peace. That peace is unwavering and able to withstand anything that comes at us.
How to Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ
How do we focus on God? Is there a way to develop a steadfast thought life that holds Christ in the center? It takes practice, first and foremost. And we start one step at a time. Here are some practices that help me when my thoughts threaten to take a dangerous path of worry and anxiety:
Read more of God’s Word.
My aim is to read Scripture every day. I don’t give myself a set assignment like reading an entire chapter or three. My days are too sporadic for that. Sometimes I have lots of time to read and other days it feels like my feet are running on a treadmill before I ever even get out of bed. As I read daily Scripture, sometimes it’s one verse. Sometimes it’s an entire book of the Bible. It truly doesn’t matter. If I’m reading His Word, it is an aid to keep my mind fixed on God.
Pray and ask for focus.
As I turn my mind to focus on God, I’m trying to accomplish a spiritual discipline. Accomplishing a spiritual discipline is not possible with fleshly strength. It’s important to ask for the Lord’s help in my endeavor and accept His supernatural and divine help. I am not alone in this task; God is by my side, aiding and equipping me along the way.
Place visual and electronic reminders.
It helps a LOT to have a Bible verse taped to the bathroom mirror, or to my dashboard, or as wallpaper on my phone. Another tool is setting an electronic alarm as a reminder to take a break for 5 minutes and read or re-read a verse or passage each day. Lastly, when making the bed, I sometimes place my Bible on my pillow to remind myself to read the Word once again before I drift off to sleep.
Listen to podcasts or watch videos that pertain to the Bible.
I find this a great way to use my drive time or chore time to help my thought habits. ** If you’d like to listen in, I have a FREE daily video devotion series on YouTube.**
Often, I’ll ask a friend, mentor, or even my husband to check in with me from time to time and ask if I’ve been in God’s Word each day. If I know I’ll have to answer to someone, even casually, I’m much more diligent in my efforts. Accountability can go a long way in strengthening my thought life and fixing it on God.
Which of these tips do you find most helpful? Are there practices that you use that I didn’t share? Please tell me about them in the comments. I’d love to hear!
For additional inspiration about calming anxiety, be sure to read the rest of this 7-part series.
May you find great peace today as you fix your mind on Christ,
Mamas tend to worry. It’s what we do. We face more anxiety about our children than we ever dreamed possible, but we can calm anxiety through surrender to God.
I remember seasons when my kids were off to college, wrestling with feeling utterly out of control. And that’s because I was. We can teach, guide, counsel, and influence our kids until we’re blue in the face. But when it comes right down to it, they’ll make their own decisions. As parents, we have no way of controlling that.
I lost a lot of sleep in those college days, wishing I could be with my kiddos to guard and protect them and worrying over them because I couldn’t. There’s not much that’s fun about the early empty nest years, especially the tremendous concern that floods our hearts.
I’ll never forget a phone call during one of those heavy seasons. I talked with my son who said, “Mom, look up Isaiah 41:10. My coach showed it to me while we were on the bus to our last game.”
Once I looked up the verse it became a staple in our home. I cling to it often when I slip into my fearful, worrisome, and anxious tendencies.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand (HCSB).
How to Calm Anxiety Through Surrender
In his own way, my son was reminding me that God was tending to us both. The Lord was watching over me and guarding my troubled heart. He was also holding my son in the palm of His hand, caring for him in ways that I never could. The Lord would also watch over my daughter when it was time for her to move away. This verse reminded me of that and helped me rest in God’s protection.
Even when my kids are beyond my reach, I can trust that the Lord is caring for me, loving them like the gracious, protective, and tender-hearted Father that He is.
The Holy Spirit calls Isaiah 41:10 to my mind often, reminding me to surrender to God’s shielding care. It helps me release the protective hold I imagine that I have over my family and trust that God will handle all the details. I am not to be afraid because He is God, He is with me, He is with my family, and He helps and strengthens us all.
As you work to calm anxiety and worry today, take a moment to intentionally surrender your cares to God. Hold your hands in front of you, palms up, and relaxed, symbolizing that you’re releasing your grip on the things that trouble your heart. Then name them, one by one, and tell the Lord that you surrender each point of concern into His strong and loving care. Ask that He show you, moment by moment, how He holds you and your worries in His righteous right hand.
Be sure to read more of this 7-part blog series about calming anxiety!
May you find comfort in God’s Word,
For many people, a change of seasons is a time to look back with satisfaction and look forward with eager expectation. But for some, it can bring an onslaught of anxiety. We can calm anxiety with God’s power, even during a time of transition when we cast off comfort and familiarity, trading them for the new and unfamiliar. Sadly, things we look forward to can bring dreadful feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and apprehension—but they don’t have to!
By trusting in God’s power, we can calm anxiety naturally so that we can enjoy—rather than dread— things like new goals, challenges, jobs, upcoming family changes, the anticipation of forthcoming weddings, births, milestone birthdays, and other celebrations.
Focus on God to Calm Anxiety
During any time of year, one significant way to calm anxiety is to fix our focus firmly on the Lord. It’s important to remember that when we feel anxious we’re allowing our circumstance to take a higher priority in our lives than the character God and our relationship and reliance on Him. The solution is to refocus and allow God’s truth to fill our hearts and minds. This allows us to calm anxiety now.
How to Calm Anxiety Naturally
Today we kick off a short blog series to discover how to calm anxiety naturally by leaning on the truth of God. In each post we’ll examine how the Bible can calm anxiety, providing a daily Bible verse in which the Holy Spirit points to peace and calm in the Lord’s presence.
Today’s Bible Verse About Fear and Worry
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (HCSB).
In different Bible translations, the term fearfulness is expressed as fear, timidity, and even cowardice. It conveys a lack of bravery, courage, and confidence. The Lord did not give us such a disposition. Instead, as this verse teaches, God provides us with a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment.
The verse says that God has given us power. We do not find power in our own strength, but through the power of Jesus Christ that resides in us. This is the same power that raised our Lord from the dead (see Ephesians 1:19-20). Such power is capable of far more than we can imagine, giving us the strength to face all circumstances, and even calm anxiety.
God also gives us love, which is the greatest of Christian qualities. It’s not fleshly, emotion-based love, rather it’s the perfect love of Christ, which as 1 Corinthians 13:7 states, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (HCSB). This love helps us withstand trails, difficulties, fears, and anxiety.
Lastly, God provides sound judgment, sometimes translated as self-control. This encompasses our thoughts as much as our actions. Although it seems out of reach, we have the divinely-given ability to see ourselves as Jesus does: powerful and able as we walk in His strength.
Overcoming Anxiety with God
As your stay mindful today to calm anxiety with God’s power, work toward memorizing 2 Timothy 1:7. Write it on a notecard or in your journal, then say it repeatedly until it begins to sink deep into not only your mind but your spirit. As you do, the truth of God will wash over your anxiety and bring you His perfect peace.
This post is part of a series. In invite you to read the next article about calming anxiety before bed.
Have a blessed, calm, and peaceful day as you allow the Word of the Lord to give you strength.