The power of prayer in policing
PC Helen Priestley shares during Thy Kingdom Come how being wrapped in prayer is the greatest protection she can have as a police officer.
I’m a serving police officer and I’m training to be ordained. Both roles bring great blessings, which might sound strange but not when you consider as a police officer it has been my privilege to serve with dedication to peace and justice, and to let my faith spill out into my workplace.
Prayer supports, sustains and suffuses everything I do. When faced with a road traffic accident, I pray for God’s healing hands to surround the person I am holding and find myself in a bubble of serenity and peace while chaos swims around me.
Last summer, while praying for a peaceful shift, as I often do, I felt God tell me to take a prayer for the dead and dying. I slipped it into my pocket knowing I’d face death that shift, but I didn’t feel afraid, knowing that God was giving me courage and compassion for what was to come. Sure enough, I did face death on that shift but I knew that God was with us, at our side, our comforter and consoler.
Part of my job is to manage missing person searches, looking for those who could be suicidal, suffering dementia, sick, injured or for children. I pray from the moment I’m assigned the job. With God, I’ve an amazing track record – just this week I’ve have had 100% success with 3 shifts, 3 jobs and know that this is through the power of prayer.
On every blue light run I pray that those at an incident and faced with me, PC Priestley, be blessed in the knowledge that they’ve already been prayed for so intensely before we’ve even met. I know this makes a difference and touches peoples’ lives at a time when they are fearful and vulnerable.
It’s only through regular prayer and worship that I can give from the overflow of what I’ve received. I always try to respond with loving service, aware that my actions are a witness to God’s love.
Prayer is vital to me. My prayer is that everyone joins me in prayers for the police, peace and falling crime in their own communities. Prayer is powerful, it works, I see that daily and witness how it change things. Prayer can release the grip of addiction and despair. Be united and pray for your local policing team, your nearest station and its staff. When you next see a police or emergency response vehicle, be prompted to pray for that crew, for whatever awaits them and the people involved.
Dear Lord, thank you the privilege of being a police officer and for the blessings you give me in all I do. From when I start my tour of duty Lord, wherever that may be, I know you are beside me as a God of justice, peace, grace and mercy. I pray for the tools for these values to underpin, protect and build the community I serve. Please give courage to protect the vulnerable, strength to challenge those in the wrong and wisdom to discern the path of justice.
Lord God, even when I feel overwhelmed and totally inadequate in the darkest of moments, thank you for those times of failure and frailties to keep me humble and to help me remember how much I need you by my side Lord. I pray for healing and peace for those I encounter. Let them know your presence in their lives and encourage them to turn to you in their grief and pain, to a life released from the chains of bitterness and to find forgiveness for those who have hurt them. In the hopelessness of the most traumatic times please, dear Lord, help them find hope.
Lord God, loving God, I thank you for those moments in peoples’ lives where you’ve helped the sun to shine even in the darkest rain, where you’ve have brought a smile to faces and warmth to hearts.
I ask Lord God that you pour your Holy Spirit generously into my life and all those I encounter. Fill us with your love and compassion and continue to give us strength and courage. I pray for changes of heart, that offenders will know your love and have courage to break the cycle of destructive behaviour. Give hope where there is hopelessness, light where there is only darkness and faith where all is lost.
O Heavenly Father, we thank you for our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, who in the daytime is our friend and our companion and who tonight and every night will be our comforter, our enabler, our companion and our peaceful presence.