Prayers for the Police

Federal Way Prayer Rally 12-31-14 3

Tonight in Seattle, a group claiming to be against police brutality will be demonstrating near the New Year’s events at the Space Needle. Their planned activities will include a “die-in.” Hopefully this will not become a security issue since the festivities will be packed and in Seattle, anarchists and others mad at the world tend to show up to these things.

Contrast this with what’s been going on this week in Federal Way, Washington. On Monday, a group of 25 pastors met with police administrators at Federal Way City Hall to foster unity in the community. With all of the violence against police officers lately, the leadership of local churches felt that it was time to show them support as well as take steps towards healing the rifts in our society.

Today at 2 P.M., a group of pastors, police officers, and citizens met in the lobby of City Hall to hear guest speakers and pray for our civil servants, governing officials, children and young adults, all hurting people, our community, and reconciliation. Those present included Dr. Andre Sims, Pastors Gary Wiens, Mitchell Vann, Dave Norcross, David Aaron Johnson, Jeff MacLurg, Gordon Banks, and Jon McIntosh, Deputy Police Chief Kyle Sumpter, and Police Chief Andy Hwang, who gave the closing remarks. The event concluded with all present reciting the Lord’s Prayer (which, as one man near me pointed out, was the King James version, likely the version we adults learned in Sunday School long ago).

This event appears to have been coordinated through the International House of Prayer Northwest. The invitation to this event on their website reads:

Join us in Praying for Our Community

A call is going out to Christians across the nation to gather at your local police stations on December 31st from 2-3pm, and pray for peace and protection in our communities during New Year’s Eve. We are calling on the people of God to cry out to the Lord for mercy to our communities with restoration, and to honor and protect those who serve with law enforcement. In light of the turmoil in our nation, and the increased tension between citizens and the police, we believe it would be a significant and important place for us to stand as the Body of Christ, blessing the people of our cities and those who serve our community.

Federal Way Prayer Rally 12-31-14 2

Let’s hope this idea spreads. It’s powerful to see church leaders spearheading positive change in this community and Christians making a public statement about how the relationship between police and the community should be. I, for one, have very strong and well-founded feelings about police ethics and accountability, but I also have a fierce loyalty to certain people within the profession, so like to show support when I can.

It’s no secret that I am a survivor of police officer-involved domestic violence and was put through the wringer at my own civilian law enforcement job when I stood up to a corrupt supervisor (among other things). I have some powerful reasons not to like the police, including having my life repeatedly threatened by a cop. I earned my M.A. in forensic psychology in large part to focus on issues within the law enforcement profession.

But it is partially because of decent and objective people in policing that I’m still here. I have friends and family in police work as well, and am a staunch supporter of some former and current coworkers. So I understand the fury and frustration over some current issues in policing well; I also know what a tough job being a cop can be and the dangers they face. I can see a lot of this from both sides and therefore am especially passionate about opening dialogues between the police and the public for the benefit of both.

How about facilitating a meeting between your local police department and church leadership or community group? Like today’s event in Federal Way, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate that we care about the lives of law enforcement officers and a chance to partner with them to better our world.

This was a brilliant idea, I enjoyed standing in prayer with my brothers and sisters in Christ, including those in uniform, and hope this serves as a model for those trying to make change right now. Holding signs accusing cops of murder when they’ve acted to defend their own lives and others’ lives is shallow and divisive. Actually meeting with the police in an atmosphere of peace and goodwill is productive and might even save lives.

Federal Way Prayer Rally 12-31-14 1

Thank you to Gary Wiens for the details and Chiefs Hwang and Sumpter for their ongoing support of community groups promoting unity, safety, and freedom. 

If you have a loved one in law enforcement, join me in praying Psalm 91 over them. I’m not about formulaic or repetitive prayers, but this Psalm about says it all. 


In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person’s place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. –C.S. Lewis


©2014 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/



Seriously, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s