As National Police Week is underway — May 9-15 — we’ve been somberly reminded why this period of time is annually set aside as four law enforcement officers have been murdered in the line of duty within the past few days.
Two police officers were shot Monday — one fatally — while serving a search warrant in San Luis Obispo, California. The suspect died in the shootout with police. Detective Luca Benedetti was identified as the officer who was killed. Detective Steve Orozco was injured in the shooting but is expected to make a full recovery. Read more.
Also in California, Stockton Police Officer Jimmy Inn was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence incident on Tuesday. The suspect also died in the exchange of gunfire. Read more.
Meanwhile, two Texas deputies from the Concho County Sheriff’s Office died in a shooting Monday night after a short car chase. Following a standoff, the suspect eventually surrendered. Read more.
It’s not unusual to hear people say they’re going to pray in the midst of tragedy. Yet I’ve also heard people say they’re giving up on the concept of petitioning God during a time of sorrow since it “doesn’t appear to do any good.”
If the rain falls on the just and unjust, what good does it do to pray? Isn’t this simply a “religious preoccupation” that has no bearing on current circumstances?
While I cannot extend my faith to others, I would like to share why prayer is invaluable to me.
Keeps me focused
Prayer keeps me focused and helps my anger from becoming bitterness. When I pray it channels my attention away from my selfish ambition and to the needs of others. … (Note: Critics of religion will knock the value of prayer, but show me an emotionally enslaved individual and I’ll probably be able to show you a person who doesn’t pray.)
Reminds me that I’m not abandoned
We often feel like God has abandoned us as evil people take loved ones from our life. Yet as I pray during times of trouble, and meditate on God’s Word, I’m constantly reminded of four things:
- Life on earth is temporary, which is why death is so painful. We want our loved ones to be with us forever.
- God’s eternal perspective is something I grasp more and more as I grow older and mature in biblical faith.
- Regardless of what the “prosperity gospel preachers” declare, God never promised anyone a life full of creature features—comfortable luxuries. He is far more interested in our character, and the values attached to it are rarely developed in success, but sorrow.
- I believe permanent healing from pain and suffering arrives in eternity for those who have surrendered their life to Christ. Therefore, the mourning is for those left behind.
Hope is like air, you can’t see it but it’s there in one form or another. Remove hope or the oxygen found in air and death arrives.
Ironically, when the storms of life blow, you can see both. I cannot always explain biblical doctrine or Christian theology as well as I’d like, but God has given me confident assurance that I am his child and no one can take that from me.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Because I can
“Why are you arresting me,” is something I was asked more than I can remember during my career. For that matter, it’s a question cops hear every day.
“Because I can” (not to mention it’s a lawful part of our duty) was occasionally my snarky response.
So why do I pray? Because I can! . . . Yet I mean that with all sincerity . . . and you can too!