By Heather Riggleman, Crosswalk.com
When tragedy strikes first responders run to the danger—not from it. Whether it’s earthquakes, floods, house fires, mass shootings, domestic disputes, drownings, or heart attacks, they are the ones who lift us up and save our lives. Because they’re the first ones on the scenes, prayer for first responders is vital.
This country’s EMTs, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, nurses, doctors, and armed forces have taken an oath to protect society. They see the unspeakable, they witness the horror, and they walk into the face of danger without regard to their own personal safety. These brave men and women don’t hesitate when others shy away. They put their life and safety second and they are the protectors of our society.
When seemingly relentless and unending tragic headlines take over the media, it leaves us breathless as the darkness tries to settle into our bones. The world feels like a grim place where evil seems to be winning most days but God reminds us of this: He has overcome the world. He also reminds us how He bends His ear to listen as He acts upon our whispered prayers. And this is where prayer is vital—not only to remind us that God is still on the throne but to lend our hearts and spirits to work out all things for good! We can call on God’s mighty power to lift up, to protect, and to reveal His mighty glory, grace, and miracles through those who fight for the weak, the hurt, and the lost.
10 Encouraging Scriptures for First Responders
If you are a first responder or have a friend or relative who is, let this article bless you as we express deep heartfelt gratitude for being on the front lines. First responders bear the weight and the burden of protecting the helpless, fighting for justice, and pushing back evil one situation at a time. The call is heavy, and its weight can sometimes be too much. And right now, the climate in the country is in turmoil.
In 2021 many first responders are leaving the field. They are burnt out and they no longer feel safe enough to do their jobs. These public servants who put on a uniform and continue to do their thankless jobs are the unsung heroes who need to be reminded God’s hand is upon them and we support them. Many who wear a badge are not respected—nor do they have the community’s support. We as brothers and sisters in Christ feel their heaviness. Alongside saying a prayer for first responders, here are 10 verses from God’s Word that remind first responders that the Bible is a source of courage, justice, and most of all, hope! God’s Word can empower us when we feel powerless. The Bible also promises protection and provides solace.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, Fear not, I am the one who helps you. - Isaiah 41:13
No weapon forged against you will prevail. - Isaiah 54:17
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, and in whom I take refuge. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. - Psalm 91:4-5
God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalms 46:1
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. - Isaiah 43:2
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. - Psalm 121:8
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. - 1 John 3:16
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Kara Capaldo
A Prayer for First Responders
Many of us give little thought to police, emergency medical personnel, soldiers, or firefighters until we encounter tragic circumstances. But whether tragedy strikes or near us or not, we can play a valuable part by holding up first responders in prayer. Here is a prayer we can pray for our first responders:
Lord God, thank You for the courageous men and women You have called to serve, protect, and save us from difficult and dangerous circumstances. We thank You for their sacrifices and service. We thank You for their hard work in preparing and training. We ask for a special blessing and hand of protection upon their lives. We ask that You envelop their hearts, souls, and mind with Your mighty hand.
Lord God, thank You for the courageous men and women who have chosen such difficult and dangerous jobs—police, fire, EMTs, and others. Go before each of them and prepare the way; guard their going out and coming in (Psalm 121:8). Give them peace that surpasses all understanding and give them the supernatural mental capacity to not only recall their training but to rely on You. Lord, lend your angels concerning them and provide each first responder a hedge of protection that thwarts all evil. When they arrive on the scene, let Your glory and light shine through. Be their refuge and fortress in times of danger. May Your power, love, and light shine forth through the work of their hands. Hide them in the shadow of Your wings and cover them with Your feathers; let Your relentless faithfulness be their shield and rampart (Psalm 91:14-16). May You always be their refuge in all circumstances and situations. May they trust in You completely, moment by moment. Show them Your power when they find themselves in unsafe situations or when they face people who threaten to harm them.
Lord, Your Word says that anyone who lacks wisdom should ask You, and You will provide it. We ask for discernment on behalf of first responders. Give them wisdom from You, Lord, and help them in their moment of need to make timely and wise decisions when they encounter complex situations when emotions run high. We also ask that You remind them that You are with them wherever they go. We ask that You grant these brave men and women protection from panic and fatigue (Joshua 1:9). Father God, we ask You, “Strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble and make straight paths for [their] feet” (Hebrews 12:12); focus their minds and hearts in Jesus’ name, amen.
Ways We Can Support First Responders
Because a first responder’s duties put them in harm's way every day, we often wonder how we can support them and show our gratitude. Besides lifting up a prayer for first responders, the following list is just a few ways you can show a first responder that you care:
1. Simply say thank you.
When you encounter a first responder at the store, getting coffee, or whatever it may be. Take a moment to say thank you. A word of gratitude from a perfect stranger means more than you could know. You could also write a short prayer or provide a scripture verse that means something to you with an explanation of its significance. They may be going to their jobs and they don’t know what the day has in store for them. Or they may be just finishing their shift. Either way, expressing gratitude goes a long way.
2. Send a letter of thanks.
In today’s digital world, many people don’t take time to write letters. This means a physical letter or card takes in the written word takes on greater importance. It feels more personal and heartfelt because of the time it takes to go to the store, choose a card, and write words expressing compassion and care. It also remains as a physical reminder first responders go back to, especially after grueling days. You could possibly have your family, business, or church gather multiple letters and cards and deliver them all at once.
3. Provide treats, a cooked meal, or gift cards.
Coffee, tea, donuts, gift cards to local restaurants, or even a home-cooked meal is a small way to provide nourishment and comfort. It can be delivered to the local police station, hospital, or fire station as an action of love. The day-to-day life of a first responder can be stressful and their schedules are irregular. Plus, if you take a meal yourself, you can also verbally express your gratitude as well.
No matter how you express your heartfelt gratitude for those who put their lives on the line every day—it’s a small way to be the hands and feet of Christ to impart His love. They have a tough job, day in and day out, yet they continue to serve and protect. Letting these courageous dedicated first responders know that the body of Christ cares and appreciates them makes a huge difference. A simple “thank you” helps keep morale strong and a prayer provides the support they need from God!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Matt Gush
Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at www.HeatherRiggleman.com or on Facebook.