When tragedy strikes, first responders are in danger – not in front of it. Whether earthquakes, floods, house fires, mass shootings, domestic disputes, drowning or heart attacks, it is they who straighten us up and save our lives. Since they will be the first on the scene, prayer for the first responders is vital.
The paramedics, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, nurses, doctors and armed forces of this country have sworn an oath to protect society. They see the unspeakable, they witness the horror and face danger regardless of their own safety. These brave men and women do not hesitate when others shrink back. They put their life and safety second and they are the protectors of our society.
When seemingly relentless and endless tragic headlines hit the media, it leaves us breathless as the darkness tries to settle into our bones. The world feels like a dark place where evil seems to win most days, but God reminds us: He has overcome the world. He also reminds us how to bend his ear to listen as he acts on our whispered prayers. And this is where prayer is vital – not only to remind us that God is still on the throne, but also to lend our hearts and minds to do everything for the best! We can invoke God’s mighty power to uplift, protect, and reveal His mighty glory, grace, and wonders through those who fight for the weak, injured, and lost.
10 Scriptures That Encourage First Responders
If you are a first responder or have a friend or relative who is, let this article bless you as we offer you deep, sincere gratitude for being on the front lines. First responders carry the weight and burden of protecting the helpless, fighting for justice, and driving back evil one situation after another. The call is heavy and its weight can be too much at times. And right now the climate in the country is in turmoil.
Many first aiders will leave the field in 2021. They are burned out and no longer feel safe enough to do their job. Those officials, who put on uniforms and continue to do their ungrateful work, are the unsung heroes who need to be reminded that God’s hand is on them and that we support them. Many who wear a badge are not respected – nor do they have the support of the community. We, as brothers and sisters in Christ, feel their weight. In addition to 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, righteousness, and most importantly, hope! God’s word can strengthen us when we feel powerless. The Bible also promises protection and comfort.
Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid or frighten them, for the Lord your God is with you; he will never leave you or let you down. – Deuteronomy 31: 6
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The Lord is the fortress of my life – who should I be afraid of? – Psalm 27: 1
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; It is I who tell you: do not be afraid, I am the one who will help you. – Isaiah 41:13
No weapon forged against you will prevail. – Isaiah 54:17
Praise be to the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. He is my unshakable love and my fortress, my fortress and my savior, my shield with which I seek refuge. He will cover you with his wings, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is shield and shield. You will not fear the horror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. – Psalm 91: 4-5
God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present aid in need. – Psalms 46: 1
When you walk through the water I’ll be with you; and by the rivers they will not overpower you; If you go through the fire, you will not be burned and the flame will not consume you. – Isaiah 43: 2
The Lord will keep your coming and going from this time on and forever. – Psalm 121: 8
Do not be afraid for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will hold you with my just rights. – Isaiah 41:10
This is how we know the love that he gave his life for us, and we should give our lives for the brothers. – 1 John 3:16
Photo credit: © Getty Images / Kara Capaldo
A prayer for first responders
Many of us think little about the police, rescue workers, soldiers or firefighters until we come across tragic circumstances. But whether tragedy strikes or near us or not, we can play a valuable role in keeping first responders in prayer. Here is a prayer we can pray for our first responders:
Lord God, thank you for the brave men and women you have called to serve, protect, and save us from difficult and dangerous circumstances. We thank you for your sacrifices and your service. We thank you for your hard work in preparation and training. We ask for a special blessing and a protective hand on their lives. We ask you to envelop their hearts, souls and minds with your mighty hand.
Lord God, thank you for the brave men and women who have chosen such difficult and dangerous jobs – police, fire brigade, paramedics and others. Go before each of them and prepare the way; watch out for their coming and going (Psalm 121: 8). Give them peace that surpasses all understanding and give them the supernatural spiritual ability not only to remember their training, but to rely on you. Lord, borrow your angels regarding them and provide a wall of protection for every first responder that will thwart all evil. When they arrive at the scene, let your glory and your light shine through. Be your refuge and fortress in times of danger. May your strength, love and light shine through the work of their hands. Hide them in the shade of your wings and cover them with your feathers; Let your inexorable loyalty be their shield and rampart .– Psalm 91: 14-16. May you always be their refuge in all circumstances and situations. May they trust you completely from moment to moment. Show them your power when they find themselves in unsafe situations or when they encounter people who cause them harm.
Lord, your word says that anyone lacking wisdom should ask you, and you will provide it. We ask for judgment on behalf of first responders. Give them wisdom from you, Lord, and help them make timely and wise decisions in the moment of need when they encounter complex situations where emotions run high. We also ask that you remind them that you are with them wherever they go. We ask you to protect these brave men and women from panic and fatigue (Joshua 1: 9). Father God, we ask you: “Strengthen your weak hands and weak knees and pave straight paths for” [their] Feet ”(Hebrews 12:12); set their minds and hearts on the name of Jesus. Amen.
This is how we can support first aiders
Since the duties of a first aider put him in danger every day, we often wonder how we can support him and show him our gratitude. Aside from a prayer for first responders, the following are just a few ways you can show a first responder that you care:
1. Just say thank you.
When you meet a first responder in the store, get coffee or whatever it is. Take a moment to say thank you. A word of gratitude from a complete stranger means more than you might know. You could also write a short prayer or include a Bible verse that means something to you with an explanation of its meaning. They may go to work and not know what the day has in store for them. Or they are just finishing their shift. Either way, expressing gratitude goes a long way.
2. Send a thank you letter.
In today’s digital world, many people don’t take the time to write letters. This means that a physical letter or card that picks up the written word takes on greater meaning. It feels more personal and warm because it takes time to go to the store, choose a card, and write words that express compassion and care. It also lingers as a physical reminder that first responders resort to, especially after busy days. You may have your family, business, or church collect multiple letters and cards and deliver them all at once.
3. Offer treats, a cooked meal, or gift cards.
Coffee, tea, donuts, gift cards for local restaurants, or even a home cooked meal are all small ways to provide food and convenience. It can be delivered to the local police station, hospital or fire station as a token of love. A first responder’s everyday life can be stressful and their schedules are irregular. If you are having a meal yourself, you can also use oral expressions to express your gratitude.
No matter how you express your sincere gratitude for those who risk their lives every day, it is a small way to be the hands and feet of Christ to convey His love. They have tough jobs every day, but they continue to serve and protect. Showing these brave, dedicated first responders that the Body of Christ cares for and values them makes a huge difference. A simple “thank you” will help raise morale and a prayer will give you the support you need from God!
Photo credit: © Getty Images / Matt Gush
Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and writes regularly for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska with her three children and a 22-year-old husband. She believes that Jazzercise, Jesus, and Tacos can fix anything, and not necessarily in that order! She is the author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and the author of several books. You can find them at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.