Co-Act – A CPA-USA Initiative
Co-action refers to acting together; to work in concert; to unite. Co-Act is an initiative of CPA-USA to encourage the greater faith community, churches and Christian organizations to pray intentionally and regularly for local police and correctional services in order to help transform lives and communities.
Romans 13:1-5 identifies the role of these authorities as established by God. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 we are urged to pray for those in authority in order that we may live peaceful and quiet lives.
Police and Prison officers have the task of keeping and securing peace. The Christian community can provide a vital role in supporting this initiative. Asking God to intervene in our communities on behalf of these careers may well bring tangible results. It is our hope that this information will assist you in serving God through prayer and to realize the direct relevance to Gods word, Christian responsibility and the greater community served.
Prayer Changes Things
Prayer is asking God to intervene. Prayer under girds action and forms part of a holistic Christian response to healing communities. Individuals, churches and Christian organizations can offer prayer support for Gods peace and protection for those in authority, yet under authority, serving our neighborhoods and communities. Prayers can also be offered as well for specific places and issues effecting communities.
People: Pray for officers (by name if known) for specific daily needs. (see prayer link on home page)
Places: Specific streets, particular problem areas, people groups and the overall work of the police in those areas.
Issues: Each community or area has specific issues. Take time to be informed. Various local media sources are a resource to obtain current concerns and situations facing agencies and communities.
Establishing a Focus on Prayer
Ascertain that your church or organization’s leadership is willing to commit to consistently praying for police and correctional officers represented in the local community.
Identify who in your church or organization is willing to commit themselves to pray regularly for these men and women working in the Criminal Justice System and the issues related to these careers.
As a group, identify a prayer coordinator to pass on any specific requests. Agree to a starting date, Determine how often the group will also meet together for prayer and as a source of your own encouragement.
The contact person may contact the local agency or department and obtain the names of the law enforcement, correctional officers and support staff living and serving the immediate community. Determine if the agency has a chaplain and speak to them. Another good source is your community based policing team. If you are acquainted with an officer seek them out for any assistance they could offer. If possible determine what areas of crime and disorder authorities are undertaking and support those efforts in prayer. If possible determine what other areas of information are available particular to individual and specific needs, ie: retirements, job searches, hiring processes, promotions, budgets, court cases ect.
NOTE: Understand that specific individual and agency information may not be available and specific details are not authorized to disseminate for officer safety and related security concerns, ie; undercover, special assignments and investigation details.
However, keep in mind it is always possible to pray in general terms if names are not supplied or information is limited or not known. (Again, see additional prayer link on the CPA-USA home page or visit www.praymag.com for ways to pray for those in authority by Gary Berger as found in “Pray” magazine issue # 13.
Additional prayers may include;
Build confidence and trust with the public and inmates.
Success in detecting and preventing crime.
Wisdom in “on the spot” situations.
Safety in dealing with critical incidents, public order and potentially violent situations.
Resist corruption, act justly and work with an attitude of service.
Ability to deal with stress effectively and relax while of duty.
When ever observing emergency lights or hearing sirens take a moment to pray for the situation to which they are responding.
If your church or organization holds a community outreach event invite officers serving your community, immediate area or institutions to your function as a way to get to know them. Remember, attendance is always at the discretion of the individual. Do not pressure them to attend.
Officers face critical scrutiny of their work everyday and need to be encouraged and affirmed. They have an extremely challenging job and work everyday with broken and chaotic people. You may be the one voice of encouragement they need to hear from in the form of a note or card.
And, send a letter or note to your local police or correctional facility making them aware of the commitment you have made to pray for them. Encourage them to contact you with any appropriate information to be prayed for.
Related Community Support
There are a number of ways to support the efforts of our police and prison services and make a positive impact on the community.
Contact your local authorities and volunteer organized outings to pick up litter or paint over graffiti or other environmental cleanups.
Volunteer groups of two or three people to meet at locations where teenagers hang out to develop relationships and prevent anti social behavior. Share with them when appropriate the positive impact of a life as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Check with your local School Police Liaison Officer for those who may be in crisis in their education and seek opportunities with teachers and parents to be a mentor.
The commitment to prayer and related community support ideas is not about pushing religion down people’s throats. But, it is about allowing people the opportunity to consider where there life is going and give them the opportunity to seek support if they want to.