Protection and Safety
Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers
Based on Psalm 91
The Psalm of Protection
William J. McCombes
Protection and Safety
Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers
Based on Psalm 91
The Psalm of Protection
William J. McCombes
Law Enforcement Protection and Safety Guidebook
Copyright © 2018 William J. McCombes
Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright © 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used with permission.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
JesusQuest International, Inc.
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P.O. Box 28503
Jacksonville, FL 32226-8503
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Printed in the USA
Dedicated to all law enforcement officers, past, present, and future …
For their bravery, loyalty, and sacrificial commitment to our communities.
A word from Sheriff Mike Williams:
The vision and mission of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is to serve and protect the citizens of our community, providing for a crime-free environment in the safest ways possible. We are committed to using the latest technology, comprehensive training, continual improvement, respect for all, and the highest moral and ethical standards.
Providing guidelines for safety and protection based on Psalm 91 and specific prayer is an additional resource for our citizens, law-enforcement officers and the community in general, to maximize our mission effectiveness. Protecting lives, preventing injury to citizens and police officers, reducing accidents and minimizing crime can be significantly improved by positive intent and specific prayer.
This is a voluntary opportunity to incorporate specific Prayers of Protection in the daily activities of all concerned.
The highest priority of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is the safety and protection of citizens and law enforcement officers.
Table of Contents
About This Guidebook …………………………….….……….. 1
Four Most Dangerous Job Situations ………….….………. 3
New York City Police Officer Testimony ……….………… 8
Soldier’s Psalm of Protection and Testimonies ………. 10
Greg Burton, Asst. Chief, Jacksonville, FL Testimony 17
Go to God First ……………………………………….…….….. 20
Psalm 91 ………………………………………………………..… 23
World War II Psalm 91 Testimony ………….…………… 26
Prayers for General Safety ………………………………… 33
Specific Prayers for Dangerous Situations ………..…. 35
Making Psalm 91 Your Personal Prayer ………….……. 44
Prayer Scenarios ……………………. .………..……….……. 46
Sponsors ……………………………………………………….…. 52
About this guidebook
Having lunch in Panera Bread recently, I noticed a police officer who came in, ordered soup and a sandwich, and found a seat. I approached the officer and thanked him for his service to our community. I asked if he had ever heard of Psalm 91, the Psalm of Protection. He said that he thought it was somewhere in the Bible. I shared the story below. As I returned to my seat, I reflected on the recent police officer shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. I realized that if this Psalm of Protection saved lives in times past, it will work now for our men and women in blue!
What this guidebook is not
Let me tell you what this guidebook is not. It is not designed to be “preachy,” “religious,” or “theological.” Nor is it designed to influence you to change your religion or your beliefs. These thoughts, stories, and prayers are designed to keep you and your teammates safe and protected. As you speak these decrees over yourself, your teammates, and other law enforcement officers, these decrees will provide an additional level of protection and safety, no matter what you encounter while on the job.
These prayers, spoken as decrees, are based on Psalm 91 and other truths found in the Bible. They are designed to be short, concise, and specific.
You will find examples of prayers for many dangerous situations you face and ways to integrate this Psalm of Protection into a personal prayer for yourself. Along with your comprehensive training as a law enforcement officer, these prayers, testimonies, and stories will provide additional confidence, safety, and protection during any incident you may face.
Developed in cooperation with local law enforcement officers.
Traffic Stops and Vehicle Accidents.
Traffic Stops and Vehicle Accidents
Special Operations, SWAT Team, and Drug Busts
Critical Incidents, Active Crimes,
and Weapon Threats
This handbook will focus on protecting you, the law enforcement officer, in these four highly dangerous areas. Special emphasis will be provided to protect you from death and severe bodily injury from weapons, accidents, and physical confrontations.
Included are preemptive prayers for additional safety and protection. These decrees are designed to prevent, halt, and stop incidences prior to or in midstream, before they escalate into more dangerous situations.
Another set of prayers will provide you with a new level of awareness, that gut feeling or discernment of any impending problems. By fine-tuning your gut feeling and actually hearing that still, small voice inside your head, you may significantly reduce or eliminate imminent disasters, entrapments, or other such sucker punches.
Training on a higher level
Your intensive training as a law enforcement officer has provided you with techniques and tactics to physically protect yourself and mentally prepare you to deal with hand-to-hand combat or weapons. This handbook will provide an additional level of protection with God’s ‘Special Forces,’ the angels, for maximum safety and protection.
These short, concise, specific two- or three-sentence prayers are based on Psalm 91 and other key principles that have been used for decades to save lives and prevent disasters.
Still skeptical or not sure?
Take a few minutes to read through the testimonies and first-hand accounts of how God intervened on behalf of police and military personnel. The Psalm of Protection protected and delivered many from danger, personal injury, and even death in times of extreme difficulty.
Following the testimonies, teachings, and stories, you will find specific prayers. These should be memorized. By memorizing and being prepared ahead of time, you will be able to automatically use these prayers as you would any other tool on your belt.
Check out these four prayer examples:
Critical Incidents, Active Crimes, and Weapon Threats
Traffic Stops and Vehicle Accidents
Special Operations, SWAT Team, and Drug Busts
Additional specific prayer examples are provided for each of these four key areas, along with space to journal, make notes, or list prayers and answers later on in this guidebook.
Below are three key verses from Psalm 91. I recommend that you memorize these. The entire psalm is printed in the middle of this book, see pages 23-24.
PSALM 91: verses 1, 2, and 11 Amplified Version
1. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, Whose power no foe can withstand.
2. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust!
11. For He will give His angels [special] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways of obedience and service.
Mike DiSanza: NYPD police officer’s testimony
Taken from Mike DiSanza’s book, A Cop for Christ, at www.acopforchrist.com
Mike DiSanza, NYPD, President and Founding Officer of International Cops for Christ
Here is Mike’s story in his own words:
“Over my system came the message ‘72nd St. and Broadway, Manhattan!’ I knew the meaning of the code: cop in trouble and needs assistance. I rushed to the subway where there was a crowd of people around the cop, and they refused to let him get his prisoner. I walked directly over and cuffed the prisoner. The crowd went wild.
One man shouted, “Here comes the train! Let’s throw the cop in the subway!” The crowd converted into a mob. I felt myself moving toward the subway track, being pushed by this angry crowd who was intending to hurl me onto the tracks in front of the speeding train. I could hear the sound and see the lights of the oncoming train coming out of the tunnel. I was being pushed toward the pit.
Being a new Christian, I cried out the best prayer I knew, “Jesus, help!” Suddenly two big black guys got up and started pushing the crowd. They parted the crowd and got over to me and said, “Follow us!” I grabbed the prisoner and followed as they parted the mob, and I felt the other cop right on my heels hanging on to my jacket. The two men ushered us back to the patrol car, and I loaded the prisoner into the backseat. He was still screaming his mouth off about how he hated cops. I turned around to thank the two strangers and was surprised that neither of them was there. “Oh, well,” I thought, and muttered my thanks to them anyway.
I jumped in, and the other cop got in next to me. He thanked me gratefully for my help. I deflected the compliment and said to him, “Thank God for those two big black guys pushing the crowd apart, telling us to follow them, and moving us to the car!”
He said, “I didn’t hear nothing! I didn’t see nothing!” He continued, “And I never heard anyone tell us to follow them!”
Still puzzled, I asked, “Eddie, how could you NOT see them? You were right behind us!”
When I turned around, I read this message in 3-D through the windshield: Angels are ministering spirits to help those who will believe… (See Hebrews 1:14.) It was at that moment I realized what had happened and said to myself, “My gosh, those guys were angels! God really does give His angels charge concerning us.”
“For He shall give his angels charge over you,
to keep you in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:11
Below are three stories of the power of Psalm 91:
SOLDIER’S PSALM OF PROTECTION
Almost 100 years ago, during World War I, the 91st Division of an Infantry Brigade of the U.S. Expeditionary Army was preparing to enter combat in Europe. Because their commander was a devout Christian, he assembled his men and gave each of them a little card on which was printed the 91st Psalm, the same number psalm as their division. He asked his men to recite this psalm daily, and they agreed. After they had begun reciting and praying this psalm, the 91st Brigade was engaged in three of the bloodiest battles of World War I – Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and the Argonne. Other American units who fought in the same battles had up to 90 percent casualties, but it is said that the 91st Brigade did not suffer a single combat-related casualty. *
*This story was found on the Internet. Below is a link to the Jimmy Stewart story concerning Psalm 91. There are many confirmations of men and women reciting Psalm 91 during times of war and critical situations where protection was needed. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/jimmy-stewart-its-a-wonderful-life-and-psalm-91
Psalm 91 Testimony Jimmy Stewart
Actor Jimmy Stewart also found comfort in this psalm. When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Stewart enlisted in the Army Air Corps and prepared to go overseas. Stewart’s father choked up when he tried to bid him farewell, so he wrote a note for his son to read. After being shipped out, Jimmy read his father’s words, which described his father’s feelings, which his father had been unable to say out loud. The note read:
“My dear Jim-Boy,
Soon after you read this letter, you will be on your way to the worst sort of danger. Jim, I am banking on the enclosed copy of the 91st Psalm. The thing that takes the place of fear and worry is the promise of these words. I am staking my faith in these words. I feel sure that God will lead you through this mad experience. I can say no more. I only continue to pray. Goodbye, my dear. God continue to bless and keep you. I love you more than I can tell you. Dad”
Jimmy Stewart returned home a decorated war hero, unharmed, even though his record included twenty combat missions. During the height of the battle, Stewart said he learned to lean on the words of his tattered copy of Psalm 91.
What God has done for others, He will also do for you.
Psalm 91 Testimony Jim Baxter
In 1950, during the Korean War, Jim Baxter, who was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his brother were both called to active duty in the First Marine Division. Jim tells the following story:
“Our mother wrapped us in Psalm 91, gave each of us a small New Testament, and again sent us off to war with the Lord’s blessing. She claimed God’s promises over us.
As my outfit, Fox Company, was being attacked in the streets of Seoul, I was hit with a machine-gun bullet. I made it behind a burning police substation in the middle of the street. My corpsman, Chico, dressed my wounds and, as sniper bullets crashed into the street beside us, he lay on top of me, covering me with his own body. Several marines threw a wooden door on the ground and rolled me on it and ran me down the street under heavy fire. It was a fearsome ride!”
While recovering in a safe place, Sergeant Baxter reviewed in his mind how the corpsman, Chico, had saved his life. Then, because he had been raised in a Christian home and had heard the Gospel, he began to think about Jesus and how Chico had been an example of Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus had given His life to save Sergeant Baxter for eternity. Sergeant Baxter surrendered his life to the Lord right there on his cot.
After his recovery, he said, “With the Lord as the Lord of my life, I rejoined my outfit and went back into front-line combat for another five months before returning home.” Both he and his brother came home alive. “Our mother cried with joy unspeakable,” he said. “We were both baptized and have been His loyal Marines ever since. Every day we say, “Yes, Sir,” to the Lord Jesus, our Champion and Hero, my Lord and my God.”
Be consistent and pro-active in your pursuit of safety.
The 91st Infantry Brigade agreed to recite the psalm daily. I’m not sure if they did this individually or as a group. In your situation, each day you can do it individually. It does not say that they went into deep meditative prayer or anything like that. They just recited it. They spoke it out loud. However, I am sure that in the situation they were facing, they were very focused and very passionate, praying this prayer of protection from their hearts, out loud, believing God for their safety. Whether you are on or off duty, consider speaking this psalm out loud every day.
An example of a critical incident prayer:
Don’t Quit. Don’t Give Up.
Keep reading. Keep studying.
It’s important to know the foundation upon which these prayers and decrees are built. This will give you additional confidence. The more you read these various prayers, the more they will become a part of you. You will then be able to fit them to your specific personality and situation for maximum effectiveness.
But if all else fails, the most effective prayer that you can use in any situation is:
“God, Help!!!” “Jesus, help me right now!!!”
When you call out to God, His angels will show up for you, just like they did for Officer Mike DiSanza when he cried out, as he shared earlier in his testimony, “Jesus help!” When you call out to God, His angels will show up.
Beginning on page 33, you will find short prayer examples for specific situations you may encounter.
These short, powerful prayers are designed to be easily remembered and spoken out loud in a few concise words. You can and should speak them frequently, modifying them to make them more personal. Write them out. Then speak them out loud when facing any dangerous situation. Visualize the outcome you want and pray for that outcome in advance. Your words have power. You can ‘call’ the results you desire into existence.
Start your day by thanking and acknowledging God. Begin each day by placing your trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
General Safety Prayer
Testimony: Greg Burton, Assistant Chief, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
“This happened approximately 15 years ago. The incident began with a traffic stop at Pearce and 33rd St. on the north side. After running the background check on the driver, I found that he had an outstanding warrant. With the assistance of another officer, the driver was cuffed and placed in the rear seat of the patrol car.”
The female passenger was seated in the passenger’s seat of the vehicle, being very calm and respectful. Officer Burton ran a background check off her ID. Fifteen years ago, it took longer to run the background check and write out the paperwork. During this time, several other patrol officers stopped by to check and make sure everything was all right. They asked, “Burton, is everything all right?” This happened more frequently than would normally be expected. These random checks were out of the norm.
The background check resulted in outstanding warrants for this female passenger. Officer Burton called for backup to assist him. Once they confronted the female suspect, her demeanor completely changed and she ‘went off’ and began violently cussing and spewing a torrent of verbal abuse at the officers.
“As we handcuffed her and placed her in the patrol car,” Burton said, “she kept yelling, ‘You better be glad those other officers kept coming around. You better be glad those officers kept coming around. My boyfriend wasn’t going to jail.’”
Once in the patrol car, Chief Burton went back and searched the car. Under the passenger seat was a stolen, loaded, 45-caliber handgun.
“I just thought that if all of these officers had not come by and checked on me, I might have been shot. She had the drop on me. Back then, we did paper reports, so I was handwriting the report. All she would’ve had do, when I was focusing on writing with my head down, was to get out of the car and start shooting. I would have never been able to respond. Then, she could have just let him out of the patrol car and she and her boyfriend could have just driven away.
“The officers just kept coming by checking on me. I knew that was divine intervention from God. I knew that God was watching out for me during that traffic stop.”
Spoken words have power. Words spoken with authority contain God’s power to protect.
Many people ‘pray’ in their head or have what I refer to as ‘mental prayers.’ However, they do not speak out their prayers in audible words. It is very important that you speak out, and say out loud, these prayers.
Remember the soldier’s prayer of protection, the New York City police officer’s decree or the POWs speaking out during the air raid. (This story begins on page 26.) They all recited, prayed, and made confessions, decreed some form of Psalm 91 … out loud. Speaking these decrees out loud is critically important. When you make a decision to trust God and then follow through with effective spoken prayers, you are going to get the best possible outcomes.
You have authority
Begin by taking authority over your day by breaking every ‘assignment’ that the enemy has planned against you. John 10:10 states: “The thief (meaning the devil) comes not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; but I (meaning Jesus) have come that you might have life, and that you might have life more abundantly.”
Take time to slowly read and meditate on each sentence of Psalm 91 on pages 23-24. Consider how you could apply the various verses to life-threatening or dangerous incidents.
Go to God First
When all else fails and nothing in our ‘natural’ ability can help or change a situation, then we go to God. A better approach is to go to God first and not as your last option. God is supernatural. He is a God of miracles. By being proactive, many problems may be averted.
So the question becomes, can prayer protect and keep you safe? And what is the most effective way to pray for your safety, the safety of your fellow officers, and your family?
It is important to understand that God is sovereign. He can do anything, anyway, and at any time that He chooses. Through the experiences of others, our own experiences, and examples found in the Bible, we can find more clarity and precision in our prayers. We can then get much better outcomes when we pray.
PSALM 91 Psalm of Protection NLT
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.
3 For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Words, spoken out loud with emotion and passion, combined with corresponding body language, will result in the best possible outcomes.
In order to pray effectively, we must use the totality of our being. The Bible says that we are three-part beings: spirit, soul, and body. When your spirit, your soul, and your body are in agreement with the Spirit of God, your prayers are most effective.
I often say that if we ‘speak’ like God speaks, ‘think’ like God thinks and ‘act’ like God acts, we will get godly results, which are always good. So do your very best to be ‘all in’ as you decree these prayers. Remember, proper execution results in proper outcomes.
Your soul, which is considered your mind, your will, and your emotions, should also be in agreement. Think of your mind as your analytical and intellectual abilities. Your will is your ability to make decisions and choices. Your emotions are your feelings and experiences. Now stay with me on this. Your soul is made of distinct parts just like your body. We have one body but there are many parts. As you pray, you use your entire being. By speaking words forcibly and by your posture or body language, you can emphasize your authority. You engage your soul by using your passion and emotions expressed by words and actions.
When you pray in right relationship with God, in agreement with these decrees, your prayers will be much more effective. They will be heard and answered by God.
As a police officer, you have been trained on how to effectively deal with people when confronting them in various circumstances. At times you may have had to be gentle and even back up physically a little bit, to give them some space. At other times you may have had to be bold and steadfast, even confronting, to let the person know the seriousness of the situation. This is exactly how you use your words in prayer. The right mental attitude and posture lead you to have the most effective prayers with God. Engage your entire being in the process.
Are you ready for another Psalm 91 testimony? This one is told by Kenneth Copeland concerning a family friend.
In all wars, soldiers have looked to God for help. Many have learned the value of praying the 91st Psalm. In fact, one of my father’s close friends was an American fighter pilot who got shot down during World War II. He was captured and incarcerated for almost 22 months in a prison camp.
One day he looked outside and the sky was covered with B-24s and B-17s. The prisoners were shouting with joy anticipating they would be rescued, but then it dawned on them that they might get killed in the crossfire. Our friend dove under a bed along with two other fellows—one Jewish and the other Catholic. During his time as a POW, he diligently confessed Psalm 91, and that is what started coming out of his mouth during this bombing: “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust…. A thousand shall fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come nigh me!” The Jewish POW jumped right in, then the Catholic POW said, “God, I don’t know it all by heart, but amen, amen, amen!”
The prison camp was leveled. The hospital was leveled. There was nothing left but about $4 worth of rubble—and one little bed and three fellows under it who were trusting God. That is what Psalm 91 will do in combat!
Be prepared. The Boy Scouts got this right. The American pilot did not wait until he was in this life-or-death situation. He had already been laying a foundation by praying Psalm 91 prior to the bombings. Start now and build a wall of God’s protection around you, your team, and your family. Let’s face it. You would not wait until you were in a gun fight to start loading your clip, would you?
The Supernatural: Some things have no natural explanation.
Every one of you has heard about supernatural miracles such as people recovering from ‘near-death’ experiences or being raised from the dead. There ae reports of deadly accidents avoided supernaturally. On the other side of that coin are tragedies such as accidents and sickness that have no explanation, death of people for no apparent reason, and inexplicable destruction. There is absolutely no doubt that God is a supernatural God. He is sovereign and He can do anything, anytime, and anyway He chooses.
God has also given mankind free will, laws, and principles which hold true. Whether you are the most wonderful saint on the planet or a Satan worshiper, gravity is going to work for you. The Bible says it “rains on the just and the unjust.” There are some things that we just cannot figure out or answer completely. That being said, there are biblical principles and examples of prayer that have changed lives, changed the course of nations, and made a difference in the personal lives of many.
Let’s maximize your potential for 100% safety in every situation that you face.
Remember, the purpose of this guidebook is to provide you with effective tools based on solid biblical teachings so that you will have confidence, knowing that you can pray effective prayers for your own safety, the safety of your fellow officers, and protection for family members and the community in general. God does answer prayers in miraculous ways. He does protect you even when you do not realize it. (Remember Chief Burton’s testimony.) I feel that everyone can look back at their own life or someone’s near to them and see situations where if it had not been for God’s intervention, who knows what might have happened. Some type of serious accident or event that could have taken your life or that of a fellow officer was ‘mysteriously’ avoided.
The Importance and Power of Visualization
Positive thinking, visualization, making specific decrees, and writing out goals are universally accepted as principles that work for high achievers. Inspirational and motivational experts such as Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, and Norman Vincent Peale, along with many business executives, have all used these principles. By using these same principles and applying them to Psalm 91, you will maximize your level of safety and protection.
After more than 30 years of research, I have found that every principle that works in the ‘real world’ is based on principles that can be found in the Bible. This is the foundation that is being used to develop prayers for your safety and protection. I recommend using everything you can to be safe and protect yourself. Adding the POWER of these decrees and principles from Psalm 91 will multiply your effectiveness and keep you safe.
The more specific you are when you speak these prayers, the better results you will have. When you say the 91st Psalm out loud, and as you see and visualize God’s protection, His angels, and His glory as they cover and protect you, your confidence will increase as His protection is released into the event. As you speak, visually picture in your mind the outcome you desire. Also, to be more effective and better prepared, write out your desired outcomes in various potential situations you might face. Study and practice this as you would practice any of the other skills you need to effectively do your job.
Here is a personal example. When I leave my home, I pray that angels will be at my property to protect my home and family members. I literally picture angels at the door patrolling around the house, monitoring the yard, stationed above the house, and watching over everything. See it, speak it, and believe it!
If you can see it, say it, and experience it in your heart while knowing that you are in right relationship with God, you are guaranteed His results. God wants you safe. He wants your fellow officers safe. He wants your family safe. God has given you the authority and responsibility to speak these things into existence. The Bible says we can “call those things that are not as though they already were.” Therefore, call peace and safety into every situation that you have to deal with, in advance.
“Calling those things that are not as though they already were” is found in Romans 4:17. It reads: “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.”
Another testimony of Psalm 91’s power to protect, during World War II, the evacuation of Dunkirk.
All of England stood amazed at what happened at Dunkirk in World War II when the Nazis had thousands of British soldiers trapped at the edge of the water. They couldn’t get the men off the beaches fast enough to get them back to safety in England. The Allies were like sitting ducks when Nazi planes pelted those long stretches of white sand covered with soldiers, but the miraculous story that follows still remains as a part of our history today.
One correspondent, C. B. Morelock, reported an inexplicable and miraculous occurrence. There were 60 German aircraft which strafed with machine-gun fire more than 400 men who were pinned down on the beach with nowhere to take cover. And yet, though the men were repeatedly attacked by machine guns and bombed by enemy aircraft, not one single man was hit. Every man in that group left the beach without a scratch. Morelock later stated, “I have personally been told by Navy men, who picked up those particular survivors from Dunkirk, that the men not only recited Psalm 91, but they shouted it aloud at the top of their lungs!”
Saying “what we trust in” out loud releases faith. In this case they were ‘trusting’ in Psalm 91 as they believed and prayed out loud, placing the final outcome in God’s hands.
Let’s add to your level of confidence with these three Bible statements by personalizing them for your protection.
No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment, You shall show to be in the wrong. Isaiah 54:17
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word; and stand ready to protect me at all times. Psalm 103:20
The angels are all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service of God for the assistance of those who are to inherit salvation. Angels, that means my team and me. Angels, protect us. Hebrews 1:14
Speak these decrees for general safety:
Specific Prayers For Dangerous Situations
Critical Incidents, Active Crimes, and Weapon Threats:
Traffic Stops and Vehicle Accidents:
Special Operations, SWAT Team and Drug Busts:
Make It Personal throughout the Entire Psalm
In addition to reciting this psalm out loud, it becomes much more effective if you make it personal by inserting your own name or the name of someone else for whom you are praying this protection. Following is an example of praying this psalm in a personal way:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You that You watch over Your Word to perform it for me. Father, I praise You that I dwell in the secret place of the Most High. I shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of You, the Almighty, Whose power no foe can withstand. I will say to You, Lord, that You are Bill’s refuge and Bill’s fortress, You are my God; on You will I lean and rely. In You I will confidently trust. For then You will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence [or whatever situation you are facing]. God, You will cover me with Your feathers, and under Your wings shall I trust and find refuge. Your truth and Your faithfulness are a shield for me. Father, You are my confidence, my firm and strong tower. You keep my foot from stumbling; You keep me from being caught in a trap and from hidden danger. You give me safety and give me peace of mind. I know, God, You will keep me in perfect peace because I will keep my mind focused on You. I will trust You. I thank You, Lord, that when I lie down at night I will have restful, peaceful sleep, for You will sustain me and make me dwell in safety. I will not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrow [bullet] or the evil plots and plans of the wicked that come by day or by night. No terror or criminal element that stalks in darkness, nor destruction or sudden death, will surprise me. No accident will come near my vehicle or my family. Many things may happen to others, but they shall not come near me. I will only be a spectator of the evil because I have access to the secret place of the Most High.”
Here is another prayer example:
“Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’s name. In Psalm 91 You said that whoever dwells in the secret place of Your presence will abide or be in Your shadow of safety and protection. Right now, Lord, I pray that I will be under Your divine protection. I pray that all evil, attacks, any injury or accidents will be blocked, stopped, and be null and void in my life today. No harm shall come upon me or any of my fellow officers. Father, You will give me insight and perceptions about what I might have to face. You will give me discernment and warnings. I will have a listening heart and a listening ear for Your voice. I thank You that You will deliver me from any accident or any harm on my job today. I say that You are my refuge and in You I place my trust. I thank You for Your angels having charge over me and that they will accompany me and defend me and protect me as I go through my daily activities. I thank You, Lord, that I can call upon You. You will satisfy me with long life. You will keep me safe. Amen.”
I challenge you to see prayer based on Psalm 91 as a weapon that you can use effectively for your protection and safety. It is a powerful tool. You can speak into the situations that you are dealing with and call them the way you want them to be. In addition to your Kevlar vest, consider these prayers as supernatural bulletproof body armour.
Let’s take it to the next level with scenarios.
After reading these scenarios, go to the earlier prayer examples. Personalize and apply these prayers to these scenarios or to situations that you may face in the field.
Picture yourself on patrol. The call comes in. It is 10:45 PM Friday night. Armed robbery at a convenience store on the corner of Main and Lincoln streets is now in progress. Suspect armed. Based on your comprehensive training for such situations, you gather your thoughts and proceed on full alert to the location.
What do you do on your way to the scene? What are you thinking about? Why not add a prayer decree to your skill set? Speak out a short prayer for safety and protection for all officers and citizens. Declare that angels will go before you. Declare that the perpetrator will drop his weapon and submit to authority. Thank God that His angels will accompany you and defend you. You will be safe and hidden from harm in His secret place during this operation. Modify the prayers to fit your needs for the situation.
Picture yourself on the highway during a traffic stop. You’re not sure if it is a little old grandma just returning from a church bazaar or a criminal from out of state who is on drugs. Consider doing this: As you get out of your vehicle, speak out loud what you want to happen and ask for God’s protection. Visually see the exact results that you want. Visualize and see the positive outcome. Stay focused and ask God if there is any immediate danger to you. As you approach the car, see your angels before you and near you ready to protect you at a moment’s notice. Stay alert and check your ‘gut’ feelings. Say the prayer out loud.
Domestic Disturbance: As you head to a domestic disturbance call for the third time, you recall that it has been full of anger and violence, with drugs and alcohol thrown into the mix. On your way, begin to speak, aloud, that peace and calmness will enter into the situation. You speak to the atmosphere to bring a settled peace and calmness to the stress of the environment and situation before you arrive. You should visualize your angels going before you, diffusing the situation. Then see them being with you, protecting you. Ask God to reveal to you any immediate danger related to this stop.
You are part of a team, gathered in a local restaurant, prior to a large drug bust. The undercover report shows there could be violence and weapons involved. As a team member, visualize success. Check your gut for any areas of concern. See the various parts of the operation flow together, with team members alert and covering each other.
Then add the prayers of protection and safety for you and your team. Pray that the operation will be a complete surprise and there will be confusion on the suspects’ part and that the operation will come off without a hitch. Send angels ahead of you, to go with you and with each and every officer involved. Expect a safe and successful operation. Use these prayer decrees to add an extra level of safety to the operation.
Use these teachings as another tool in your tool belt. You have nothing to lose, and you may have everything to gain.
God wants you to ‘agree’ with Him by releasing His truth into the atmosphere. Start today by decreeing [speaking out loud] His Word back to Him by reciting the 91st Psalm and other prayers included in this guidebook.
Begin to commit these prayers and this process to memory. With repetition and practice they will become automatic just like the other techniques you have mastered in your training.
Here are three key points that I believe will give you a deeper understanding, confidence, and trust to believe the truths and statements made in this guidebook.
First: The Bible says “you have not because you ask not.” Through this teaching, you are being encouraged to ask for exactly and specifically the safety and protection outcomes you desire for your entire workday. Ask out loud and be specific.
Second: In the Bible, Mark 11:23-24, Jesus tells us to say unto the mountain, “be removed and cast into the sea,” and that whatever you say and believe in your heart will be done. The “mountain” is any problem, situation, or circumstance that you’re dealing with. The Bible says to speak to that mountain or problem. Speak out loud. These prayer examples are your templates for this.
Third: This key point comes to mind and relates to forgiveness/unforgiveness. In Matthew chapter 6 the Bible says that if you don’t forgive other people, God will not forgive you and your prayers will be hindered. When you are unforgiving and holding on to an offense, you are, in a way, separated from God. So without getting too spiritual or religious, my recommendation is that you just do a gut check and see if there is anyone whom you need to forgive. If so, release any resentment or offense you feel towards that person or persons. This can include things from childhood, past relationships, somebody you arrested, or any persons you have had a lot of problems with. Just take a few minutes and release the offense from your judgment. Then release forgiveness to yourself, the other person(s) and, if need be, to God.
Your safety and protection are the highest priorities, and it is up to you to take care of yourself.
My prayer for each and every one of you:
That GOD will give His angels special charge over you, to accompany and defend you and preserve you in all your ways of obedience and service. That no accident, injury, illness, or harm will come near you or your family. That you will be prosperous and healthy. From Psalm 91 and 3 John v 2.
The single highest priority of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is the safety and protection of all citizens and all law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Mike Williams
William McCombes, troubled by the recent shootings of law enforcement officers, recalled a psalm, known as the Psalm of Protection. There are many testimonies of lifesaving experiences by those in law enforcement and the military who leaned on this psalm in times of desperation, and their lives were spared.
The Law Enforcement Guidebook for Protection and Safety explores such vital questions as:
• Can prayer provide safety in the most life-threatening circumstances?
• Are there specific, concise prayers that may prevent accidents or injury?
• How do you, as a law enforcement officer, apply these principles and truths in your day-to-day activities to maximize your safety?
Through testimonies, stories, and examples, this guidebook will provide you with clear guidance for correctly applying specific prayers in the most critical situations you face, such as traffic stops, accidents, domestic disputes, and critical incidents, where the potential for death and bodily injury is ever present.
This guidebook provides the extra ‘tools’ for you, the men and women in blue, to access the next level of protection and safety.
William McCombes is the son of a retired NY Correctional Officer and Fire Chief. Bill served as a Naval Flight Officer and received his MBA from the University of West Florida and his Doctorate in Christian Counseling. He is a Board-Certified Chaplain with the American Chaplain’s Association and is a life coach and inspirational speaker.