This afternoon, Linda and I watched the funeral procession and service of Sergeant Ryan Russell, the Toronto police officer who was killed last week. There were many touching moments throughout the ceremony as friends and colleagues sang and spoke profound and memorable tributes to this fallen officer. Something stirred within us as this man’s death was mourned and his heroic life was celebrated.
I believe it was Staff Sergeant Jeff McGuire who introduced the Policeman’s Prayer and made mention that Sergeant Ryan Russell carried this prayer in his hat every time he was on duty.
“A Policeman’s Prayer”
Another day, Lord to do my work, unsure of what lies ahead.
It may hold the chance to help those in need, and that would be my desire.
I pray that you will empower me to be a peacemaker to all I come in contact with.
To the helpless, may I be a helper, to the distressed, may I be a comfort.
To those who plan evil, may I be a deterrent, and to those who have carried out their plans
may I be a sword of justice so they will no longer prey on the weak and hurting.
I humbly ask that you surround me with your angels, and a wall of fire for protection.
And if, in the course of your plan, I find this day to be my last, the concern of my life is that you would be the Father to my children and, the provider to my wife. In Jesus’ name, Amen
As my day unfolded and I reflected on this prayer, I was drawn to its altruistic tone. The desires articulated in this prayer are so contrary to the desires that drive so many of us – to wake up in the morning, acutely aware of the fragility and brevity of life and yet choose to serve, protect, help and bring peace to others, regardless of the cost. This is the quality of life that brings deep, soul-satisfying joy into a person’s life. How this world would change if each one of us had this knee-jerk, others-centered disposition.
Sargeant Ryan Russell’s wife succinctly communicated the painful truth when she solemnly spoke, “Ryan always put others before himself. On January 12th, this cost him his life.”
Selflessness is a worthy aspiration.
John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.