The Cowboys for Cops Initiative
We all know a bull rider or cowboy or two that have got themselves on the wrong side of the law. Stereotypes exist for a reason but we also know that you can’t assume that everyone belongs to the stereotype.
Bull riders and rodeo cowboys aren’t always running wild and getting into bar fights and cops aren’t always shooting innocent people.
So here’s how we can make a difference in some small and bigger ways to the pressures police are facing right now as they are targeted for attacks and facing abuse for the poor decisions of some, the mistakes of others and jumping-
It’s fair season. That means rodeos and bull ridings everywhere. That means rides, cotton candy and crowds. Crowds mean cops.
Have you hugged a cop today? Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to, but we’re suggesting this:
When we see them, we’re going to have our pictures taken (or a ‘selfie’) and we’re going to Snapchat, Tweet and Facebook it with the hashtag #CowboysforCops. We’re going to tell them that even when we don’t always see eye to eye, we’re glad they’re out there. We’re going to encourage them and we’re going to do something even more important as Christian cowboys–we’re going to pray with them.
Pray with the police and for them:
I know praying is intimidating for a lot of people but if we truly believe what we say we believe, then we believe praying for one another is important. There is no shortage of examples of the importance of prayer through the Old and New Testament. Yet many of us struggle with how to do it and it can take awhile to get comfortable praying in front of others.
In the book of Acts, we see the early church forming and praying together was part of that foundation. Then, when James was executed and Paul was imprisoned to face death as well for preaching about Jesus, we se this in Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
Earnestly means with great effort.
And an angel was sent to rescue Peter from prison.
So let’s find the courage to pray with those officers as we encounter them in the weeks ahead with a plan to do this from now until at least Labor Day. And in the process, we can get more comfortable praying for one another.
We’ve studied prayer before and those encounter James Douma at Ontario rodeos have had a new introduction to it as he works this summer during cowboy church to try to help you get more comfortable with who God is and how to talk and respond to Him.
I’ll continue to teach on prayer in the weeks ahead, largely at SEBRA bull ridings in Ohio and through social media and the website.
Some tips on praying
* Don’t be afraid to ask if you can pray for an officer or group of offices. Even if everyone feels awkward, most are going to agree to it and be encouraged by it.
* Ask the officers how you can pray for them. Some will share with you a specific need.
* Remember, God wants us to pray. Prayer is how we communicate with God. The Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew tells us to pray which includes recognition of who God is (our Father and the holiest of all) ,to seek God’s will and to present our needs. In this case, we acknowledge everything will work for God’s purpose but we can tell God of our appreciation for these men and women who protect us (not just arrest us) and ask that He keep them safe, keep them encouraged and keep them strengthened.
* If you’re a cowboy comfortable praying, please gather with a few of the guys and be the one to lead it with the police who are around.