I Prayed have prayed
Father, we pray for every chaplain in America. Protect them, God, from those who wish to remove them from their positions. Continue to empower and strengthen them.

Analysis. An article appeared on Fox News recently in which a fire chaplain describes his conflict with a major city in Texas. At issue is his personal blog, in which he has posted that, according to the Bible, men and women are biologically different, and that biological males should not compete in women’s sports. Ironically, that view is not even uniquely Christian. Even Caitlyn Jenner, one of the most high-profile champions of transgenderism, has expressed the same view.

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At issue is not the view itself, but the fact that it was expressed by a Christian leader — and this, in willful disregard of the fact that the chaplain, Dr. Andrew Fox, spent eight years building up the Austin Fire Department’s chaplaincy program and has served faithfully and sacrificially on a volunteer basis. He did not have to do this. He chose to. He did not have to respond to horrific trauma scenes and help cover the bodies of burn victims, or to console families and first responders — all without pay. It was his calling.

Yet, a woke administration, one that apparently sees Christianity as a threat to its wokeism, fired Dr. Fox because of his personal blog, setting aside the freedoms of speech and religion guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. So, he is suing the city of Austin with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“I am not the first to face this injustice, but I am speaking out because I’d like to be the last,” Dr. Fox told Fox News. “Who gets to decide what views are acceptable and which ones aren’t on someone’s personal blog? Or will government officials simply start accepting only those who remain completely silent about their faith, political views, or deeply held beliefs?”

I can identify with Dr. Fox. We are both Europeans who emigrated to the U.S. We are both front-line chaplains. I have served several police and fire departments and a 911 call center. I have struggled with the dynamics of having to be “interfaith” and “politically correct.” In many cases, a police or fire department will fire you if they fear legal action from anti-Christian groups like the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who regularly sue government institutions for having chaplains, on the supposed basis of the separation of church and state. Dismissing a chaplain, even if he has not done anything truly controversial, is cheaper than defending a lawsuit.

We need to pray for the police, fire, military, jail, prison, and hospital chaplains of our nation. They all work in environments increasingly beset and muddled by a wokeism that demands tolerance and acceptance of lifestyles that are an offense to God. The conflict that Dr. Fox finds himself in the middle of is one that hangs over the heads of all chaplains in such an environment — at least those who adhere to the evangelical belief that the Bible is the inerrant and authoritative Word of God and is clear about what is sin and an offense to God.

Those chaplains fill an essential role in the agencies they serve. Without pay and at a moment’s notice they drop whatever they happen to be doing and wade into crises and traumas of all sorts, to comfort and to weep and pray with victims and responders alike. My own experience was that as I prayed while on my way to any crime scene, fire, or line-of-duty death, peace would flow into me and through me. First responders would often comment that a calming peace would settle over them, too, as I entered the room. That, of course, was not me. I didn’t have a clue what I was walking into. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit in me, and it typifies the power of a chaplain: to be a vessel of the Holy Spirit to let peace, comfort, truth, and healing flow to those affected by a crisis and to those who daily put themselves in harm’s way responding to any crisis. Sometimes, being that vessel means to help in small but practical ways. At other times it means to just be there with a comforting presence. Or to pray. Or to listen, or to give a biblically sound perspective on suffering. Think of chaplains as missionaries or ambassadors of God’s kingdom to those who serve our community in emotionally demanding roles.

The rank and file of first responders who work on the front lines see that value, and they lean on it. The higher-ups who work behind the scenes and are further removed from the raw emotional impact of a crisis often lose sight of it when a political or legal threat looms.

One thing is clear: As the general instability in our nation increases, so do the numbers of traumatic incidents. Chaplains are needed now more than ever for those who have to handle those incidents. At the same time, sociopolitical attacks on chaplains are on the rise. See the connection? Satan does. He has long set his sights on removing the vessels of influence for God’s kingdom from the frontline-response services of our nation. Wokeism has given him a wider berth. After all: … we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).

That is why we must pray for our chaplains. Here are a few pointers:

  • Pray for God’s protection over the chaplains of our nation from organizations and civil governments that seek their elimination.
  • Pray for God’s comfort, empowerment, and encouragement for our chaplains in the face of increasingly difficult work environments and an increasing demand for their services.
  • Pray for chaplains to maintain a strong prayer life and to put on the armor of God daily.
  • Pray for an increasing openness to the presence of chaplains among those who benefit most from them, in the fire stations, police departments, emergency rooms, jails, prisons, 911 call centers, and military bases.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a sense of conviction upon those in authority that chaplains are essential, and that the separation of church and state does not mean government institutions can’t have chaplains.
  • Pray for the Lord to engineer networks of chaplains who will band together to support each other and to pray and stand together to defend their constitutional rights.

Father, we pray today for our nation’s chaplains, whom You have put in place to be the vessels of Your comfort and love for the victims of crime and trauma, as well as for those who serve and protect our society. We ask that You protect the chaplaincy programs of our nation and empower and encourage our chaplains with a fresh realization of their calling and impact. Remove all fear of wokeism and protect them against it wherever it exists. Speak to the chains of command and to the civil authorities and convict them of the chaplains’ importance. And increase the numbers of chaplains, even as violence, disasters, mental health crises, and pressure on our nation’s first responders and health workers rise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What did you think of this article? Share your own prayers for frontline chaplains below.

Author Remco Brommet is a pastor, spiritual growth teacher, and prayer leader with over 40 years’ experience in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the U.S. Born and raised in the Netherlands and having pastored his first church in Amsterdam, he moved to the U.S. in 1986. He and his wife, Jennifer, live north of Atlanta. When not writing books, he blogs and assists his wife as content developer and prayer coordinator for True Identity Ministries. Jennifer and Remco are passionate about bringing people into a deeper relationship with Christ. Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

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Augie
August 28, 2022

For all of the Chaplains out there, may God continue to bless your efforts. For Chaplin Fox, you only stated the truth, and yet there are fools who are easily led astray, not only from God but common sense as well. For the people of the City of Austin, we will pray for you that as a community you would repent of your ungodliness and foolishness and that you would look within yourselves to recognize the transforming Holy Spirit of God is waiting for you to accept His love and bring you peace.

Mary Riggins
August 27, 2022

I am a retired registered nurse: I was in a variety of hospitals for 45 years. I and my co-workers always appreciated and loved having chaplains on board. In a crisis we were stretched thin and weren’t able to spend time with families as we wanted. Our team was complete with a chaplain, they could spend time with the families, and we could handle the emergency.
Chaplains are a very important part of the care team!

1
Darlene Estlow
August 26, 2022

I remember how a chaplain came and helped calm me when I found my mother-in-law dead. He helped me know what to do next. I was very appreciative. I appreciate this article; it will help me pray for chaplains as they serve.

4
Chava
August 25, 2022

WHILE MY PEN IS FREE!
by Eva

While my pen is free, I will write!
I will transpire words of truth on paper white with
Pen dipped from heart’s crimson flow.
And what shall I write?
“Roses are red, violets are blue”?
My youthful “love” poetry is now far passed!
Maturity has now taken over.
What then shall I write?
What of social injustice:
Yesterday’s “-ites” cloaked in today’s “-isms”?
Shall I write of poverty and shame,
Oppression and tyranny’s rule,
Enslavement, imprisonment, and
Murder en masse?
History is once again repeating itself!
Evil rulers and justices: “Tyrants” all,
Are sitting high and lofty,
Calling evil “good” and good “evil”,
Demoralizing, demonizing,
Passing laws and rulings
Contrary to the Laws of G-D,
Vilifying and slaughtering en masse
Christians and Jews,
Babies, the elderly, and the handicapped
Throughout the world,
And without a public outcry.
And all those who stand in the way of their “agenda”,
Political dissidents from all walks of life,
Are either silenced or removed.
“A ‘One World’ Order!” They say.
In their supremacy, they desire
To brainwash and indoctrinate the “leftovers”,
Like refuse discarded.
Shall I remain silent when I, in the past,
Wondered how the Holocaust was allowed
By countless many who hid in silence
For fear of reprisal?
No! I shall mercilessly speak out
Against all inhumanity metered out
By evil tyrants’ blows!
Go far away from me if you seek half-truths!
Go far from me if you desire
To hear words that tickle the ears!
For you shall find no such words written
Within the pages of my heart.
I shall not lull you to sleep
With comforting words!
What choice do you have?
What choice do I have?
The sinister walls of delusion
Have to be destroyed!
While my pen is free, I will write
And I will speak!
For I have a voice
That has finally found its platform.

9
Ben Wetherill
August 25, 2022

Thank you for your support and your prayers. I retired in 2019 after 31 years of service as a federal agent and chaplain. I continue to serve my local volunteer fire and police department and the U.S. Secret Service.

8
Gail Wood
August 25, 2022

Thank you Chaplin. The Lord God said that if we laid down our life for His sake and not lay our life down only to death but for what we know to be right and Godly , He says that He would lift us up when we were cast down . He said to think it not strange these firey trials we would go through. We are praising God for your honesty though it cost you something very important. The Lord told us that when we are weak He is made strong.
God bless you Sir and may God bring His greatest blessing to you.
Praise you Father God for this man who has given his life to you and we ask you to protect , bless and keep him.
In Jesus Holy name, Amen

9
Mari
August 25, 2022

I appreciate this article which increased my awareness of chaplains to first response environments throughout our nation, thank you, I will continue to pray ❤️❤️❤️

11
Dominique
August 25, 2022

May the Lord strengthen all our chaplains in their ministry. They are called to bring repentance, reconciliation, to alleviate despair and pain and bring back your children to you in the midst of tragedy. They are Lord, your ministers of hope. You alone can fight the forces of evil working against their presence. Give them a voice for the glory of Your Name. Amen.

12
Ellen Hoffman
August 25, 2022

Lord please bring back freedom of speech! Please protect and encourage Your ministers! Please discourage and remove the liars that pervert Your Word. We know the battle belongs to You!

16
Monica Hall
August 25, 2022

Separation of church and state is not in the USA constitution.

13
Kathy Page
August 25, 2022

Thank you!

10
Conni L
August 25, 2022

I was in a hospital chaplains program and was dismissed because I believed John 14:6 and led patients to Christ.

9
    Julie
    August 25, 2022

    This is shocking, Conni! But thank you for being faithful to the Lord and saving souls.

    God bless!

    8

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