The Power of Prayer

By Chaplain Jesus Alverez  US Border Patrol

Prayer is the most vital tool that the First Responder has in his relationship with God.

This communication lifeline will help you develop the spiritual maturity you need to daily overcome the tremendous obstacles you face.

But first let’s take a look at what it means to be prayerful, spiritual and religious.

By praying I mean we are asking God to help us in our needs or to give thanks to Him for His many blessings in our lives.

Spirituality is your relationship with God. The developing closeness that happens as you spend time with Him much like in a growing relationship with someone you love.

Religion is how you express that relationship.


God wants to hear our voice, by praying. We call out to Him to help us in all our needs and frequent prayer establishes our dependency on Him in all things. Prayer reinforces our faith in God. When asking for a spiritual gift or grace, remember that ultimately “God’s will be done” and not yours. Just a a parent would not give a poisonous snake to his child to play with, so our God and Father will not grant our prayer requests if they will do harm to us because our God is a loving and merciful God. He sees the entire picture. He is eternal. We cannot see what He sees and knows, “God is love.” (I John4:8) If God does not answer your prayers according to your desires it is because of His all knowing love for you. Accept it and move on.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for a egg, will give him a scorpion/” (Luke 11:11-12)

When you pray trust that God is hearing you and that He will answer your prayers.

When you pray trust that God is hearing you and that he will answer your prayers.

From the book of Mark 11:22-24: “Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, Go, throw yourself to the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”


We establish our need for God in every aspect of our lives by praying. We see signs of this when we ask for Holy gifts on our own behalf, or for the betterment of others. These prayers bring forth goodness in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Be patient in prayer and look for the fruits of what your prayers bring forth, they are called blessings and they almost always are miraculous. Remember again to have faith when you pray, and know that God is anxious to hear your voice calling out to Him. When we establish a establish a prayer dialogue with God, He hears us in all our prayers and answers them, but sometimes we don’t like the answers or become impatient. Temper your prayers with patience and wisdom, patience to wait for an answer or sign and wisdom to accept whatever answer you receive.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”(Luke 12:32)

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)


Prayer can be short and very to the point when entering a critical incident or crisis situation.

Because time is of the essence, you can simply pray,’ Jesus please help us with this, let thy will be done” or :Jesus, please be with us.” I have recited these prayers many times when my Border Patrol unit is rolling up to a critical incident or situation. After I have finished the prayer I ask my team for an AMEN (let it be so).

The Bible says that when we pray together, God will be with us. “For where two or three come together in my name, I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Many times in your role as a First Responder, you will encounter the face of evil or immerse human suffering. Whichever, the case a prayer will protect your heart and mind and fortify you physically so that you can have God’s power to overcome spiritually whatever task is at hand.

“Don’t be afraid, just believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Afterwards, that same prayer can help you make peace with a critical incident or tragedy that you faced and maybe help you understand it better to accept it.

During the times that I have asked WHY, I have found that prayer many times won’t give me all the answers. That is tough to accept but prayer does give me comfort and helps me to understand that I sometimes don’t need to know why some things happen.

The bottom line is that whether I understand everything or not, when I pray it strengthens me and helps me to keep fighting the good fight with all my might.


  • What is the most difficult aspect of praying for you? What hinders you from doing it consistently?
  • How can you resolve this so that you can strengthen you prayer life and your relationship with God?