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Praying for our prisons

With so many men and women in our prisons wanting to be free from the life of crime in which they feel trapped, there are enormous opportunities for the gospel. And, of course, there are many pastoral needs, too, not only amongst those serving a prison sentence but also within their families.

May we encourage you to pray for our prisons?

Those who wish to pray daily through the month may like to follow the monthly plan below and perhaps also pray specifically for one or two prisons.

 

Week 1 - for those in prison
1st

for Christians struggling with their faith since going to prison, that the Lord will strengthen their faith and sustain them.

2nd

for those who are grieving and for those who are concerned for loved ones who are seriously, and perhaps terminally, ill, that they might to turn to God and draw strength from Him and His Word.

3rd

for those who have turned away from the faith they once held, that their time in prison will lead to a firm commitment of their lives to Jesus.

4th

for those who are suffering the pain of broken relationships or family breakdown: for those who have been rejected by their family or have cut themselves off from their family; for those who are denied contact with their children; for those now separated from their partner. Pray that they might receive practical and emotional support and that they might turn to God and draw strength from Him and His Word. 

5th

for all who have nothing to look forward to at the beginning of this new year, that they might discover the One who is their only hope of joy and contentment - and salvation.

6th

During this post-Christmas and New Year period, there will be an even higher risk of self-harm. Pray that the vulnerable will be kept safe and staff will be especially alert to their needs.

7th

for those overcome with guilt and shame for their crimes, that they might turn to Christ and know that they are forgiven and cleansed by His sacrificial death.

Week 2 - for those who work in prison
8th

for Governors, for wisdom as they need to keep their establishments secure and the staff and residents safe but, also, provide programmes and activities to support the rehabilitation of the men and women. At this time, pray for them as they consider relaxing the lockdown in their prison.

9th

for chaplains (for whom the lockdown has been especially demanding as more men and women have needed pastoral support and without the availability of volunteers to help them). Pray that the Lord will sustain them and help them to manage their time and priorities effectively.

10th

for healthcare staff, that they will be enabled to care with skill, love and compassion, despite all the demands upon them. Give thanks to God for them. Pray especially for Christians, that they might display Christ’s love to those for whom they care.

11th

for officers working on the landings, for their protection.  Pray for healing for officers currently off sick as a result of injury or stress-related illness.

12th

for security staff, as they work to make their prison more secure, especially by preventing drugs and other illegal substances and items getting into the prison.

13th

for chaplains, that the Lord will guide them as they prepare worship and teaching materials, (which will be distributed where services cannot be held).  Pray, too, that they will share the gospel as opportunities arise and distribute gospel literature to those open to receiving it.

14th

give thanks to God that prisons have been kept relatively free from Covid-19 infections when there was a real fear of serious outbreaks. Pray that this would continue.

Week 3 - for those in prison
15th

for mature believers that they will be kept strong in their faith and the Lord will use them as a witness to other residents and to staff.

16th

for those vulnerable to bullying and intimidation, that they will be protected from those who would seek to harm them.

17th

for the men and women who have been sent a copy of BeaconLight’s New Life booklet over the past few weeks and pray that many will respond to the advert in the current issue of Inside Time.  Pray that many will come to faith through reading this and other literature.

18th

for those who are suffering from mental illness, that they will receive the care and treatment they need.

19th

for those desperate to be free from drug and alcohol addictions, that they will receive appropriate support both in prison and on release, especially through ‘rehabs’.

20th

for Christians as they are released, especially those with no established church connection, that they will be linked to a supportive church.

21st

for sex offenders, many of whom are overwhelmed with guilt, that they might come to recognise that they are not beyond God’s forgiveness.

Week 4 - for families and communities
22nd

for partners, grandparents and others caring for children in the absence of parents in prison.

23rd

for probation staff, community chaplains and all who support men and women on release from prison. Pray that the vulnerable will get the help they need to prevent them from reoffending.

24th

for children of men and women in prison that, wherever possible and appropriate, that they will be able to maintain contact with their parent(s).  Pray for the protection of those children who are at risk of turning to crime themselves.

25th

for ‘rehabs’ (and especially for the Christian ministries), that, through their programmes, many men and women will overcome their addiction and that many will also commit to follow Christ.

26th

for families impacted financially by imprisonment and for organisations such as Christians Against Poverty who support them through practical care and advice.

27th

for children taken into care as a result of one or both parents being in prison, that they will be healed from the emotional damage of losing their parents.

28th

for churches who have a dedicated ministry to ‘ex-offenders’, that they will have sufficient volunteers to give time to mentoring and supporting the men and women referred to them.

Week 5 - for victims of crime
29th

for those who have lost loved ones through crime, that they will find healing through their grief.

30th

for victims of abuse, that they will find the support they need to help their healing from their trauma.

31st

for victims who are struggling to forgive, or choosing not to forgive, that they would be enabled to put aside their anger and their bitterness and move on with their life.

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