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.
Many Christians in the UK pray specifically during Prisons Week, 11th – 17th October 2020. This is organised by the inter-denominational Christian charity Prisons Week. Do visit their site where you can download prayers, posters and watch an explanatory film.
You may find it helpful, to use the prayers set for the following days and also to pray for one or two specific prisons in your area.
11th October: 1st, 8th and 16th days
12th October: 2nd, 9th and 22nd days
13th October: 3rd, 10th and 24th days
14th October: 4th, 11th and 29th days
15th October: 5th, 14th and 18th days
16th October: 6th, 17th and 26th days
17th October: 7th, 19th and 30th days
for Christians struggling with their faith since going to prison, that the Lord will strengthen their faith and sustain them
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;
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
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.
for those who have come to faith while in prison: give thanks to God and pray that they will grow in their faith with support from other Christians;
for the elderly, the frail and those vulnerable to self-harming and to attempts at suicide, that all will receive the appropriate level of support and care and be kept safe;
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.
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;
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;
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;
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
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;
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
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.
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
for those vulnerable to bullying and intimidation, that they will be protected from those who would seek to harm them
that many might come to faith in Christ whilst in prison. Pray that the Lord will use the teaching and preaching, the personal and group Bible studies, the gospel literature and the witness of believers, all for the purpose of drawing unbelievers to Christ
for those who are suffering from mental illness, that they will receive the care and treatment they need
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’
for Christians as they are released, especially those with no established church connection, that they will be linked to a supportive church
for sex offenders, many of whom are overwhelmed with guilt, that they might come to recognise that they are not beyond God’s forgiveness.
for partners, grandparents and others caring for children in the absence of parents in prison
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
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
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
for families impacted financially by imprisonment and for organisations such as Christians Against Poverty who support them through practical care and advice
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
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.
for those who have lost loved ones through crime, that they will find healing through their grief
for victims of abuse, that they will find the support they need to help their healing from their trauma
for victims who refuse to forgive or cannot forgive, that they would be enabled to put aside their anger and their bitterness and move on with their life.