As Prison Fellowship celebrates our 40th anniversary, we are reminded how important our ministry partners are in bringing about transformation in the lives of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. From in-prison volunteers, to prison officials, to local church ministries and transitional housing, there are many people that continue to “remember the prisoner” and seek to restore them to their communities.
“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.’” – John 11:41
Jesus had a friend named Lazarus who died of an illness. By the time Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus’s grieving sisters, Mary and Martha, Lazarus had been dead for four days, and his body was sealed in a tomb with a large, heavy stone.
It’s altogether too easy for those of us with little or no connection to prison to dismiss and ignore the men and women behind bars. Content to live our own lives, we are quick to conclude that the incarcerated “got what they had coming to them,” and to write them off as inconsequential.
“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” – Acts 12:5 (NIV)
When Peter was thrown into prison at the order of King Herod, there was nothing his friends could do for him.
There are approximately 2.3 million prisoners in America that need our intercession and petition to God. They need to know that we are praying for them and we need to spread the word to other believers to pray for them.
That’s why starting this March, at 2:30PM EST every weekday, Prison Fellowship will post a prayer reminder on its Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #PRAY4PRISONERS, to encourage everyone to pause for a while and lift up these men and women behind bars and anyone affected by crime and incarceration.
“This is what the LORD says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters … See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Recently an asteroid, caught in the earth’s gravitational field, came crashing through the atmosphere and landed in Russia. Hundreds of people were injured.
In a similar way, spiritual gravity – our flesh, our bad habits, our character – keeps us from walking in spiritual liberty.