#508 - My Loved One is Incarcerated
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, I am so ashamed. A loved one is in prison. Prison. They are a felon. It is so embarrassing. I keep it a secret so I can avoid talking about him/ her to anyone. How could they do this to me? How could they commit such a crime? They hurt others. Somebody who is closely associated with me is in jail. It is devastating. It has ruined my life, especially at home. My friends don't trust me anymore. The experience of the whole thing was so traumatic - police crime tape, lights, sirens, interrogations, the trial, etc.,. On top of it all, I miss my loved one. I miss our relationship. I remember the good times we had together. That person is gone. Who have they become? Father, thank You for listening to me. I know that You have been hearing prayers like this for thousands of years. I know that You care for prisoners. Many prisoners are children of highly dysfunctional families. - Many prisoners didn't have a godly father figure. - Many prisoners got caught for doing the same things their parents or siblings did. - Many prisoners couldn't afford compassionate and experienced legal counsel. - Many prisoners didn't have access to ministries that could guide them to a better life. - Many prisoners have been consumed by the rough neighborhoods they were forced to grow up in. - Many prisoners committed their crime in one single life-changing release of emotion. - Many prisoners committed their crime because they were trying to escape from the pain. - Many prisoners are just like all of us, rebels from God. They live to be their own god. They doubt Your goodness. They worship other things, such as wealth, power, fame, influence, materialism, and sex. I ask that You forgive me for being judgmental. I ask that You forgive me for not being loving to those who are incarcerated. Father, truly, but for the grace of God, there go I. It could be me behind bars. I am in a spiritual prison myself, enslaved by my desire to be my own god. I doubt You. I worship other things. May what Jesus Christ did on the cross pay the penalty for my rebellion. Help me to surrender my life to you. I ask that You grow within me a deep love for men and women who are in prison. Give me a heart for prison ministry. Give me the desire to visit with prisoners and to encourage and uplift them. Give me a desire to work with the formerly incarcerated, helping them get their lives back together. Give me a desire to minister to the families of prisoners, people who certainly are struggling with life. Father, I pray that men and women in prisons across this country will encounter Your love in a life-transforming way. Give them joy, peace, and hope as they celebrate their spiritual freedom. Now, how can I help my loved one in jail today? What can I do or say to give them hope? Amen.
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