#742 - Sex Offenders Live Nearby
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, there may be no greater test of our grace and mercy than our response to a sex offender moving into the community. On the one hand, we want to protect our children from them. We certainly don't want our children to be traumatized by a molestation. On the other hand, Your Word calls us not to judge others. We are to be gracious, merciful, and compassionate. This individual is to receive the love and forgiveness of Your people. In fact, he or she is to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are to have modeled before them what men and women of God act like. Father, I know that if I minister to this former prisoner my neighbors may become suspicious of me. Why am I befriending such a despicable person? However, was not Jesus Himself accused of befriending the most despised in His culture? Father, I believe You are calling me to somehow minister to this person. I'm sure they are anxious returning to society with the knowledge that their neighbors distrust or despise them. They need a friend. Father, show me how to make a connection with them. Show me how to earn their trust. Show me how to model to them the love of God. Show me how to mentor and coach them. Show me how to engender empathy for them among the neighbors in the community. Father, Your Word tells us not to judge. Your Word tells us to minister to prisoners. Your Word never qualifies that our compassion for an individual should depend upon the severity of their crime. Given the temptations they are likely to face, they need a mentor and a friend more than ever. Father, may that be me. However, I know human nature. Their temptation may continue to be strong. Please protect the innocent in this neighborhood. If a sex offender intends to molest anyone, please stop them before they do. Give them a conscience. Thwart their plans. Help them to get caught before the crime is committed. May their plot be revealed. May they not succumb to sudden urges. Keep the innocent victim far away from them. Give me the strength to report their intentions to abuse others to the authorities. Amen.
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