God is present in prisons: prayer guide

Church Mission Society people in mission look beyond criminal records and see children of God. They don’t just see prisoners – they see people in need of Jesus’ love.

As we journey through Lent, will you take time to pray for prisoners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and the UK? And will you pray for CMS people in mission who are sharing the love of Jesus with prisoners in word and action?

Week one: Latin America

Please pray for CMS local partner Anderson Sanchez in Lima, Peru, who works among young offenders. His prison ministry started when a local young man ended up incarcerated. Through visiting him, Anderson saw a chance to change young lives.

Week two: Asia

Please pray for A, one of our mission partners in a sensitive location in southeast Asia, where conditions in prisons are heart-breaking: overcrowded, filthy, disease-ridden and lacking in provisions for people’s basic needs. Especially for people who are imprisoned unjustly, it’s easy to fall into despair, waiting for justice that may never come. In these dark places, a clean change of clothes, food, basic medicine and a message of hope mean so much. Our mission partner is hoping to start working among male prisoners soon – please pray that A will be able to put his call into action. Pray also for local partners in India C and R, who help run life skills courses for prisoners so that they can find work after they are released.

Week three: Africa

Please pray for local partner Rachel Karanja in Kenya. After her youngest brother, a pastor, spent time in prison for a crime he had not committed, Rachel committed herself to making regular visits to support prisoners, praying with them and encouraging them. She also advocates for justice on their behalf with government authorities.

Week four: Europe, the Middle East and North Africa

In north Africa, a CMS mission partner couple have taken time to visit expat prisoners, many of whom are all alone in a foreign country with nobody else to visit them. They bring small gifts of toiletries or clothing, they liaise with embassies on prisoners’ behalf, they pray with inmates and when possible, bring a message from the Bible. Please pray that God will touch prisoners’ hearts through this ministry. Pray also for refugees and asylum seekers held in detention centres in Malta and for CMS mission partners Doug and Jacqui Marshall as they work to help integrate refugees into Maltese society.

Week five: UK

Please pray for students and alumni of CMS’s Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course who are called to prison chaplaincy, to work with children and families of offenders and to help ex-offenders break cycles of crime in their lives and communities. Does your church have a ministry to prisoners? Please also pray for people involved in that this week.

Week six: All of us

As we look towards Holy Week and Easter, please pray that the truth and meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection will pierce the hearts of prisoners throughout the world, that they will find hope both behind and beyond bars and that this hope will transform their lives and their families lives, too. Knowing that Jesus spent some of his final hours on Earth with condemned criminals, pray for all of us in the CMS community as we consider what we might do in response to Jesus’ call to proclaim freedom to prisoners (Luke 4:18).

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