Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; at the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak of the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison. Colossians 4:2-3
As the women entered the classroom for our Tuesday night prayer service at the jail, I noticed that many of them had been crying. As the service began, one of the women interrupted and asked if we could pray for Heather back in the pod. She had just received word that her five year old son, Matthew, had been killed in an automobile accident with a foster family.
Losing a child has to be one of the most devastating experiences a parent could face, but my God, the thought of being in jail and losing your child while in foster care would be unbearable. As we began to pray for Heather and Matthew, the door of the classroom opened and one of the guards asked if there was someone who could speak with Heather. Deacon Roger left with the guard to minister to her as the service continued.
I can’t remember much about the service, except that everyone was attentive and prayerful.
As we finished the service the back doors of the classroom opened, and there was Deacon Roger along with Heather. Immediately, without any discussion, everyone jumped to their feet and went to their sobbing fellow inmate.
In the midst of the tears, I asked if we could all pray for her and her son, Matthew. They 12 women in orange jumpsuits and our ministry team laid hands on Heather and we prayer for her and her son. Believe me, it was a moving experience.
You see, even in jail, God calls us to be a light for others. If all of our freedoms are taken away, we can still pray and be a blessing to those around us. We talk about this often at the jail, and you might be surprised how many inmates take this to heart.
At every service we offer a chance for intercessions, and the inmates respond with prayer requests for parents, grandparents, children and other inmates. They even pray for the success of our ministry. You know, the prayers of prisoners are very powerful. Need proof, just look at what the Apostle Paul accomplished with prayer while he was in prison.