Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show Your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
This prayer from Sir Francis Drake has been challenging me recently! I am challenged at how often we tend to think we have arrived in our Christian lives when in reality we haven’t. How often we tend to lose our thirst and zeal to be more like Christ and how our vision of heaven has a tendency to grow dim. So often we hang up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door of our lives because we don’t like our comfort, safety and status quo living being interrupted by the turbulence of big dreams, the deep waters of radical obedience, the rough seas of suffering, and the dark nights of uncertain adventures.
Pray this week that the Christians inside of prison would be disturbed, that they would not lose their thirst for the waters of life and would step out with courage, having placed their faith in God. Pray that while on this sanctification journey that they would open their eyes and identify those “smooth sailing” areas of their lives. Pray that the Church inside of prison will become more like Christ and be a radiant light to the rest of the population.
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. Psalms 145:7-9
Each Wednesday I attend an inmate led chapel service at prison. I would like to request prayer for our inmate led service tonight. Pray for the inmates who will be leading out in worship and the teaching of the word on Thursday. Pray that they would seek to decrease so that God can increase. Pray that everything would run smoothly and that God would be glorified! Pray that lives would be touched both nights and changed for eternity.
And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. Jeremiah 29:7
This verse is part of a letter written by the Prophet Jeremiah to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. He directs them to seek the good of the country where they were captives and to pray for it.
I have used this verse on several occasions at prison to encourage the men there to seek the good for the prison and to pray for peace therein. There are hard days inside of prison and I would like to request all of you to join us in this same prayer! Pray for peace the cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension. Pray for the safety of all the inmates and officers at the prison! Pray that ultimately God would be glorified and men’s lives would be changed for eternity.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
This is my prayer this week as I continue to lead out in ministry! I want to encourage you to join me in this prayer! This should be our goal, to be used by God to bring peace to others. Jesus said this would be a common characteristic of God’s children. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” This week as we go forth as God’s children let us seek to bring peace and introduce Jesus to the troubled soul!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior, I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. Isaiah 43:2-5
Let’s pray this week for the men housed in the infirmary at St. Clair Correctional Facility. Pray that these men would spend their time seeking God and that they would be comforted in this time. Pray that they would not be overwhelmed with fear but rather rest in the knowledge that God is with them and has not forsaken them. Pray for physical, mental and spiritual healing in their lives. Pray for those on their death bed with cancer and many other diseases, that their hearts would be turned heavenward.
Pray for the Doctor and nurses who work daily to take care of these men, give them the wisdom of what is needed for their care. Pray for Jeremy as he visits the infirmary twice weekly, sharing the good news of the Gospel, praying and visiting with these men.
The families of the incarcerated are our prayer focus this week. For many it is their father that went to prison and when a father goes to prison they often experience a financial void in the family. Pray that they would have adequate housing and be able to keep their home in good repair and have nutritious food to eat and adequate clothing. Pray that they would be able to obtain the appropriate medical care they need and have assistance available from a variety of community resources. Pray that would be able to recover from loss of income and have employment that pays enough to meet their financial needs. Pray that they would have the opportunity to enhance their educational and vocational skills and be able to manage their financial resources with wisdom.
Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Noticing our inability to accomplish anything good outside of God is key to surrendering our lives and hearts to Him. Prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.
With that in mind I would like to ask to for the 192 residents in the Faith Based Honor Dorm this month. Pray that their hearts would be opened to the Gospel and their lives would be surrendered to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pray that they would seek to live peacefully among each other and be respectful to those in leadership positions. Pray for the 8 Dorm Representatives and 12 Crew Coordinators who make sure that the program runs smoothly. Pray for Jeremy as he continues leading the program according to the Department of Corrections regulations and the goal of seeing lives changed for eternity. Pray ultimately for Gods will to be done, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Let’s pray this week for the men at St. Clair Correctional Facility to grow in godly attributes. That they would seek out and abides the true vine, Jesus. Pray that they would respect the authority of the prison staff and be able to control their temper. Pray that their lives would exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, forbearing with one another, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Pray that they would experience genuine remorse for the harm they have caused their victims, and that they would seek to make amends as appropriate and possible.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
Our finite knowledge gets tested when we come to the subject of prayer. There are times we know what to pray for, and at times we do not. It is in such times that we do not know that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.
This week I don’t have any Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, Time specific (aka SMART) prayer requests so please let the Holy Spirit guide you in your prayers for the ministry at St. Clair Correctional Facility.
Psalms 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
We do ask for your prayers as we continue to serve in prison ministry. Pray that Jeremy would continue to foster healthy relationships with the inmates by sharing encouragement and friendship, while understanding the urgency of sharing the Gospel message with those who are not yet following Christ. Pray that he would help nurture personal growth and holiness to those who have surrendered their lives to following Christ, by mentoring them and offering spiritual guidance. Pray as he continues to teach and facilitate Biblical studies and practical life skills, to have an emphasis on preparing inmates for successful re-entry into society and a deeper communion with our God. Pray for our family as we continue seeking to serve God, wherever He places us!