Prayer and Prisons Week: 9th-15th October
Prisons Week this year is being held from 9th – 15th October and I would like to encourage as many as possible in the church to pray for all those affected by imprisonment. There are currently around 85,000 men, women and children in our prisons with many, many more affected by the crime and hurt that these people represent. It was recently estimated for example that 200,000 children were affected by having a parent in prison.
As we grow in faith and realise just how much God loves each one of us, just how great is his mercy in forgiving, nurturing and encouraging us; then we find that we ourselves become more able to show mercy to others and to ask God to show yet more towards us. We know we could always do better and although God calls us to perfection, only God is perfect. In this Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, ‘Lord, have mercy’ is the shared, common prayer for Prisons Week, putting us all on holy ground and an equal footing as we draw closer to Jesus, the ‘face of the Father’s mercy’. Please do consider how you as a church may be able to engage in prisons week this year.
You could order prayer leaflets / posters for your church, with prayers for each day of the week from www.prisonsweek.org
You could possibly invite a local prison chaplain to visit your congregation to share their experience of prayer at work,
You could hold a special service to raise awareness of all those affected by imprisonment
Whatever you do, let me encourage you to pray. Prayer changes lives, and we can all cry out, for ourselves and for all those affected by prison, Lord, have mercy.