The Prisons Week Prayer - Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.
God of hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit, bring strength and encouragement to all those in prison. Sustain and support them as they seek to survive and grow into the new life offered to all in Christ. Bring them true repentance and a new start, support their hopes, calm their fears, and be present as they press on seeking redemption and release from the past, and courage and inspiration for the future. Lord, in hope we turn to you.
Additional resources for Monday
God of hope, be present with all those who have become the victims of crime. Pour out your Holy Spirit into lives broken and distorted by the actions of others. Surround those in distress with your love, and the love of friends and family. Restore strength and confidence, build resilience, bring healing and peace as they press on, and out of sorrow bring joy. Lord, in hope we turn to you.
Additional resources for Tuesday
God of hope, in you we find wholeness and peace, forgiveness and new life. Send your Spirit to heal damaged and broken relationships. Support and restore all those who have been wounded and affected by the consequences of crime to fullness of life. Rebuild hope and trust, that pressing on in faith, a sense of recovery becomes possible. Lord, in hope we turn to you.
Additional resources for Wednesday
- Will you be given a second chance at work?
- Will a local landlord trust you enough to offer you a tenancy?
- What will be the reaction from people in your church?
Where communities keep people returning from prison at arms-length and continue to judge them, it can feel paralysing.
However, it does not have to be this way.
Where people in the community are able to look past a criminal record and see the potential beyond this, a fresh start becomes possible.
In this way, change after prison becomes a responsibility for all of us, in whatever community settings we are involved in.
What kind of communities do we want to be?
God of hope, teach us to be good neighbours, your Spirit enabling all those who work to build community, make connections, develop networks and include the other. We remember those who struggle for inclusion and long for acceptance and affirmation. Teach us to be gentle with one another, to press on recognising our brothers and sisters in all their diversity as fellow members of your family, made in your image and worthy of all reverence and respect. Lord, in hope we turn to you.
Additional resources for Thursday
God of hope, keep hope alive in the difficult and stressful jobs in our prisons. Help those who work with the difficult and distressed to press on confidently, that by the power of your Holy Spirit your light will shine in the dark places. Give grace and strength, to all those who work and volunteer in our prisons to support one another and to give of their best to those in their care. Lord, in hope we turn to you.
Additional resources for Friday
- Arrested by the police on the street (or in a raid), perhaps saving them from the beating that they might have had from a co-defendant.
- The Crown Prosecution Service determined that there was a good chance of a conviction in their case so decided to prosecute.
- A solicitor or barrister goes to Court with them to defend them
- The court found them guilty or they pleaded guilty, and the magistrates and the judges decide that only custody was the right sentence
At every stage, there were concerned individuals trying ‘to get it right’, to make the right decisions, to balance justice with mercy, to protect the defendant and the community.
God of hope, generous and merciful, gracious and strong, pour out your Holy Spirit on all those who work to administer justice. Give them your wisdom and discernment so that their decisions might be the best possible, give them the energy and enthusiasm to press on and to meet the needs of offender, victim and society for justice and for restoration. Lord, in hope we turn to you.