Those in prison need strong prayers at a time when they are often incapable of praying for themselves. This prayer for those in prison using Scripture can be prayed by family members, congregations, prison outreach groups and intercessors.
Prayer for Those in Prison Using Scripture
Dear Heavenly Father, we pray your love and mercy for those who are in prison that your love might reach them through whatever means you choose to use. We can’t imagine the dark, sorrowful, desperate paths that have lead up to this period of the life for those in prison, yet we know that even darkness is not dark to you. (Psalm 139:12)
You see our brothers and sisters in prison as your beloved child. You knew them before they were born, you saw them in the secret place in their mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13, 15, 16) The angels rejoiced at their birth, and your guardian angels stood by, waiting and hoping for a chance to be called by their prayers of need to aid them in their hour of decision. (Matthew 18:10)
Father, we know that deep healing needs to take place in their lives for the scars they bear from a life that wasn’t kind or fair, a mental disease that wasn’t manageable or treated properly, a temper that never knew the bounds of discipline, an addiction that never let go before it consumed them, a group of friends who were wiling companions on the path to destruction, a loved one who was abusive and violent, a life situation so desperate that it would break the best o f us, a heart so calloused that it could no longer see others with respect.
When we look at the history of our friends in prison, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by their challenges and the barriers to their inner freedom. Yet you are the one who says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) So we boldly pray that Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life will be given access to their imprisoned heart, soul and mind. (John 14:6)
It says of Jesus, “A bent reed he will not break off.” (Isaiah 42:3) You, Oh Lord, did not come to condemn those who already feel rightly condemned, but rather you came that they might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 3:17, John 10:10)
It also says in your word, “Therefore, there is now on condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1,2 New International Version)
You say, “Behold I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5 King James Version) And you say, “If anyone is in Christ Jesus he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!” (( 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) You say, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)
You are our loving Savior who on the cross and in mortal pain yourself said to the dying thief being executed justly for his many sins, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43 NIV) All the thief had to do was to look with pained eyes toward you, the suffering savior and ask with faith that defied the utterly impossible circumstances, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42 NIV)
You also say in your word in Psalm 107: “Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for me, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” (Psalm 107; 10-16 NIV)
Our brothers and sisters in prison are behind literal bars of iron, but they are also behind bars of inner bondage to the things that have brought them to commit crimes against others. We pray about the forces of evil that seek to continue to hold and eventually destroy these dear ones. We claim, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (John 4:4 NIV)
We bind Satan and all of his evil plans, worked both through our dear ones and in them. We declare the evil one as the thief, robber, liar and murderer who is the father of all transgression. (John 8:44) We bind Satan, we cast him and his demons out, and we loose the power o f the Holy spirit in the dear ones he has so long help captive to his evil desires. (Matthew 18:18)
We pray for your protecting grace for our brothers and sisters in prison from harassment, threats of violence and from the evil influence of fellow inmates. We pray your protection around their bodies, minds, souls and spirits. (Psalm 91)
We now declare them the children of God that they were born and the children of God that they are becoming through the shed power and blood of our strong Savior, Jesus Christ. We speak freedom, health, healing, wholeness, forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation, restoration, peace, truth and hope into their lives. We pray that instead of ashes their lives might be a garland of praise. (Isaiah 61:3) We pray for a blinding conversion experience as experienced by St. Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:1-22)
We travail in prayer, begging for your mercy, begging that this prison time will be an opportunity for you to reach our dear ones with your healing power.
We pray for the family members of those in prison, for the husbands, wives, parents, sons and daughters and grandparents. Encourage and strengthen them. Provide for their needs. Hear their prayers and comfort them daily.
We know that the road to recovery for our brothers and sisters in prison will not be an easy one, so we pray your special grace and help for this journey. Help them to find those who truly love them with the love of the Lord who will be mentors, friends and prayer partners on their journey of healing and wholeness. We pray especially for prison chaplains, social workers, caring family members, fellow inmates who are Christians and for Christian groups such as Kairos and other prison fellowships that minister to those who are incarcerated. May they bear your strong love to many.
May healing begin today and continue on step by step all of the days of their lives. We pray in the strong and powerful blood of Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior and Lord. Amen.
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Copyright Karen Barber 2014. All rights reserved.