As the United Kingdom went into lockdown in March, we asked God how best we could continue to come alongside those in our prisons while not being with them physically.
I am pleased to tell you, that after much intercession and discussion, one of the answers to our prayers is Prayer Line. This brand new service allows anyone in prison to call a free number and leave a confidential message with their personal prayer request. Our team of volunteers then commits to pray for each person who calls on that day and during the following month.
I believe that prayer is a privilege and especially so when we bring the requests of those in prison before our Heavenly Father.
Do I pray out of duty? Or because that’s what “good Christians do”? If so, then praying becomes a chore, another item on my to-do list, or one more expectation that I’m not quite meeting—and it completely misses the point.
You see, when we pray out of desire for relationship with God and love for others and not obligation, cherishing our time together with God, this will be reflected in the genuine nature of our words and thoughts. Our prayers become heart cries for those we love—those we kneel alongside in prison.
In her book God Is Building A House, recounting the early beginnings of Prison Fellowship, our founder, Sylvia Mary Alison, wrote, “Initially, Prison Fellowship was not allowed involvement within the prisons and was told that all they could do was pray. We have never regarded prayer as a ‘consolation prize’ but instead as a great privilege.
Praying for those in prison is indeed a great privilege!
Since we launched Prayer Line six weeks ago, many prisoners have already made use of the service. These men and women have chosen to share their needs with us. Not through obligation, but through a belief that prayer really can change their lives, and those of their families. And through a genuine desire to make that change.
Isn’t this exciting? Chaplain General, Rev James Ridge, certainly thinks so. He shares: “Prayer Line enables a more active and immediate participation in prayer—prisoners can know that their concerns are being shared safely and confidentially by faithful, prayerful Christians. This is a wonderful facility which will help to remind prisoners that they are loved by God and that His Church is praying with them and for them.
And you too can play your part in Prayer Line. Prayer requests from our prisons will be shared in our monthly Prayer Diary, which you can sign up to receive here.
Please could I also ask you to consider making a donation today? This is a bold time to be launching a new programme, yet we strongly believe that we have been guided by God to do so. It costs just £20 for 15 prisoners to call Prayer Line and to ask us to pray for their needs.
Make a one-off donation
turning it to us. Thank you so much for your generosity!