The fruit of the Spirit are key to Prison Fellowship’s work – and none more so than faithfulness. Faithfulness is one fruit I see in abundance time and time again in our volunteers and supporters. It is evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It says we are reliable and trustworthy which is important when supporting prisoners and volunteering in prisons. This is all part of the vison of cultivating a servant heart and supporting prison chaplaincies with our valued-based programmes.
Thankfully, through 2020 and despite the pandemic we were able to offer all of our programmes in some way. Let’s give thanks and praise to God that Angel Tree, Sycamore Tree and Letter Link have all been available in prisons now for many years. And this last year, we added Prayer Line and – for the time being – a weekly Bible Study.
It’s not so much about success. It’s about PF, its volunteers and supporters faithfully offering and sustaining the programmes that makes the difference. Mother Teresa once said, ‘I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness.’ It is your faithfulness that’s has enabled PF to continue our vital ministry for over 40 years.
Covering this vital work are your prayers! We know that local groups have continued to meet albeit online, praying for the Prayer Line requests, for those in prison, for those who work in the criminal justice sector, for other charities, for prison staff and for the volunteers and our support team. This is God’s faithfulness, working through his children.
‘First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.’ – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
The faithfulness of the PF volunteers and prison chaplains has always inspired me, given me strength, and encouraged me. I have learnt so much from them all! For me, the best training you can receive is to get alongside people of God and serve the Lord.
‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ – Proverbs 27:17
It is good to remember God’s faithfulness after a challenging year. We see evidence of this throughout the scriptures and on the cross. Remind your heart on a daily basis of His faithfulness. We can never rejoice in Him enough. God is our one comfort, our hope, and our promised victory! So, as we start this new year, do continue to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Because He is faithful, we can trust in Him with total confidence
I want to leave you with some words from Smith Wigglesworth: ‘I believe that there is only one way to all the treasures of God, and that is the way of faith. By faith and faith alone do we enter into a knowledge of the attributes and become partakers of the beatitudes, and participate in the glories of our ascended Lord. All His promises are Yea and Amen to them that believe.’
Stephen Hawkins is Prison Fellowship’s Operations Manager
Download the January Prayer Diary, with a prompt each day for how we can pray for our prisons and our ministries.
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