Prison is a lonely place, a place where many suffer from depression and hopelessness. For those who are locked in a cell for twenty-four hours a day, life can be extremely dreary. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to talk with these desperate men and pray with them. In the darkest hours of life, Jesus is walking the halls and reaching out to prisoners. Chaplains have a wonderful opportunity to help inmates find their way to God.
It is a joy to give Bibles to men who are asking for help. In our last chapel service the volunteer who was leading the service asked if anyone wanted a Bible. At the end of the service a young, sad-looking man asked me for a Bible, and I was able to put a copy of Free on the Inside from LifeLight Ministries into his hands. What a privilege to give a Bible to a young man searching for hope!
The stories the inmates share of an abusive childhood break one’s heart. No wonder so many young people get into trouble and end up in prison! Through God’s Word they can find hope and purpose in life. There really is a God who values them! Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, including those wayward souls who sit behind prison walls.
I was in prison and you came to visit me (Matthew 25:36). Remember those in prison as if you were in prison with them. And remember those who are treated badly as if you yourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).
Pray for those behind prison walls. Pray that God will open their hearts to His Word and save them.
Chaplain Earl Cathers