Heavenly Father, we come to you today Lord with thanksgiving. To give you thanks for all that you have done for us and all that you have given us. We thank you for your patience, your unconditional love, expressed by way of your Son, who died to save us. Thank you Lord. We thank you for all the prayers you have answered Lord. You heard our cries Father and you listen to our screaming hearts. You give us comfort when we are hurting and you give us understanding when we are confused. You help us Lord in whatever we need Father. We pray that we continue to listen to you Lord and not lean to our own understanding. We only see the now Father, but you see the future. You know what we need in the future, what we have to go through now to prepare us for it Lord and we thank you for it. We know that it will be better later on, even though we can’t see it now. We trust you Lord and believe that you and only you God will get us through any obstacles that come upon us. With us under your umbrella of protection we know that you are with us. We just thank you for it Father, and we pray oh God that you forgive us of our sins. Father all these things we pray in your Son Jesus name, Amen.
Prayer by: Judith Notice
I am excited because soon I will be a part of a prison ministry. Those who are not aware of what a prison ministry is, it is a mission for people who are willing to visit the prisons to share the gospel with those brothers and sisters who are incarcerated. I went the other day to meet with the Chaplain and he gave me the opportunity to tour the facility and I was able to meet some of the brothers there. I did not get to sit with them as long as I wanted to, but it was long enough to introduce myself, and shake some hands. I was in awe of the passion and humility that these brothers had. What was also amazing was the love they had for the Chaplain. Here we have a bunch of big, muscled up men listening attentively like little babies to this man who was 3 times less their size. I would admit, even I was captivated by his way of expressing the word of God. Before I left the facility, we went to a part of the prison for those who are awaiting trial for crimes that will result in heavy time. I shared my faith walk as they did theirs and I expressed by the Lord’s will I will be back there to fellowship with them. As stated before, their passion and humility amazed me, but something one brother did stood out the most. Even now, this morning, I am still moved by what he did. His name is Ackuma (if spelled right), and before I left, he asked if he could pray for me. The prayer that he prayed was a prayer of protection and covering. It is a prayer I pray when I pray for my family before they leave home.
I am a free man. Not only by Jesus, but because I am not physically confined. I was able to go home to be with my wife and kids. I have the opportunity to go shopping if I wanted to. I have the opportunity to go to a beach or theme park. If I wanted to call up some of my brothers, we could meet to go fishing. I have what this man does not have. He is left in there with C.O.’s (correction officers) dictating to him when he eats, sleeps, or play. He is left with a possibility of having to defend himself if another individual wants to take what is his. Family, he is in prison, yet he prayed with a sincere concern for me. His prayer indicated to me what his faith walk is really about. The bible states “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:6-7) He is a prayer warrior. He puts his trust in God and it stays with Him. He understood that although his body is confined, his mind does not have to be, and he knows in his heart that prison does not make it the end for him. It is not over for him. His countenance displayed a peace that only a believer can comprehend and that is that peace that is beyond our human comprehension. Amen!
Family I am telling you if this brother can see pass his circumstance, and still believe that God is faithful then I encourage you to do the same. I understand you may feel that no one understands what you are going through, but I implore you to make your prayers known to God, and you will not have to worry about that situation. I understand that every time you take two steps forward, something causes you to move four steps backwards. Give it to God and wait and see. Your unfavorable situation is not the end for you. In Christ we can do all things, because when we are weak He strengthens us (Php 4:13). Even as recent, another brother was kicked out of an apartment he was sharing with someone, and had no indication of a job in sight. It was said he was sleeping at airports. He did not call it quits. He did not say it was over. He trusted God. In weeks, God sent him help. He was able to stay at a hotel for week, and when that is up, he will have a furnished apartment ready for him with a deposit made already. Not one dime came out of his pocket. He did not let the obvious circumstance cause his faith to waiver. He did not tell himself this is it. Because of his faith, he is in a good position. Oh, and he now has a job. Oh God is good!!!
Family, that inmate and that brother who was briefly homeless, did not let their circumstance dictate it was the end for them. They remembered the God who they serve and they believed in the teachings of Christ. Because they said it is not over, God in Jesus’ name made sure it was not over. Don’t let your circumstance cause you to give up. God is still in control, and He is still in the blessing business. It is not over for that incarcerated brother, it was not over for that homeless brother, and it does not have to be over for you. Amen? Amen!