Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 4/08/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hooray! Spring finally decided to show up- it’s supposed to hit 76° today! We also had a decent day for eclipse-viewing yesterday with my son in Manayunk. I’ve attached the best picture I took before we got completely clouded over.  Absolutely stunning – the architectural magnificence and grandeur of God’s planetary creation on display for the world to see.

 

Then last night we got to minister among his greatest creation – people – particularly those seeking Him from the confines of a prison cell. Two very distinct services, both very meaningful to those who came out.  Psalm 130 was our scripture to kick off the prayer time:

 

From the depths of despair, O Lord,

    I call for your help.

Hear my cry, O Lord.

    Pay attention to my prayer.

 

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,

    who, O Lord, could ever survive?

But you offer forgiveness,

    that we might learn to fear you.

 

I am counting on the Lord;

    yes, I am counting on Him.

    I have put my hope in His word.

I long for the Lord

    more than sentries long for the dawn,

    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

 

O Israel, hope in the Lord;

    for with the Lord there is unfailing love

    and an overflowing supply of salvation.

He himself will free Israel

    from every kind of sin.

 

Erwin got right to the point in 1st service – Why the Gospel? And Why does it matter? He explained how sinful man can be reconciled to a Holy God only through the one perfect sacrifice worthy to pay the penalty – Jesus Christ. The only true Gospel comes from God and centers on the Lord Jesus Christ who did all the work, nothing we do can possibly earn salvation- we are saved by grace through faith.  Many false gospels tell a different story, but Jesus claimed “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) and there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).

 

2nd service was very intimate with only a few inmates attending, so we adopted a small group format with lots of interaction. Marty taught the parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20, explaining the 4 heart conditions in response to God’s Word. Hard hearts (the path) believe false gospels or just don’t care. Rocky soil displays personal shallowness focused on appearance vs substance, all about me vs. faith (all about Him).  Thorny soil puts worldly cares on equal footing with God’s will, consumed with worry and not seeing a bigger picture of salvation through grace by faith.  And finally fertile soil, yielding to God, absorbing and wanting more of His word, willing to share God’s love, and allow the Holy Spirit to grow His kingdom through us.

 

We get to interact directly with inmates, and follow-up prayer is every bit as important to promote their faith journey by lifting them up and the things they care about.  They know what you do for them and appreciate it greatly.  Let me add my thanks as well.  It’s an honor to serve in this ministry beside each one of you.

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Phil T– answered prayer for my granddaughter doing much better in school.
  • Eric– for civility and peace within my family, especially with Mom and Dad.  May I leave this facility in peace, and leave this tabernacle tonight in peace.
  • Boyd– to have faith on the street, and stay on track.
  • John– for God to give all believers courage to share Jesus and grow His Kingdom, for everyone’s families, for all those that pray for us, for the volunteers inside the prison, and for healing/restoration of my eye – pray I can get released early to get the eye surgery I need.
  • Glenn– thank you Jesus for what you did, and for wisdom and discernment.
  • Jess– my Mom is in hospice, my Dad has heart surgery Thursday, and for my wife Jessica.
  • Andy L– to be faithful and steady in prayer, and may God refresh and renew my prayer life which seems a bit stagnant lately.
  • Dan T– my brother in law with PhD, searching and knows the answer but unwilling to let go and yield to the Lord.  Pray for perfect timing, words, and opportunity for Dan to speak into it.
  • Josh– the criminal justice system and this place need integrity – the people need to try harder.
  • Jose– salvation for Rony and Francisco. And for friend Tim’s 5 children who are lost.
  • Ulysses– family, my children, my court date on May 6, and to get answers from my lawyer.
  • Rick C– for my friend Jimmy who had emergency appendectomy surgery, and my friend Herb feeling very overwhelmed lately.  Also for our friend Morgan to accept his Christian retirement location.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Clarence– for the volunteers who come out and bring us the Word, my family, closure with my situation- I’ve been here a year without knowing what’s going on, court dates keep slipping, etc.,  Lord strengthen me and keep me spiritually grounded, keep working on me, and for the men on the block who didn’t make it out tonight.
  • Mike– thanks for all you volunteers each week, for everyone in here, especially those who don’t know the Lord, for my 2 kids to be doing well even without me there, and for their Mom to accept Christ.  Pray for my parent’s health and all those with “unanswered” prayers.
  • Andy D– healing for my left eye, suffering extreme dryness issues, help me to remember the drops.
  • Rick C– for my daughter Ali, getting married in Fall, dealing with many pressures and feeling a heavy financial burden lately (due to employer paycheck mistakes), may God relieve the burden and may she and her fiancé sort through everything together in blessed union.
  • Matt– for Megan, wife of my coworker Shaun, being healed of stage 4 colon cancer, she seems ok but developed skin issues due to treatment.  I was real sick last week with viral stuff and double pink eye, need continued strength to lay my negative attitude and other things at His feet.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • For chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich to have another blessed week as they minister within Chester County Prison to the inmates, staff, and families connected to the prison.  And may the chaplaincy program continue to be looked upon with favor by the prison leadership.

 

  • We lift up the staff and leaders of Chester County Prison, and pray the Warden selection process installs the person God has already selected for that office.

 

  • Strength, healing, and wholeness for our brother Pastor Jack Crans as he faithfully serves amidst his late stage cancer.

 

  • Wisdom and open doors for Onesimus board in the search for new banquet location and catering services. 

 

  • For the hardworking prison staff, experiencing many shifts and long hours due to staff shortages.  May God refresh them and watch over their families.

 

  • Blessings upon the aftercare ministries taking on released inmates as they adapt to life outside of prison.  May the clients continue to build faithfully upon the foundation of Christ, and may each ministry volunteer experience refreshment and renewed strength in the Lord as they serve.  We pray these ministries would have all they need to continue to operate as long as God would have them do so.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

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Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 4/01/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We just celebrated the most significant Holy Days on the Christian Calendar, commemorating the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I pray you all had a wonderful weekend remembering and celebrating the empty tomb!  He is risen, He is risen indeed!

 

We reminded the men in Chester County prison of these significant events and their meaning at both services last night. Then we settled into our prayer time focusing on another excerpt from Psalm 119:

 

Teach me, O Lord,

    to follow every one of your principles.

Give me understanding and I will obey your law;

    I will put it into practice with all my heart.

Make me walk along the path of your commands,

    for that is where my happiness is found.

Give me an eagerness for your decrees;

    do not inflict me with a love for money!

Turn my eyes from worthless things,

    and give me life through your word.

Reassure me of your promise,

    which is for those who honor you.

Help me abandon my shameful ways;

    your laws are all I want in life.

I long to obey your commandments!

    Renew my life with your goodness. (Psalm 119:33-40)

 

Jose continued the Holy Week theme in first service with his message “Today you will be with me in paradise”, teaching how salvation came to Old Testament people through faith in the promised Christ as the sinless ultimate sacrifice.  It’s not all that different than today- we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus our Messiah, like the thief on the cross in Luke 23:32-43. His faith looked forward to King Jesus and fulfillment of His promise of paradise with the Lord forever. Christ’s intercession for us began on the cross and continues at the right hand of the Father.

 

In 2nd service, Matt gave a great object lesson on transformation with the “coffee bean story”, suggesting when we experience pressure, heat, and turbulent times (like a pot of boiling water), we can choose to be a carrot – getting soft and falling apart – or an egg – getting hardened throughout – or a coffee bean –  transforming our environment from the inside out.  He provided 5 life lessons from the story: 1) work out spiritually, mentally, and physically, watching what you feed yourself, 2) the secret to life is humility in servant leadership, 3) control what you think, say, feel, and do, 4) your past doesn’t define you, and 5) the importance of how you look – positive body language and attitude are contagious.

 

It was definitely another evening of encouraging the men in prison to seek eternal life with Christ and living a transformed life while we’re still here.  As always, we appreciate each one of you taking the time to lift up these men and their prayer requests below.  We hope serving these men draws you ever closer to our God and King.  Have a blessed week!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

PS- We still have 11 email addresses to manually add to each week’s email due to not accepting the group email invitation.  New invitations will be sent right after this email, if you receive one, please accept.  Thanks!

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Joshua– for friends.
  • John– safety for all the volunteers, for those who pray for us, our families, children, and for love, peace and harmony in here.  Also pray that brothers and sisters can put on the full armor of God.
  • Joseph– for all those not able to come out to the worship service tonight, and those upset over what is going on with their case.
  • Phil T– for my son-in-law Rob and his mom Evelyn – Rob’s Uncle John is on a ventilator.
  • Jose– for Rony’s salvation and also dealing with addiction.  For salvation of Johannes and Benjamin.  For friend Tim whose 5 children are lost, but praise that 2 are showing some change.
  • Joshua– for the court system – seems like nobody knows what they’re doing.
  • Joe– for continued faith when out of here, discipline to stay in God’s Word, and thankful to God for getting the deal I wanted.
  • Phil– for Tony who had his hip replaced today.
  • Saunders– family of former employee Robert Auch, who also served at City Gate desk – He passed away recently.
  • Evan– for my kids, and all our kids who are missing us, pray their lives not impacted by our mistakes.
  • Rick C– for my friend Jen’s father- stroke recovery.  Also for my friend Jimmy who had emergency appendectomy surgery this morning.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– for all 5 of my daughters and my grandkids (several have birthdays coming up soon), my family at large, and my VOP (violation of parole) court date in Philly on Wednesday.  And for the strength to be not just a hearer of the Word, but doer of the Word.
  • Martin– for my successful and full recovery, my family, thankful for a letter from my 97 year old  grandmother, also thankful for my 1-1 session with volunteer Matt, and for all the volunteers who come in each week.
  • Harry– for those struggling with addiction and strongholds, pray the court goes well tomorrow – I’m leaving it totally in God’s hands – and for all of us to keep seeking the Lord and walking in faith.
  • Joshua– I’m supposed to be released tomorrow, pray I can find a good church in Oxford, and for my daughter, son, and family.
  • Jeremiah– for family, specifically for my niece in a bad situation.
  • Andy D– thankful for successful Easter service in Kerr Park, Downingtown, where we had over 245 guests.  Pray for those guests and for one woman (and potentially others) who said she’d never been to church before- may this be the first step of her faith journey towards Christ.
  • Ryan– for my sister Elizabeth struggling with addiction, I saw her for the 1st time in 2 years.  Pray she stays clean and comes to know the Lord, and may our relationship be healed.
  • Matt– for Megan, wife of my coworker Shaun, she has stage 4 colon cancer and was about ot be in hospice but just experienced a major turnaround – she has energy and eating again- praise God – pray for full healing.  Also pray for my wife who has anxiety with a job situation.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • Traveling mercies and a safe return of our brother Dan and his wife who are vacationing overseas.

 

  • God bless our wonderful chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich as they serve the inmates, staff, and families connected to Chester County Prison.  May they continue to bless everyone in their path.

 

  • For the leadership of Chester County Prison, and for the selection process for a new Warden – may the person God has fore-ordained be installed to the top office.

 

  • For Pastor Jack Crans as he continues to serve amidst his late stage cancer, may the Lord strengthen and restore him.

 

  • For guidance and open doors as Onesimus board members search out a new location and catering services for the annual banquet in October. 

 

  • For the prison staff working long hours due to staff shortages, may God bless them and their families with safety and refreshment.

 

  • For the volunteer organizations serving the aftercare needs of recently released women and men.  May these ministries have all they need to effectively witness and serve the needs of clients, and may all who come there be refreshed and experience significant growth on their faith journey.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

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Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/25/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, a quick housekeeping item- We’re implementing the new email address list “prison-ministry-prayer-requests@googlegroups.com" to manage all the email addresses receiving this weekly email.  Although google groups can be used as a discussion forum, we disabled most functions so this acts only as an email distribution list (in other words, I’m the only one who can send group emails). We have 13 people who haven’t accepted the group invitation, we’d appreciate if they could take care of that soon – thanks!

 

In the prison last night we had another wonderful evening of praise and worship, beginning with an excerpt from Psalm119 to help set the tone…

 

O Lord, listen to my cry;

    give me the discerning mind you promised.

Listen to my prayer;

    rescue me as you promised.

Let praise flow from my lips,

    for you have taught me your principles.

Let my tongue sing about your word,

    for all your commands are right.

Stand ready to help me,

    for I have chosen to follow your commandments.

O Lord, I have longed for your salvation,

    and your law is my delight.

Let me live so I can praise you,

    and may your laws sustain me.

I have wandered away like a lost sheep;

    come and find me,

    for I have not forgotten your commands. (Psalm 119:169-176)

 

In 1st service, Andy L took us on the Israelite’s journey as God led them to the doorstep of the promised land, where they blew it.  How?  They focused on obstacles and not promises, looking at the size of the enemy instead of the size of their God.  In other words, lack of faith.  God made them wait until that generation passed before they could claim the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The lesson- God has many blessings for us, we must trust Him and obey.  Don’t put it off, let God into your life today so you don’t miss out on all He has for you.  You will be blessed, and He will bless others through our obedience.

 

In 2nd service, Andy D took us back to the reign of King Ahab and wife Jezebel, who promoted worship of false gods like many wicked kings before them.  Elijah challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a sacrifice showdown- each will prepare a bull but call on their god to set fire to the offering, and everyone agreed to serve the one who brought fire.  After hours of no response from Baal, Elijah rebuilt The Lord’s altar, had his sacrifice drenched 3 times with water, and called upon The Lord.  Immediately fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice, the altar, the dust, and even the water, proving once again that The Lord is the one true God.

 

Like Elijah, our goal each week is to show inmates the true and living God.  And remind them how Jesus said blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed – that’s us!

 

Blessings are truly in store for all who believe, trust, and obey like you do each week – God promised in His Word that by doing so you are building up treasures in heaven.  Let me add my gratitude for your partnership in this ministry.  Your prayers for prisoners and their families continue to rise to heaven as a pleasing aroma to our God.  I pray you have a wonderful Easter, remembering how our Savior went to the cross for each of us, trading us our sin debt for His righteousness, then rising as the first fruits of the resurrection leading to new life in Christ for each of us.  He is risen – He is risen indeed!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Monty– my unborn child due Sep 30, pray I can get out by then to be there.
  • Jamie– for my 8-year-old daughter, she’s really going through it.
  • John– for happiness (joy).
  • Chris– to get out soon, and to help me with the range of emotions day to day. I’m thankful I’m still alive, and my grandmom died about a month ago. [After we sang Blessed Assurance, he tearfully said that was her favorite song]
  • Phil T– a patient of my wife, his name is Sammy, having bad seizures after just being released from hospital.
  • Rick– an older friend is fearful he may have cancer.
  • Erwin– thankful my wife’s surgery went well.
  • Dan T– my brother-in-law with a PhD, just can’t let go of secular thinking, pray for the Holy Spirit to break through.
  • Andy L– my neighbor needs a kidney, and dialysis has been very hard for her.  One of her dogs attacked her, causing a broken arm in 3 places, then just yesterday she had an accident and flipped her truck.  Pray for this poor woman’s problems to be over.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– Pray for God to give me strength to carry on, I’m wavering and things are heavy.  Need to get past this present circumstance.  Pray for his wife Kaye to carry on, and all his children and grandchildren – lots of birthdays going on right now – they don’t understand, they miss him and are sad he is not with them. Pray for the whole world in this troublesome time.
  • Martin– Pray for his grandmother who just turned 97, his family, and for his recovery and placement in the rehab facility, that a bed will be available soon. Thankful for all the volunteers, and pray that his new Public Defender can be effective in getting him through the legal process.
  • Harry– For all of us in here, Pray for strength in all that he has to endure, for wisdom, and for his walk with the Lord.
  • Logan– Praise God for who He is and doing what He does.
  • Jeremiah– Pray for God’s blessing on all the members of his family, and that his Public Defender can provide a better offer in his court trial.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • Blessings of continued strength, endurance, compassion, and wisdom for God’s hands and feet in Chester County Prison – Chaplain Rhonda and Chaplain Heinrich, that they would continue to bless many residents, staff, and family members connected to the prison.

 

  • Continued favor in the eyes of prison leadership towards the chaplaincy program, and that God’s Word would continue to spread throughout the prison population beyond the volunteers and services. 

 

  • Please guide the board members in finding a new location and provision of food/catering for the annual banquet in October.  May God open doors to continue the annual celebration of this ministry.

 

  • Blessings on the staff and leadership at Chester County Prison, who work many shifts and long hours in the face of shortages.  We ask The Lord to watch over their families and bless their home lives.

 

  • For inmates suffering with illness or struggling with addiction – may the power of the Holy Spirit of God provide healing and wholeness.

 

  • We lift up those in the trenches of aftercare ministry, who meet daily with former inmates and their families, showing the love of Christ and helping guide them down the narrow path God wants all His followers on.  May these ministries have all the resources they need to serve effectively.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

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Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/18/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our springtime weather may have turned bitter cold lately, but the Son is still shining brightly inside Chester County Prison.  Our ministry teams had another great night of sharing Christ’s love and bringing the Word of God to inmates at our weekly 7pm and 8:30pm services.

 

Prayer time in 1st service kicked off with praises and promises in Psalm 107:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

    His faithful love endures forever.

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!

    Tell others he has saved you from your enemies.

For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,

    from east and west, from north and south.

 

Some wandered in the desert,

    lost and homeless.

Hungry and thirsty,

    they nearly died.

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,

    and he rescued them from their distress.

He led them straight to safety,

    to a city where they could live.

Let them praise the Lord for his great love

    and for all His wonderful deeds to them.

For he satisfies the thirsty

   and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:1-9)

 

Troy took 2nd service prayer time in a new direction by asking for volunteers to pray on each request collected, which turned out beautifully as God’s people earnestly sought Him through prayers for others.

 

Dan began the 1st service message with personal testimony of coming to faith before introducing the related topic “Was Jesus really who He claimed to be?”  Multiple Biblical texts reveal Jesus did in fact claim to be one with the Father, thereby claiming to be God incarnate. Then numerous Old Testament prophesies of the coming Messiah were matched with New Testament passages showing how Jesus fulfilled them all.  Finally, Dan reasoned deductively if Jesus really rose from the dead as He claimed He would, proving the claim true.  And now that we know these things to be true, what holds anyone back from believing?

 

Ryan’s 2nd service message focused on Jesus as our friend.  True friends are a gift, blessing us through dedication, care, and love for us.  What’s it mean for God to be our friend?  John 15 reminds us there’s no greater love than laying down one’s life for friends, and we are His friends if we do what He commands. Dedication and commitment are a 2-way street among friends.  Jesus made the distinction between us as friend versus servant, wanting to draw us closer to Himself, and wanting us to spend time with Him to know Him better. God’s not distant, He’s right here and not going anywhere – invest in the best relationship ever!

 

We also call each of you friend, and appreciate your dedication to prayer for the men, women, and families connected to Chester County Prison.  I pray you are blessed each week as you are definitely a blessing to the inmates – they tell us all the time.  Have a wonderful week, may our God bless you richly!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Joshua– family
  • John– safe travels for volunteers and for their families.  WE look forward to Monday night services each week.  Pray for those who pray for us, and pray for peace from wars, fires, earthquakes, violence, murder in our world.  Pray for inmate families and that we could all put on the full armor of God.
  • Warren– family, health and safety for our families and all of us here, leniency in my upcoming court appearance, and to keep the faith.
  • Andy L– my family, I have 2 family members with debilitating back pain that causes them to not be mobile.
  • Jose G– salvation for Rony who struggles with alcoholism.
  • Warren– for faith and for all those around us.
  • Dan T– my brother-in-law, struggling to let go of head knowledge and open his heart to Christ.
  • Rick C– older friend Milt who is scared he has same cancer that took his wife a few years ago.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– for my wife Kay in Georgia, I got to speak with her on Friday during daughter Brianna’s 11th birthday – call really lifted my spirits, also spoke to my mother-in-law and sister. Thankful for prayers, they are definitely working, pray for my other family members, my 5 daughters, family at large, and the whole wide world.
  • Jeremiah– for my children, especially my daughter who is having a rough time.
  • Harry– my court date on April 2, my relationship with fiancé Sonya, and for everyone in here.
  • Josh– thanks for volunteers that come out each week, pray for safety and covering.
  • Andy D– my friend Millard has stage 4 prostate cancer and his first round of chemo making him sick, pray for his physical comfort and an open door to share the Gospel with him.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • As always, we pray God’s covering and continued blessing on Chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich as they  serve the inmates, staff, and families connected to Chester County Prison.  We ask for empowerment of the Holy Spirit in their ministry, and they would continue to find favor among the officers and leadership at the prison.

 

  • For inmates who are ill or suffering with addiction – we ask for God’s healing touch upon them.

 

  • For the health and wellbeing of our brother Jack Crans, still laboring mightily for the Gospel in the midst of his cancer.

 

  • For peace among inmates, among staff members, and within every interaction between inmates and staff.  May respect and compassion rule the day.

 

  • For aftercare ministries that serve men and women recently released from prison, helping them build new lives on the foundation of Christ. Bless them with new identity as children of the King, and bless the ministries with all they need to effectively serve our great God in the ways He’s gifted them.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

 

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Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/11/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last night was our first attempt in returning to different volunteer teams for the 7:00PM and 8:30PM services, and it was mostly successful with a few improvement opportunities (as expected).  Each service also showcased a new element – In the first service, Jose debuted his musical talents leading us through worship time with his guitar, and the second service got to hear from our newest volunteer Bill as he delivered his first-ever message.  The men in both services were blessed as a result.

 

I appreciate Erwin stepping in to cover 1st service prayer time since it was my week to give the message.  In 2nd service, we kicked off prayer time praising God through Psalm 106:

 

Praise the Lord!

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

    His faithful love endures forever.

Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?

    Who can ever praise him enough?

Happy are those who deal justly with others

    and always do what is right.

 

Remember me, too, Lord, when you show favor to your people;

    come to me with your salvation.

Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.

    Let me rejoice in the joy of your people;

    let me praise you with those who are your heritage. (Psalm 106:1-5)

 

My message in 1st service centered on how one gets to heaven.  Most people hold an unsure hope of heaven by being a good person.  Jesus Himself told us in John14, and several other Bible passages we reviewed all concur it is by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.  But what exactly does it mean to ‘believe in the Lord Jesus’? It means we believe in His Lordship (He is God), believe who He claimed to be, believe all He said is true, believe in His promises, and show we believe by doing what He said to do – namely, to love one another and to spread the Good News by making disciples wherever we go.

 

Bill used numerous Bible passages in the 2nd service to give us the Good News.  We studied John 3 where Jesus explained to Nicodemus how we must be born again to see the Kingdom of God, eventually landing on the ultimate verse on salvation – John 3:16. Bill supplied visual aids as he taught about taking on Jesus’ easy yoke and finding rest for our souls in Mathew 11. Then he drove it home by walking through Psalm 23 verse-by-verse, illustrating it’s richness through the underlying Greek.

 

It’s such a blessing to serve alongside these men each week.  We all learn from one another, and the inmates usually remark to us each week how they are blessed by what we do out there.  We are thankful that God gives us these opportunities and supplies all our needs.  And we remain thankful for each of you and how you bless the inmates at Chester County Prison each and every week through your prayers.  The men covet your prayers and are so appreciative that brothers and sisters they don’t even know care enough to pray for them.  God bless you for your servant hearts!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Nathan– for my court date, and other court dates coming up, and pray for those going through trials.
  • Isaac– my son (Isaac) has his 16th birthday this week and I’m not there for him.
  • Phil T– for Kim Rose, whose 8 year old daughter just died.  And for the new split-team approach to Monday night services that all goes well, and for the newer volunteers in the 2nd service.
  • Jose G– for the salvation of Benjamin and Johannes, children of Kim and Annette.
  • Phil– my daughter Brooke and her kids, that they would believe and walk with the Lord.
  • Andy L– for my neighbor who is a single Mom, her husband abandoned her and the kids, praying for wisdom and that she can make wise decisions.
  • Rick– for inmate John’s eyes, that he can get proper care before losing his sight.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– for my wife Kay in Georgia, my daughters Brianna (will turn 11 on Friday) and Brielle, all my children and my family at large, and the whole wide world.  Thankful for volunteers who freely give up their evenings to come serve us in prison.  Also for Jeremiah, give him strength as he’s been in here 38 months and they keep pushing back his court dates over and over for silly reasons.
  • Martin– my family, and praise God I’m in recovery house next month, praying for a successful recovery plan.  It’s my father’s birthday today, also pray for my grandmother turning 98 next week, and for my girlfriend and her kids.
  • Harry– for my fiancé Sonya, and for her to make right decisions, and for all of us in here to make right decisions, and that we can all rely on God as a crutch (we talked before the service how a crutch actually helps when something broken).
  • Mark– praise, honor, and glory to God!  Pray for my family, I really miss them, and for upcoming court date.  Thankful for my public defender Mariah who seems like she really wants to help.  Pray for my situation, incarceration is not going to help me.  Pray I can get a new job in the kitchen to keep me occupied, and that I can see my counselor soon.  Also want to lift up all the men and women in prison and pray we can all leave the prison mindset alone and just be real with one another.
  • Rick C– for my friend Scott’s son (Justin) hospitalized with a serious brain virus. Also for inmate Logan and his 21-year-old daughter (Raina) fighting stage 4 cancer.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • For quick healing/recovery of our brother Dan who normally leads the 1st service.  He stayed home as not to spread his ‘killer’ cold among the prison population.

 

  • We ask God’s continued blessing and provision upon Chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich serving the inmates, staff, and families connected to Chester County Prison.  May they truly feel the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of God as they minister and encourage people throughout each day.  And may their personal lives also be blessed.

 

  • For those in prison suffering from illness or infirmities, may they receive a healing touch from our great God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

 

  • We continue to lift up before the throne of grace our friend and co-laborer for the sake of the Gospel Pastor Jack Crans.  May almighty God restore his strength and bring healing to his body.

 

  • Lord please grant your peace within the prisons, between inmates and between corrections staff and inmates.  May every interaction be filled with mutual respect and empathy for what the other may be going through.

 

  • God bless the aftercare ministries that serve released inmates as they seek to change primary identity from ex-convict to child of the King.  May each client build upon the firm foundation of Christ and experience life change through the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit.  And Lord please bless all those serving in this ministry area, that they would have all they need to be effective.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Prayer Requests | Comments Off on Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/11/24

Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/4/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“History repeats itself” – before the prison shut down to volunteers due to covid, we had 2 teams – one for the 7pm service and one for the 8:30 service – often passing each other in the hallway.  After 3-1/2 years of shutdown, our volunteer pool shrunk to 6, requiring all to stay for both services.  If it was your week, preaching back-to-back services was the order of the day.  Then God blessed the ministry with new volunteers, forcing a return to 2 teams as not to overwhelm staff processing 10+ volunteers entering at one time.  Please pray for this time of adjustment as we reconfigure schedules to appease our hosts while not impacting the inmates we serve.

 

This week, our encouragement of the men began with Psalm 103 to kick off prayer time:

Praise the Lord, I tell myself;

    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, I tell myself,

    and never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

    and heals all my diseases.

He ransoms me from death

    and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

 

The Lord gives righteousness

    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

 

He revealed his character to Moses

    and his deeds to the people of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious;

    he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.

He will not constantly accuse us,

    nor remain angry forever.

He has not punished us for all our sins;

    nor does he deal with us as we deserve.

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him

    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us

    as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:1-12)

 

Phil’s message in the first service was all about wise choices, particularly where we place our faith. God gave us our faith along with the responsibility to grow it by spending time with God – in His Word, in worship, and in service – doing the things He wants us to do.  The alternative is sin which separates us from God and is entirely our choice.  God will never leave us or forsake us, and if He’s distant, we’re the ones who moved away from Him.  The best choice we can make is to invest everything we have and everything we are in His kingdom and for His glory.

 

Troy encouraged second service participants to hide God’s word in our hearts (Ps 119:11) through selecting our favorite verses and memorizing them – a necessary step to renew our minds and be transformed as Paul urged in Romans 12:2.  He shared a few favorite passages he’s memorized that get him through tough times, then circled around to Romans 10:9-10 discussing what is necessary to be saved. As we see in Luke 23, one thief crucified alongside Jesus didn’t go to church or accomplish a life of good works, he simply believed with a repentant heart in Jesus as the King of Kings and was assured his place in paradise.

 

Every week we encourage the men to make a decision for Christ if they haven’t already.  Jesus commands us to love one another, and showing the way to the King is the best way we can do that.  Another way is through persistent prayer for them – that’s where all of you come in.  It’s a privilege to serve alongside each of you on our God-given quest to grow His kingdom.  Thanks for all you do in support of this ministry and to glorify our great God.  May He pour out an extra blessing on you and your family this week.

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Nathan– for lenient judgement and short sentences for those of us facing that, and for forgiveness.
  • Dan– all of our children and our parents.
  • John– world peace, God’s comfort for everyone affected by tragedies in the world – sickness, wildfires, destruction, war. For my family, kids, grandkids, leniency and God’s mercy in court, and a second chance.
  • Junior– for my friend Antonio in court tomorrow, and all the upcoming court appearances.
  • Josh– that the probation officers could get a better perspective of prison life.
  • Ulysses– salvation.
  • John– thanks for the volunteers and everyone who prays for us, like the little old ladies in Lancaster.
  • River– freedom from selfishness, and everyone’s family.
  • Kaylon– for a closer relationship with my Mom, and with my family.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– thanks for faithful volunteers, for my wife Kay in Georgia, my children Briana and Brielle, all our kids, my family at large, and the whole wide world.  Also thankful for sister Dolores Thomas who continues to support me financially even though I’m working and have some money now.
  • Mark– very thankful and praise God for these services coming back after covid, for my family and friends, the little old ladies in Lancaster that pray for us, and the half-hearted brothers in here who need Jesus.
  • Phil T– for Jeremiah who’s been in here much longer than necessary.  Also for Martin and his recovery.
  • Logan– my step-daughter (Raina, 21) has stage 4 cancer and was ignoring it, but now decided to fight it.
  • Harry– Lord give us wisdom and help us to put it to use in our lives.
  • Andy D– my sister Donna has cancer and marriage difficulties.  She seems receptive to the Gospel, please give me the right words and the right timing on our phone call tomorrow.
  • Dan T– prayers for a project I’m on with my brother-in-law who has a PhD but is spiritually lost.  Lord give me the right opening and the right words to share Christ with him.
  • Rick C– for my friend’s son (Justin) in the hospital with Lyme disease that spread to his brain, he’s in serious condition with an antiviral pic line 24/7.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • We remain so very thankful for God’s blessing of two wonderful chaplains in Chester County Prison – Heinrich and Rhonda – and how their faithful service impacts inmates, staff, and families connected to the prison.  May God continue to bless them to be a blessing to others.

 

  • May those suffering sickness and infirmities within the prison receive a healing touch from the Great Physician, restoring them to full health and wellness.

 

  • For our friend Pastor Jack Crans to receive God’s strength and healing from his cancer.

 

  • For peace among inmates and among the staff within the prison.  May each encounter between officers and inmates be filled with compassion and respect (on both sides).  We also lift up the staff that must work long hours and cover many shifts due to staff shortages.  May God bless their home lives and all who support them.

 

  • For aftercare ministries across our county to have all they need in resources and support to effectively mentor and minister to women and men recently released from prison.  May there be significant growth as they walk the journey of faith together, building upon the foundation of Christ alone.  May each volunteer and staff member find their service fulfilling, and may each client walk closer with the Lord each day.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Prayer Requests | Comments Off on Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 3/4/24

Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/26/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Always be ready” – for many Christians, that phrase reminds us of 1 Peter 3:15 where we’re to always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope within us.  For the prison volunteer team last night, it meant something a little different.  As we got to the prison chapel, the inmates were already there and seated, upending our normal routine of putting out hymnals and bibles and welcoming each man with a handshake and a smile.  After a shaky start to the service, by the grace of God we didn’t let it diminish our reason for being there – to share the love of Christ with the men as we pray, sing, testify, and learn alongside them in a service of worship.

 

Prayer time began by encouraging everyone with some powerful promises to believers in Psalm 91:

If you make the Lord your refuge,

    if you make the Most High your shelter,

no evil will conquer you;

    no plague will come near your home.

For he orders his angels

    to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you up with their hands

    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

You will trample upon lions and cobras;

    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

 

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.

    I will protect those who trust in my name.

When they call on me, I will answer;

    I will be with them in trouble.

    I will rescue them and honor them.

I will satisfy them with a long life

    and give them my salvation.” (Psalm 91:9-16)

 

Erwin picked up on that theme with his message in 1st service centered on Jesus’ story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.  Death is not the end, the Greek word used actually means separation (of body, soul, and spirit).  How we live this life by the choices we make will determine our ultimate  destination – with God in Heaven and eternal bliss, or without God in Hell and eternal torment.  Erwin emphasized that these are real places, and although Jesus told many parables, this was a real story to illustrate that it is of ultimate importance to choose Jesus while still in the land of the living.

 

Marty, one of our new team members, delivered his first-ever message in 2nd service.  He quizzed the men on how do we get to heaven?  The most common belief across all religions is by doing good things.  If so, what kind of good things must we do? Many agree sticking to the 10 commandments is essential, but we even mess that up. Interestingly, most people believe they are going to heaven, but that’s not what Jesus said. He walked us through Matthew 5 where Jesus amplified several commandments to prove we could never do good – no not one!  What’s the solution? Jesus said repent and believe on Him – He gave himself for us as a gift, and that gift must be received by faith.

 

We believe God honors your gifts of faithful prayer for those in prison and their prayer requests, which is a great comfort to all the men we encounter in prison.  Thank you for such great support each and every week.  Please know that what you do makes a real difference in many lives!  Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian, and is powerful for those enduring trials of many kinds.  May God bless you in a special way this week.

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Female Inmate Prayer Request from Chaplain Rhonda:

V. J. –  going to court on Wed., she has 5 children at home; she’s dealt with some major losses in the past year, including death of a grandmother as well as the father of her children; dejected and despondent, she is asking for prayer; she is Muslim

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • John– all of our families, to experience mercy and forgiveness in upcoming court dates, for my kids, for all those who pray for us, safe travels for volunteers, and for healing of my eyes.
  • Joel– my family- Mom, brothers, sisters, nephews across NY and Philly, for everyone here, thanks for volunteers, and thanks to God who is good, I pray he’s there for us, for peace, and for good leaders.
  • Joe– wisdom for us to fully understand what Jesus did for us, and God’s unconditional love.  Pray for my twin daughters in the hospital with covid/RSV/RINO viruses, they are both 1yr 4mos old, may they be healed and out of the hospital quickly.
  • Angel– for the volunteers coming out, for world peace, my Mom, and for the person who stole my Jeep from the driveway- help with forgiveness.
  • Dan– pray for Moose back on the block, and strength for my daughter Riley being in court tomorrow for the case of her boyfriend’s murder where she must re-live the pain and face the attackers.
  • Andy L– my neighbor who is a 38 year old single mom of 2 kids went to church yesterday for the first time, pray she will continue to make steps towards accepting Christ.
  • Matt R– my best friend Shaun- his wife Megan has terminal cancer and given 12 weeks to live, they have 3 children under 7.  Her cancer was discovered last year during birth of 3rd child.
  • Andy D– my friend Miller has stage 4 cancer.
  • Joe– for the men on L block  who couldn’t come to services tonight but wanted to.
  • Kaylon– God give us clarity of your will for our lives, especially once we are out of here.
  • Al– to create a new self and overcome the old self.
  • Deshawn– for progression of the human race and to thrive.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– my wife Kay in Georgia, my children, my family at large, and healing for Harry back on the block who is not well.  God protect us from illness spreading in this place.  And may we all be not just hearers but doers of the Word.
  • Martin– my family, my successful recovery, and for the volunteers that come each week.
  • Logan– praise God for giving me a second chance, give us all a second chance.
  • Phil T– my daughter got engaged Saturday night to a good guy who’s a Christian – God please bless that marriage and may they be blessed with children.
  • Craig– for Jeremiah’s upcoming court date, that God would allow him to go home- he’s served so much time.  Pray that we might unite when we get out on the streets.
  • Matt R– my friend Kathy having tough time with her marriage to unfaithful husband – struggling through divorce with 2 young kids in the middle and the husband struggling with addiction.  We pray healing and wholeness for all involved.
  • Andy D– my sister Donna dealing with cancer and her husband is in the hospital with sepsis in kidneys, plus they have marital issues.  Pray the God would use these circumstances for her to be saved.
  • Jose G– my friend Tim (60) became a believer, but his heart is broken for his 5 children who are all still lost.  Pray they may all find their way to saving knowledge of Christ.
  • Rick– for our brother Matt who is carrying the shared weight of his friend’s heavy trials – give him strength to endure and when he’s wiped out, be his strength.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • The Board of Directors is humbled and very thankful to our great God for his provision of a very generous offering by a local congregation.  And we are continually thankful for all the individuals, organizations, and churches whose ongoing faithful support is vital to this ministry.  It’s simply amazing to see how God works through his people.

 

  • We lift up chaplains Heinrich and Rhonda serving so faithfully among all the inmates, staff, and families connected with Chester County Prison.  Father, empower them through your Spirit to do all you call them to each day, and may everyone they touch feel your love and presence through them.  May the staff continue to hold them in high regard, and may their personal lives be filled with your love.

 

  • We ask for God’s healing upon those dealing will illness and infirmity within the prison, and that illnesses would be contained and not spread.  Please restore strength to those who are weak, and we lift up a special prayer for your servant Jack Crans to be healed from his cancer.

 

  • We pray for peace within the prison population, and among the officers and inmates. Please bless the home life of staff members that they may be refreshed after working long hours and many shifts due to staffing shortages.  We pray for new hires to relieve the stress on staff.

 

  • We lift up aftercare ministries across our county to have all they need in resources and support to effectively mentor and minister to women and men recently released from prison.  May there be significant growth as they walk the journey of faith together, building upon the foundation of Christ alone.  May each volunteer and staff member find their service fulfilling, and may each client walk closer with the Lord each day.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Prayer Requests | Comments Off on Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/26/24

Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/19/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Some things in life are worth waiting for” seemed to be the theme last night, as the volunteer crew waited outside the prison for quite a while before someone was sent to let us in.  We apologized to the men for the service starting late, although those compressed services can sometimes be the most meaningful.  The team gets so concerned with timing, but always leaves plenty of time for the message – sort of a Martha and Mary thing.

 

Once we did get into the prison and get settled in the chapel, the prayer time was just as full of requests as other weeks, and we came humbly before our great God with the 2nd half of Psalm 86 to guide our hearts and minds:

 

Teach me your ways, O Lord,

    that I may live according to your truth!

Grant me purity of heart,

    that I may honor you.

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.

    I will give glory to your name forever,

for your love for me is very great.

    You have rescued me from the depths of death!

 

O God, insolent people rise up against me;

    violent people are trying to kill me.

    And you mean nothing to them.

But you, O Lord,

    are a merciful and gracious God,

slow to get angry,

    full of unfailing love and truth.

Look down and have mercy on me.

    Give strength to your servant;

    yes, save me, for I am your servant.

Send me a sign of your favor.

    Then those who hate me will be put to shame,

    for you, O Lord, help and comfort me. (Psalm 86:11-17)

 

Andy D delivered a double-header (preached in both services) centered on John 14:6 where in response to Thomas’ question, Jesus proclaims himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Andy set up the context of the last supper and how Jesus’ disciples were slowly coming to understand how Christ was not the political/military leader they were hoping would overthrow the Roman government at that time.  As we walked through John 14:1-6, Andy expanded on what it meant for Jesus to be the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. 

 

Jesus is the only Way to the Father, and our ‘eternal GPS’ to guide believers to heaven because we get lost and can’t get there on our own. Jesus is the Truth which is absolute and shows us the way things really are – we all fall short of God’s glory, but He has made a way for us if we accept the truth of who He is, why He came, and what He’s done for us because of love.  Jesus is the Life we get to enjoy eternally with God, given to us as a gift because of the high price He paid for us on the cross, becoming sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

May we all find encouragement, peace, and hope in how Jesus lays claim to each of us in His unending love.  I know the men are encouraged each week as they are told that many people pray for them and their prayer requests.  Thank you for your expression of love to ‘the least of these’ through your faithful prayers for them, their families, and the list of things below that they care about.  Be blessed in Jesus’ name!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Jih– my cellmate Kevin prays for how he can be of service to the Lord, and I pray that all the volunteers would be blessed.
  • Dan– my Dad (67) is dealing with inoperable esophageal cancer, the latest cancer attacking him (he’s been through several types of cancer already).  This might be it for him, pray for healing and for peace.  Also my cellmate’s dad is suffering from dementia so I want to lift up his Dad and Mom who is taking care of him.
  • Joe– for all the young men like myself in prison- we have lost all wisdom and really need wisdom- pray we would have wisdom to guide us.
  • Alonzo– help us stay humble, and to keep our minds on things above.
  • Joseph– pray for me and all of us in here, and especially for those who don’t know Jesus.  Also want to pray for the CO’s (Corrections Officers) that God would touch their hearts.
  • Angel– for world peace, my Mom, my grandparents, thanks for the volunteers, and lift up everyone in this prison.
  • John– for all those who pray for us, for the volunteers, and so thankful for weekly services where we can come to gather and worship our great God.  Also for my family to be uplifted, and for my eyes – that God would make a way for me to get the eye surgery I need.
  • Nathan– for my upcoming court date, and all of the upcoming court dates, and forgiveness.
  • Al– keep my family safe, and pray the world will still be there when I get out in a year and a half.
  • Joe– that I’m not drafted into the next wars that will rage in this country like World War 3. And for my family as my niece died 6 months ago.
  • Brent– for my friends, my family, the volunteers, and my court date tomorrow.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Martin– my family, for God to keep His hands on my situation, and my successful recovery.
  • Logan– my family, and I have a new plea agreement coming and hope it’s acceptable.  Also my friend Tito back on the block wants prayers.
  • Jeremiah– it’s my son’s birthday today.
  • Sam– for all the sick and suffering.  And a special prayer for Pastor Jack Crans.
  • Andy D– for my sister Donna who is battling cancer and struggling with her chemotherapy.  Also for some family issues going on.
  • Tyreek– for all of us in jail, and for God’s guidance.
  • Andy L– my neighborhood has many troubles.  A lady that needs a kidney is getting stronger so she may actually qualify to get a kidney, there’s a single Mom who’s deadbeat husband keeps making life difficult for her and the kids, and there are other broken families.  We ask God to use Andy and Dot as a beacon of His shining light in that community.
  • Dan T– doctor appointment tomorrow for something significant, grant me peace to follow God’s plan for whatever way it goes.
  • Rick– for our brother Craig who is wiped out after working so much and didn’t make it to services tonight, that he would have respite for his body and soul.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • We want to continually lift up our front-line servants ministering daily to inmates, staff, and families at Chester County Prison – our wonderful chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich.  Lord grant them all they need to do exactly what it is that you would have them do each day in your mercy and love.  Bless them to be a blessing to so many others.

 

  • Lord we ask for your healing mercy to be poured out upon all those dealing will illness and infirmity within the prison.  Give your strength to those with addictions to overcome, and in your mercy and love grant peace to every soul that seeks after you.  We also want to lift up Pastor Jack Crans for healing from his cancer.

 

  • Father we ask for compassion and peace among the prison population and within each interaction between staff and inmates. 

 

  • We continue to lift up the aftercare ministries in our county – may God bless them with the people and resources needed to minister effectively in His name to recently released men and women.  May each client walk in your life-giving light and draw closer to you with each day that goes by.  May the staff and volunteers enjoy your refreshment in their soul knowing they are doing what you called them to do.  We ask these ministries to continue strongly as long as you would have them operate.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

If this email was forwarded to you and you’d like to subscribe, click HERE.

 

 

الل م

www.onesimusministries.org

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Prayer Requests | Comments Off on Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/19/24

Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/12/24

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

What a unique time in the prison last night – our most-seasoned volunteer preached at the first service, and a new volunteer delivered his first-ever message at the 2nd service.  In both cases, the men were fed the Word of God, as they continually offer prayers of thanksgiving for volunteers faithfully showing up in Christ’s love each week to bring them the Word.

 

Our prayer time began with David’s prayer in Psalm 86:

 

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;

    answer me, for I need your help.

Protect me, for I am devoted to you.

    Save me, for I serve you and trust you.

    You are my God.

Be merciful, O Lord,

    for I am calling on you constantly.

Give me happiness, O Lord,

    for my life depends on you.

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,

    so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid.

Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;

    hear my urgent cry.

I will call to you whenever trouble strikes,

    and you will answer me. (Psalm 86:1-7)

 

Andy L delivered a message on hope, emphasizing to men in the 1st service how we can’t live without it, and how critical is our choice where we place our hope.  We must continue every day to open doors of our lives and our very being to the Lord. We must take hold of the opportunity to live out Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

 

Matt did an excellent job in 2nd service illustrating the trap of sin we so often fall into via the devil’s schemes he’s been perfecting since the beginning. The men were captivated as Matt shared his personal story of struggles with alcohol and drugs, but more importantly how he overcame these addictions through the power of Christ and reliance on God’s Word.  He concluded with how any of us can overcome the deepest sin by bringing it into the light, choosing to repent, and trusting God’s power to overcome.

 

It’s our overall prayer every week that all of these men can be overcomers, especially when released from prison and faced with choices that can easily lead right back to incarceration.  Thank you all for continually lifting up these men, their hope, and their future.  The body of Christ functions best when we all do the parts He calls us to, and we appreciate you fulfilling such a critical support role each week.  God bless you for your faithfulness!

 

Grace and Peace,

Rick

 

 

Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):

  • Al– I’m on meds that make my heart race and can’t sleep, waiting for Doctor appointment to get it straightened out.  Also pray for my wife to be safe and OK by herself for the next year and a half.
  • Dan– for my daughter Riley on the streets, her boyfriend was murdered last year, and she needs guidance and protection to take the right steps.  Also thanks for the volunteers bringing us the Word.
  • Demonta– pray for mercy on our court cases.
  • John– for family and kids, for the letter I wrote to the judge asking for the needed surgery on my eye so I don’t lose my vision.  And pray for all those who pray for us.
  • Brandt– my court date is coming up this week, may the light of Christ shine on us and in our cases, especially since I have a crooked lawyer.
  • Steven– all glory, honor, and praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, for the volunteer disciples, for each man in here to be changed, and for my bother from the block who came tonight with questions about what he’s reading in the Bible and doesn’t understand.
  • Nathan– forgiveness.
  • Phil T– for my son Kyle jumping much too quickly and deeply into relationships, that he would wait upon the Lord at least for big decisions.  And thanks for the prayers for my back pain which has improved greatly.
  • Junior– my court date, family, wars across the world.

 

 

Inmate/volunteer Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)

  • Craig– praise the Lord for our volunteers, prayers for my wife Kay and my children Brianna and Brielle, and my wife’s prayer that soon we can be a family again. Also that we can all be not just hearers but doers of the Word.
  • Martin– my family, thanks for volunteers, my successful recovery, good outcome of my case.
  • Shaun– fellow inmates, that God would wrap us up in His strong arms and give us what we need physically, mentally, and emotionally. Prayers for my daughter and 2 very active grandsons.
  • Tyreek– guidance and wisdom.
  • Harry– my mom has Alzheimer’s, and for my addictions.
  • Clarence– pray for volunteers, the men back on the block, family, court date on the 15th to actually happen and not get pushed back again and again, for light to be shed on my situation, and God’s blessing on me one day at a time.
  • Alan– thankful for my Mom to see another birthday, for my little brother Ashmir’s case to go well, and I’m going home Friday- prayers to stay in the Word and not come back here.
  • Ed– Safety for whoever is coming to pick me up tomorrow (in the snow storm) – it’s a 3 hour drive.

 

 

Prayers from Onesimus Ministries

  • God’s continued blessings of strength, endurance, compassion, and wisdom upon our wonderful servant chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich, as God’s hands and feet in Chester County Prison.  Bless them to be a blessing to many residents, staff, and family members connected to the prison.

 

  • God’s healing and recovery for inmates, staff, and family members suffering with illness or disease.  We specifically lift up Pastor Jack Crans for healing from his cancer.

 

  • The peace of Christ within the prison population and among the staff, and all inmate/staff interactions each day. 

 

  • For aftercare ministries across Chester County, and increased adoption of these programs by area churches, as they help ex-offenders take steps toward healthy reintegration to society as God-fearing Christians.  May these ministries be effective, with much growth among both clients and volunteers, and may God multiply their resources to get the job done.

 

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at outreach@onesimusministries.org.

 

 

These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/

 

 

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الل م

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Posted in Weekly Prayer Requests | Comments Off on Prison Ministry Prayer Requests for this week – 2/12/24

Those Persistent Mothers

In the so-called Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus told his disciples a story to show them that they should always pray and not give up. In Luke 18, verse 4 and 5 we discover the judge’s thoughts, nowadays called ‘self-talk’:

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’

There are very few similarities in this parable between a judge and a prison chaplain but the impact of a praying and persistent mother or grandmother on a judge and a chaplain seems to be the same…it gets them to act decisively!

In the past few months, we have received several phone calls and voice messages from mothers and grandmothers who requested the chaplain to reach out to a “lost or wayward” son who is incarcerated at Chester County Prison. With several hundred inmates to serve, it is very easy for those type of requests to be placed at the back of the To-Do List…EXCEPT… when there is another follow-up call, followed by another follow-up call, followed by another follow-up voice message, followed by a follow-up email, followed by…you get the point?

Each call and each voice message would often be drenched with sincerity, pleading and tears, clearly with no intention to exploit “the system” but displaying a desperate attempt to see God work in that soul…even in the “pig stay” of prison. To hear the heart-cry of these women melts any resolve to be methodical and for a “wait your turn” approach!

What a joy then to discover that God is at work, to hear the joy and weeping on the phone when a prodigal and the caring woman in his life finally connect and especially when the “culprit” responds to the Gospel.

I could give specific examples but for the sake of privacy and keeping this article short, I will refrain, but know this…Persistent prayer and persistent love do make “judges” act in unusual ways.

Posted in Chaplain Heinrich's Blog | Comments Off on Those Persistent Mothers