Pray Without Ceasing – Rick Chiavetta

Prior to the pandemic on any given Monday evening at
7pm, you’d find a group of about twelve volunteers from
different churches and different backgrounds gathered in the
professional visitors waiting room at Chester County Prison.
The purpose was simple, follow God’s command to love
our neighbors as ourselves (Mt 22.39) and, by conducting a
weekly church service for the inmates, remember those in
prison (Hebrews 13.3) .

After a quick greeting, each service begins with a time
of prayer. We ask the men what’s on their hearts – what they
really care about – then spend time lifting up each prayer
request to our Heavenly Father. But requests don’t stop
there, because later that evening, those same requests are
sent out via email to prayer chains across several churches,
to be shared in prayer meetings and small groups throughout
Chester County and beyond.

The pandemic shut down many things, including
volunteerism in the prison, but it can’t stop God’s people
from praying – a discipline highly encouraged throughout
scripture. But what to do during the shutdown when we can’t
meet with the men? Well, we applied the idea of recycling,
reaching back through piles of old prayer lists (just can’t
throw those lists away). In an attempt to keep us all in that
spiritual habit of prayer for those in prison, we kept up the
weekly emails.

Chaplaincy was deemed an essential service, and our
Chaplains continued to show up in the prison week after
week, ministering to the many needs of inmates and staff,
and doing so without volunteer assistance. Once direct
contact with inmates resumes, we will again receive “live”
prayer requests via Chaplains Heinrich and Rhonda. We
are so thankful for our tireless chaplains, and all of our
prayer warriors who lift up the inmates and their heart
cries week after week. Won’t you join us? To receive the
weekly prison prayer request email, just send a note to rick.

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