Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This morning a friend at church shared devastating news received just weeks ago – a prognosis of cancer, with chemo already in progress. What most impressed me was the strength of her faith as she repeated “God’s got this”, and her request for prayers of thankfulness for her healing. She’s already claiming victory in Jesus’ name, hanging onto these verses:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Sure, she doesn’t understand why this is happening now – we all want to assign a reason to the situations we find ourselves in. But she’s not getting hung up on that. We always want to know “why?”, but God does not owe us any answers. We must trust Him since He is perfect and all-knowing, and we can’t see the big picture from our viewpoint. Some things we won’t know until we get to heaven.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
As we discussed how God answers prayer in sometimes unexpected ways (especially prayers asking Him to use us as He would), I shared the passage below with her:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
I believe God allows trials in our lives to strengthen our faith through reliance on Him, and to perfectly equip us to minister to others going through the same trial. Instead of asking “why?”, perhaps a better response is “God, what do you want me to learn through this?”
In the prison, we often hear of inmates ministering to other inmates on the cell blocks – Mature Christians witnessing to new believers and leading bible studies while they’re all going through similar trials. I think we can all take a lesson from them and from my friend. Thanks as always for your support of this prison ministry, and let’s lift up my friend, the inmates and staff of Chester County Prison, and our wonderful Chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich. More prayer request below. Have a blessed week!
Grace and Peace,
Prayer Requests from Chaplain Heinrich
Please Pray for:
R.F.: “Thank you so much for the book. It helped a lot plus the talk you gave at my church”. We never know who the stranger is we interact with and where they are in their walk with God. Pray that the counseling sessions will be blessed.
J.G.(37) : Sentenced to 22 ½-45 years in State prison. He has always been open to the Gospel, attended programs in the chapel but never fully surrendered to the Lord. Pray that Christ will change his heart and make him a true missionary in his new “village”.
A.E.: He is from a very conservative, “plain” background, trying to “do life” without the God he fears but have never surrendered to. Pray for him and his very supportive but broken parents and siblings.
K.B.: Distraught since he discovered his father is in a hospice facing the end of his life. Pray that KB will be an encouragement to his family even from inside the prison. Pray also for the family dealing with this situation.
Thank God for Christian brothers and sisters among the staff. They are a true blessing and an extension of the chaplains efforts.
Prayers from Onesimus Ministries
For health among the prison population – physical, mental, and social/relational.
For every inmate to embrace salvation made possible through Jesus Christ alone. May each one hear the Gospel message clearly, whether from the Chaplains or fellow inmates, and to choose wisely.
For staffing issues and covid fears to subside.
For peace on the cell blocks, and an abundance of understanding and compassion between inmates and staff (in both directions).
That decisions would soon be made to reopen the prison to volunteers, so that in-person ministry to inmates could resume.
Many blessings upon the various aftercare programs among churches in Chester County. May these programs enjoy ample support and a steady flow of volunteers to support the faith journey of men and women released from prison. May those gifted with Christian mentorship seek to use that gift within these programs to honor our Lord.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/
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