Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
While not yet back into our old groove in the Monday night services at Chester County Prison, they are getting better each week. This was our third week back inside, and singing has improved dramatically now that our song leader has joined us again. The first few weeks were a bit rough – definitely in the “joyful noise” category. We look forward to next week when our guitarist will hopefully join us as well. The team is slowly reuniting, and it’s really good to see those familiar faces we used to minster beside each week before all the covid shutdowns.
One thing that has remained consistent is the service style. After distributing hymnals and Bibles throughout the pews in the chapel, we begin each of our two Monday night services by greeting each man as he comes in and finds a seat. Our team leader then kicks things off with a brief introduction of who we are and why we’re there – to worship our great God through prayer, song, testimony, and a message.
Prayer time begins with active polling of attendees to solicit prayer requests. Once all requests are voiced and written down by yours truly, the prayer leader (typically me) goes up front, reads a short scripture selection, then prays through the list. After that, we grab a hymnal and ask the men to shout out song numbers they’d like to sing. After a few songs, we settle into testimony time, where anyone in the room has the chance to stand up and speak about what the Lord is doing in their life. Many weeks this is the most powerful time of the service, as hearts are laid bare, and men cry out from their pain to the Lord. The final part of each service is a 20-25 minute Biblical message brought by one of the volunteers (we rotate turns each week).
As prayer leader, I ask God the night before to lead me to scripture (typically a Psalm) that I should read to the men. I read through Psalms until one seems to resonate. For last night’s service, it was Psalm 16:1-8
A psalm of David.
1 Keep me safe, O God,
for I have come to you for refuge.
2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from you.”
3 The godly people in the land
are my true heroes!
I take pleasure in them!
4 Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
or even speak the names of their gods.
5 Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine.
6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
What a wonderful inheritance!
7 I will bless the Lord who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Below are the prayer requests we prayed through during last night’s services. The men are grateful that we share these with all of you, and are encouraged that many people pray for them and lift up their concerns. Thanks as always for the vital part you play in this ministry – it’s a team effort! May each of you have a blessed week.
Grace and peace,
Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):
- Dan T– my wife’s 94 year old mother’s health is failing.
- Andy D– my 93 year old mother just had an operation.
- Bernard– for strength in the Lord to not bow down to the culture, and to walk in God’s grace and stand for Him in the midst of whatever is going on.
- Joe – my best friend and her family
- Dave– positive outcome of my case in court on Friday, and for the peopl of Florida in the path of the hurricane.
- Mark– for the people of Hawaii impacted by the wildfires
- For all the people in here that need Jesus, which is everyone
- Family and friends, and my other half
- My court date next Tuesday, may there be leniency and mercy
- For those getting out of prison to learn to live life in accordance with God’s will
- For those getting out to not come back here
- I’m feeling really empty and drained, need a filling of the Holy Spirit
- Ricky– I leave tomorrow, pray for a fresh start, guidance and protection, and discipline to stay in God’s Word.
- Joe– for the volunteers, for strength and power to change hearts
- Andy L– thanks for Prison leadership allowing us back in
- Bernard– family and our children, especially my relationship with my daughter and son, that we could communicate again.
- Joe– pray for Bernard in a walker, that he would be healed and free of pain.
Inmate Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)
- Rob – my health
- Bo– that each of us would take something good from tonight’s message
- Also, my significant other had a procedure today, pray for health and restoration
- Dan– just had a phone call with my wife tonight and she is very depressed.
- Nick– I want to know what it feels like to have blind faith
- Dave– family and kids, I’ve been in here several times dating back to 1998 – how do I stay out?
- For wisdom and guidance, and for discipline to stay in the Word, but I don’t understand the Bible when I read it, I need the Holy Spirit’s help
- Jeremiah– that things will get better, I have my court date tomorrow (Tuesday)
- For all the kids starting school this week
- Jonathan– for strength, hope, mercy, and grace
- Ken– my cellmate Damon went up to State prison, pray he will be home by Christmas
- For family and children
- Scott– for my family going through trials and tribulations
- Donovan– That God would reveal Himself to us, and grant us all wisdom, and perform miracles in our cases – give us awesome things in our lives.
Prayers from Onesimus Ministries
Prayers of thanksgiving for positive attitudes we’ve encountered among the staff thus far, and praise to God for allowing us to come back in and minister in-person to inmates.
For all the staff of Chester County Prison who are working long hours due to staff shortages.
Please protect the health and wellbeing of everyone out at the prison, as fears of new covid strains and other illnesses circulate. We also pray the doors would remain open to volunteers.
Thankfulness for our wonderful chaplains Rhonda and Heinrich being the hands and feet of God to all the inmates, staff, and families connected with Chester County Prison. May God bless them both with an ample supply of strength, endurance, and wellbeing as they minister in His name.
Prayers for the various aftercare ministries out there taking care of recently released men and women, to make sure they stay on the right path within God’s will, and formulate new habits to avoid returning to a place like prison. May they enjoy an abundance of resources to complete the mission the Lord has laid upon their hearts.
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 email@example.com.
These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/
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