This may not be a popular post, but I think it needs to be said. And so does my church, apparently. It’s been something that’s been on my mind for a while.
I watched the show 60 Days In, and if you’ve ever seen that show you get an inside look at what it’s like for prisoners of all types — capital murders to misdemeanors. You hear their stories. It gives prisoners a face and story instead of just thinking of them as a lawbreaker and getting what they deserve. “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”
I’m not saying what they’re doing is right or wrong or saying it’s what they deserve or don’t deserve, but what I am saying is that we can’t decide that. As far as we’re concerned, they’re fellow children of God. They are people that we need to pray for.
My pastor said something that stuck with me enough that it’s been weeks later and it still is rattling around in my head. To paraphrase it, he said something like how we treat prisoners reflects our love for Jesus Christ. Now, if you’ve seen 60 Days In, you’ve seen some of the horrible conditions of the prisons and the inhumane treatment of prisoners.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.Hebrews 13:1-3
May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.Psalm 79:11
So pray for prisoners. I always hear people saying to pray for the world leaders, the leaders of our country, the leaders of our churches, etc., but I can’t recall a time when I’ve heard pray for the prisoners. Pray for them. Pray for everyone, but the Bible seems to especially say the widows, orphans, and those in prison.