It’s been a while since I’ve done one on these. (I used to do them once a month. Should get back to that.) For anyone who is new here, Twenty For Prayer is based on the idea, which I have seen in more than one place, that twenty people praying together can stop wars, storms, etc. What is below the cut has no literary value and is only of interest to folks who might like to join us in prayer.
This month, I’d like to ask you to join me in praying about: Freedom From Imprisonment
Over the years, I have come upon several stories of people who were serving time in jail for crimes that they did commit but which included some aspect of abject unfairness in their situation. (Example: A teen’s friend steals his mother’s gun because he is afraid of a gang. The teen goes to get the gun back and is cornered by the gang. In his fear, he shoots. The judge discounts his plea of self-defense and puts him away for 35 years “as an example to other gang members” even though this boy had never been involved with a gang.)
I have prayed for these folks for many years, but recently the subject has been revisited for me as someone dear to us is facing criminal charges that many of us feel are not fair. While praying about this case, I have come upon cases in other places—such as the hikers who are being held without trial in Iran, human-rights fighters in jail in China, and others who are being held for less than fair or entirely trumped up reasons.
Originally, I was going to suggest we pray for freedom from unjust imprisonment, but it occurred to me that even if someone is in jail for a completely legitimate reason, they deserve our prayers—not that we would want the unrepentant released, but that they be brought to repent and be free truly, in their soul and spirit.
Not only that, but what about those who are imprisoned by other kinds of things: fear, poverty, tyrannical relatives, anger. All these things can make prisons that keep a person from experiencing the joy and freedom God intended for them and from witnessing His glory to its fullest. They, too, deserve our prayers.
So, I ask that you all pray with me this month, both for our friend who faces her first court date in early Dec, and for everyone who is less than free.
Here are a few Bible quotes to inspire us:
And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock. And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. (Judges 15:12-14)
O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. (Psalms 116:16)
For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. (Jeremiah 30:8-9)
For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder (Nahum 1:13)
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. (Luke 13 12-17)
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. (Acts 12:6-7 )
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:23-26)
And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. (Acts 22 25:28)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 )