| Prison Ministry and the Anointing|
Prison Ministry and the Anointing:
I am filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for what He is doing in the prisons.
Many of the inmates that are being saved and restored to fellowship with God have the same testimony. Many are grateful to God for their incarceration, because they see God's hand of chastisement that resulted in bringing them to repentance and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I have experienced a greater anointing while ministering in the prisons than in most church services that I have been in.
This is because Jesus is still in the business of setting the captives free. The Lord is in the prisons, and many of these men that I have talked to are witnessing to others, praying and having bible studies.
Please agree with me for God to send revival to the prisons, and for the men that are being saved to be discipled, confirmed and established in their faith. The greatest challenge for the men that are being saved is when they are released back into society.
Please pray for follow up ministries that will disciple these men.
Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and the Spirit of the Lord is upon those in prison ministry to preach the gospel, heal the broken-hearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at Liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18).
| 2016/2/19 8:52||Profile|
| Re: Prison Ministry and the Anointing|
Mike, as a guy in the trenches on this, what do you see and report as to "how do they do it?" My conversations with clients who have been in and profess to have been saved there are scarce. I get a fuller picture of general life inside from them, mostly unbelievers, and it is harsh. Life in prison would wilt most of us, in spite of popular belief that it is cushy. I have been inside enough of them long enough to know I don't want to be there. I would not fare well.
Believers there are not on islands. Hostility toward them is real, and frequent. Jealousy, pride, other faiths.....all these concur to make for hard rowing for Christians in prison trying to walk with Jesus in truth. What is your experience and what stories have you heard?
| 2016/2/19 9:59||Profile|
| Re: Prison Ministry and the Anointing|
This is a very encouraging praise report!!! and I'll def agree with you and join you in prayer:)
Having come to faith in Christ Jesus while in a foreign prision myself, this holds a special place in my heart, so thank you for sharing this good news:)
| 2016/2/19 10:01||Profile|
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You are right about life in prisons being very harsh. One thing I have always said about prison ministry is that it is a blessing to be able to leave after spending a couple of hours ministering to the men. Can you imagine being in a pod where there is about 20 men with no privacy, it's noisy, Men are playing cards, watching TV, and the atmosphere in that place is very oppressive. Many of these men have families that they are worried about. Most of the men are repeat offenders. The rate of recidivism is very high. There is not much hope for those without Jesus.
When you have the Word being preached in the prisons, where there is praise and worship going on, and when inmates are seeking God and praying, the very atmosphere seems to change. It is not that the problems that the men have are going away, but where two or more are gathered in the Lord's name, He is there.
I can't begin to tell you how the Holy Spirit begins to deal with men after they are arrested and now find themselves in a very bleak and dark situation. I have visited with young men, some as young as 17 that were isolated in a single unit with nothing but a cot to sleep on and a toilet, that would be sitting on their bed reading their bibles when I got there. Their faces would light up with joy that someone would come to talk and pray with them. I remember several months ago that there was a man in solitary confinement that was all over the local news because he had shot and killed a state trooper. I did not recognize the man because he looked so different from what we saw on TV and the newspapers. He told me that he was serving the Lord at one time but backslid and got into severe alcoholism, and that he didn't hardly remember anything about the shooting. He feels like a demon actually took him over. At the time that I visited with him, he told me that he had repented, and had been doing nothing but praying and reading the word the whole time. I believe him because he looked like a new man, and there was a peace that was on him. He said that he was ready to face justice which might include the death penalty.
Most of the men that are in the prisons are addicted to alcohol or drugs. It used to be crack cocaine that most of them were on, then there was a season where pain pills were very prevalent, but now it seems like the majority were on meth - amphetamine. This is probably the worse drug of them all because of what it does to your mind and body. The men that I have talked to that were on meth and got saved while in prison are now rejoicing for their prison experience. They know that they would have ended up like many of their friends if they would have not been incarcerated.
I believe that the hunger and desperation of the men that are being saved and transformed is a key element that allows God to deliver them, and ultimately to gain control of their lives.
| 2016/2/19 10:39||Profile|
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I'm pressing a bit -- sorry. Do any of them tell you of what daily life inside is like? Have any of them who came to Christ after a while inside reported a difference in how life operates for the unbeliever inside prison as opposed to the believer in there? Outside of "official gathering" times like chapel/church services, what do the Christian prisoners do to walk in Christ? That kind of thing.
| 2016/2/19 10:56||Profile|
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Hi Tim, I know a little bit about life in prison, my son was released just over a year ago after spending three years in the state penitentiary in Kansas. I visited every weekend and I can testify to what Mike says about the oppressive nature that you encounter as you enter these buildings, especially maximum security. My son went from Maximum to medium and eventually to minimum. The constant noise left me drained after only a few hours of visiting, it;s just like a droan that never stops. The prisoners have to be on guard all the time, so they are constantly "on." As for being a Christian inside, the men can really tell the real from the phony as obviously many men turn to something for solace, yet their everyday interactions and they way they conduct themselves is very telling.
For the genuinely converted, there is a real peace about them. They understand more than most what it means to " be released." They understand the true nature of what is important and what is not. Prison is such a greedy self gratifying place where every guy is truly looking out for himself and what he can get from others. It is a brutal dog eat dog life where the weak are almost immediately identified and taken advantage of. My son would try and identify those coming in and take them aside and warn them of various things to look out for and so on.
On the other hand, I talked to many prisoners during that time and found them to be, for the most part, engaging if engaged. The same was also true of their relatives. If you have a good heart and fear not then there was always ample opportunity to reach out. One day in maximum when I was visiting, a young man approached my son and I and accused us of " robbing," his table, interesting turn of phrase he used :) My first reaction as a fleshly Scotsman was to tell him to get lost but of course that would be ungodly and unwise. I let my son answer him. After a brief interaction he told him, with his game face on, we would move. Later my son told me that this young fella, in his mid 20s, was doing a " hard 40." I wept on the way home to think of how the key had been thrown away on this young man's life. He had never killed anyone but had robbed with violence one too many times.
Every time I entered that place I found a great anointing of peace come upon me, a supernatural ability to be at peace in very tough surroundings........bro Frank
| 2016/2/19 13:21|
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I appreciate you taking this question by Tim, and I am in complete agreement with what you have shared.
There are many people including Christians that see those that incarcerated as getting what they deserved, and being the lowest of lowly, but when we see them through God's eyes, then you are looking at these men as those who Jesus went to the cross for. Many of these men have never known the love of a father and have a orphan spirit. They feel rejection deeply, and in their hearts they are looking for love and acceptance. It really is hard for them to see a loving heavenly Father. That is why that those that are truly born again, and develop a relationship of intimacy with God become very compassionate towards those that are not saved. I always look for leaders in prison to encourage them because they will have much more influence where they are at than I will.
On the other hand, there are many inmates that have been raised in good Christian homes, pastor's sons, raised in church. God brings many of these prodigals back to him while they are in prison.
| 2016/2/19 14:13||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
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This is an encouraging thread. I too am involved in prison ministry and have seen some amazing transformations of late. There are many who 'find' Jesus in prison and then leave Him there when they get out but there are those who are genuinely transformed and it is a joy to see.
One man in particular comes to mind, he's in for life on a murder charge; he's 38 and spent most of his adult life in prison and will spend the rest of it there. But God got ahold of his heart and he's another man, he now leads Bible studies in his pod and witnesses unto Jesus in that dark place. And yes, it is very dark in prison. This man actually has a price on his head in prison because he renounced the AB when he got saved. If you're familiar with them you know that they consider the only way out of the brotherhood is death.
He struggles at times with depression and regret but it doesn't last long. I write to encourage him and he usually ends up encouraging me.
That's just one of many examples, God is working in the prisons among men and women, it's amazing to watch Him work and put together truly shattered lives! Pray for those working in prison ministry, I can assure you that they covet your prayers.
| 2016/2/19 18:46||Profile|
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" God is working in the prisons among men and women, it's amazing to watch Him work and put together truly shattered lives! Pray for those working in prison ministry, I can assure you that they covet your prayers."
Amen Ron! Thanks for sharing brother! The fields are ripe for harvest!
| 2016/2/20 9:03||Profile|
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Thanks for starting this thread Mike, I agree God has, is, and will continue to use prison to bring many to Himself. Not just prisoners, but their families, friends, officers, etc.. Prisons are a rod of His chastisement for many and an extension of His mercy, patience, longsuffering, and forebearance. Prison gives people time to reflect and ponder their sins and transgressions. Prisons are NOT the sudden destruction that comes upon the fool without remedy, and that destruction being death and the remedy being the ability to repent.
The fields within the prisons are truly ripe and ready to harvest.
I to am very familiar with prison life as my next oldest brother was sent to prison for 4 years when I was 17. This began a 32 year long stretch for my brother going in and out, in and out of prison.
Of the 32 year long stretch, he spent more than 75% of those years behind bars. Me and my family visited him often in prisons all over Michigan. My brother became a model prisoner over the years, he became in good standing with not only other prisoners but especially the officers.
While in prison he would stay very close to God but when he got out, he left God in the prison. I was the one who went with him before the parole board on so many occasions I cannot remember them all.
In addition to my brother, I have a very good brother in the Lord whom I have known since we met in 1994. He was in prison for 10 years for 2nd degree murder.
After his crime he just barely was able to recommit his life to Christ before he planned on taking his own life. The reason? The life he took was that of his own infant daughter. But God intervened. With no one willing to visit him beside his own father and one elderly woman who went to visit my friend to tell him not to take his life.
There are so MANY things of what God has done in my brother and my friends lives, our families, and the many many people we have met and interacted with in the prisons.
As a result of my brothers incarceration and my visiting him often as there were 5 prisons within a 1 hour drive that my brother was in each of them at one time or another.
I got to know many officers and families when I would visit my brother. As a Christian, my heart is filled with compassion and a desire to extend Gods love, grace, peace, and hope. After my visits with my brother, he would tell me things that other prisoners, their families who were visiting, and even the officers would say about me.
I never realized it at first because I was just being myself and looking at and treating people through the eyes and heart of Jesus. The attraction was not me, but who was in me.
Prisoners my brother would not necessarily gel with would come to my brother after one of my visits and tell him to tell me thank you for treating their mother, wife, or family with kindness when I was there. As a result, this would forge a friendship and a bond with these other men and my brother.
For me, being in the visiting room was always very comfortable and there was a peace that prevailed. Prisons can be a very racially segregated place but my brother and I were raised to respect, love, and honor all people because God made us all.
People know when you genuinely care about them, it makes them feel comfortable and more open. It is true that there were always some that no matter how caring you might be they still did not want to have anything to do with you.
I can tell story after story of Gods goodness to so many the miracles He had done in my friend and brother.
The proverb, birds of a feather flock together is especially true. True Christian brothers have no problem finding one another in prison. My friend says some of the best praise, worship, prayer, and fellowship he has ever experienced was while he was in prison. Many times He says he misses it.
I may have shared this once before but I will close with one of the miracles the Lord did on my brothers behalf.
After one of my brothers releases from prison in 1998 within one week he was arrested for something I cannot remember. After you get paroled you cannot get arrested for any crime because it is a violation of parole and you get automatically sent back to prison.
As a result of him going back I knew he was going to be very hard on himself, depressed to the max. As I was praying the Lord cautioned me that my brother was not going to be able to handle this set back and I heard the word suicide.
I called my bother in law, my cousin, and this friend who did the 10 year stretch to come and pray for my brother as I felt he was going to end his life. This was a Friday.
We prayed well into the night and we asked the Lord to go to my brother and speak to him and tell him that He loved him. Then the burden lifted and the peace came, we knew we were finished.
Monday when I came home from work I received a collect call from my brother. When I answered, he was frantic, crying, and talking so fast I could not understand him. I said to please slow down.
He said that Jesus came to him on Friday night as he was preparing to cut his throat and bleed out. He said that he was planning all week that when he was going to be locked down for the night he had gotten extra towels and a shank to cut his juggler vein with and he was going to place the towels underneath himself to catch the blood so when the officers would walk by they would not see a pool of blood.
As he prepared himself he laid down in bed sobbing as he pondered his life, the lonliness, pain, and suffering he caused us all. After the doors were locked he took the shank and was going to cut his throat a hand touched his shoulder and it startled him and then he heard the audible voice of the Lord.
"My son, My son, do not harm yourself for I love you and have always loved you. Be patient and trust Me and I will deliver you from this place"
My brother laid in that bed and cried the whole night. As he told me the story about what God did for him, the devil was on him with such a vengeance trying to steal his joy and peace. He told me that on that Sunday morning as he laid in bed a black crow came and sat on his window sill and was crowing relentlessly. He said the evil that was coming from that bird and the voice of the enemy was causing him to lose hope.
My brother did not eat one bite if food for 16 days as God did a purging of his mind, soul, and body. God Himself took my brother through a great deliverance.
Yes, prison does have its place, whether it be judgement, chastisement, and even a refuge for people like my brother who just found it hard to live life in the world.
Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
| 2016/2/20 11:29||Profile|