Monday, December 14, 2009

Prayer Requests

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

A brief update on the Inmate Pen-Pal ministry:

We launched this effort with an effort to send Christmas cards to those inmates who had submitted prayer requests to the fellow who leads the weekly Bible study at the prison. Thirty-nine men and women were on the list. I planned to ask volunteers to stop in and sign cards during the 45 minutes between the Sunday morning and afternoon services of last weekend.

To my surprise and delight, ten volunteers showed up and they did so much more than simply sign cards. Instead, they wrote kind and thoughtful notes of encouragement in each card, specifically addressing the prayer request of the inmate they were writing. The volunteers spent so much time in each card we ran out of time before we could sign all of the cards (I wanted to get at least two to each inmate).

Looking at the list and realizing I needed to sign twenty-four more cards when I got home, I said something to the effect of “Guess what I’m doing after lunch.” The leader of the men’s discipleship group I attend (he was there signing cards too) heard me and said “Bring ‘em to the next meeting,” which happened to be the next evening. So I did.

In the discipleship meeting Monday evening eight men sat around a table and signed three cards each, also addressing the prayer requests of the inmates in their notes. But that’s not all – we also got in a circle and prayed out loud for each and every inmate, again addressing his/her specific prayer request. And then we put the cards, 78 in all, in the middle of the circle and prayed for the ministry and the provision of volunteers to become pen-pals to those inmates requesting one.

I dropped the cards in the mail Tuesday morning; each one including a response card for the inmate to sign and return in order to ask for a pen-pal.

Today I stopped by the church to check the mail. I found three response cards; one I’ve already assigned to a volunteer.

I don’t know how successful this ministry will be, but I’m going to give it my best effort. If you are interested in becoming a pen-pal to an inmate, please let me know. And I’d appreciate your prayers for this ministry, that God would provide enough volunteers that each inmate desiring a pen-pal might receive one.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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