Prisons Week 2023
Sunday 8 – Saturday 14 October 2023
For more than forty years Prisons Week has prepared prayer literature to enable the Christian community, through individuals and churches, to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of our prisons.
Prisons Week raises awareness and generates prayer. It motivates volunteers to step forward and give their time and gifts, in prisons and in their own communities. It provides an annual focus and reason for Christians to work together, building capacity and motivation to make a difference for people who are out of sight and often out of mind.
Each day of the week, a new prayer brings into focus a different group affected by prison or criminal justice. Churches and individuals are alsoasked to reflect on what they might do or offer as part of their response, through the range of Christian agencies and charities involved in supporting Prisons Week.
Sunday 8 October:
OUT OF THE DEPTHS I CRY TO YOU O LORD – Psalm 130:1
Heavenly Father, thank you for those who work in the prison service. May they be motivated by a desire to help others live well. We pray for any who are discouraged. Help them to look up and cry out to you, for you are both holy and full of mercy and hear our prayers. May they know your unfailing love for them and for the prisoners they serve. Please give them fresh hope and encouragement at work today.
Monday 9 October:
I CRIED OUT TO GOD TO HEAR ME – Psalm 77:1
God, if you are there, I am in the darkness where I am alone and feel abandoned. Will you hear my cries for help? At night the darkness suffocates me but I know your light shines. You know me better than I know myself, and I turn to you in my despair. If you hear me, speak to me. If you are here, visit me. I want to know you and your safety. Rescue me from all my fears.
Tuesday 10 October:
I WAIT FOR THE LORD…AND IN HIS WORD I PUT MY TRUST – Psalm 130:5
We pray for all those aff ected by prison – the prisoner, the family or victims. Be near them when they are angry, sad or cry for help. May they be assured of your trust and love for them. Lord, you know us and you are near us wherever we are and whatever we do. Even though we stray so often from your presence may we know the comfort of your loving arms around us.
Wednesday 11 October:
FOR GREAT IS YOUR LOVE TOWARDS ME; YOU HAVE DELIVERED ME FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE GRAVE – Psalm 86:13
Lord God, I thank you for grace and mercy. Thank you that in receiving your forgiveness I have been able to forgive those who have hurt me and turn that pain into purpose. I pray for those who find themselves in prison, that they will also come to know your goodness and be glad to receive your love, so that their lives too, can be transformed and renewed.
Thursday 12 October:
WHERE CAN I GO FROM YOUR SPIRIT? WHERE CAN I FLEE FROM YOUR PRESENCE? – Psalm 139:7
We look to the God who knows the turbulence we’ve experienced. And we pray that we will find stability. We look to the God who knows our hurt. And we pray that we will find peace. We look to the God who knows who matters to us; those held dearly and missed. And we pray that we will find true family and community. We look to the One who calls each by name, beloved child.
Friday 13 October:
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD – Psalm 46:10
Dear Lord, we lift up to you all of those caught up within the prison system. We ask that as the confusion, mess, violence and addiction is all around we can know that our refuge is in you. We know that we can find rest in you, we know that we can be still and know that you are God. We pray for peace in the heart of each of those behind locked doors and we pray that they would know you close.
Saturday 14 October:
THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD – Psalm 19:1
Creator God, the heavens declare your glory and you have made me in your image. Come to me in my despair and sadness and remind me that I can do nothing without you. As I lift my eyes and hear the call of Jesus to follow, I thank you that only through you I can be truly at peace with myself and the world.
Find out more on the Prisons Week website.