Praying for Someone in Jail

So someone you know and care about has been sent to jail. Two major situations are most likely to be the case with them. It is either the person is innocent of the crime, but convicted and sentenced to jail due to a lack of convincing evidence; or the person is guilty of the crime and convicted accordingly to serve time in jail.

jail gate

Either way, it is important to show them encouragement and support to keep their spirits and hopes up while in incarceration. If the person is indeed innocent, the person will have you to look up to for moral support while awaiting the filing of an appeal to rehear the case. If on the other hand, the person is guilty, the pivotal role you play will help set them on the path to reformation and redemption.

There are several ways you can show support to a loved one in jail, because he or she is human just like you. When they place a phone call to you, do not reject it. If they want to exchange stories and experiences with you as a way of bonding with you and to continue to be in your life, do not shut them out. Make yourself available. If you cannot afford to accept reverse phone charges on their behalf, you can open an account that accepts their calls but avoids passing their phone costs to you. You might be apprehensive about what to say to them when they first call. You don’t want any awkward silences or even something you say to come out wrong. Ask God for wisdom on how to interact with them.

If your loved one cannot afford the costs of putting a phone call through to you, an alternative means of communication would be through letter writing. Hand written letters are an inexpensive and thoughtful way of communicating. Before you send your first letter, visit the official website of the prison facility to get acquainted with the rules about sending letters there. Keep your letters fun and interesting. Ask them questions. Share personal stories. Let them catch up on what’s currently going on in your life. Share local gossip or national news. He or she will always look forward to receiving a mail from you.

If you can spare some money, send to them. People in prison need money to have regular access to communication tools like phone cards, stamps, paper, pen and envelopes to send mails. They may also wish to contact an attorney on phone which they need money for. In prison, money is also useful to purchase personal care products like bathing soap, toothpaste, toothbrush or lotions. They may also wish to purchase their favourite snacks or microwave soup bowls. Depositing money into an inmate’s account could be quite challenging but worth it. You will need to fill in their full name, booking number, and account balance so you won’t exceed fund limits. Once that is done, it would also be a relief to you because your mind would be at rest that their basic needs have been catered for.

Plan a visit to your friend or family member in prison because everyone needs human interaction. If you are a law abiding citizen with no criminal record, there is no need to be afraid of entering a prison, jail or detention center. Face your fears and pay your love one a visit because they need you now more than ever. An inmate’s right may be violated in jail but your decision to continually visit them might lessen the possibility of their rights being violated. If you cannot afford transportation to the facility, ask another family or friend to give you a ride. During your visits, communicate positive conversations with your loved one because inmates often have self doubts. They question their value or self worth to others. Remind them that they are still strong, resilient and they will survive the ordeal. Remind them how much you care and talk about the future. Bringing up future plans and activities outside prison life raises and strengthens their hope. Ask them what steps and activities they are taking to better themselves while in incarceration. It helps to give them a sense of focus and direction. Do not forget about parole eligibility. Your loved one may be holding on to the dream of being eligible for parole one day. When they eventually become eligible, remind them that you will be there for them. Make sure to help them in any way you can. Prepare your loved one mentally for the process. Check up qualified parole lawyers who can win the case for them. An experienced parole attorney will do what is necessary to call attention your loved one’s good record and conduct while in incarceration and their positive plans for the future.

What does the Bible say about jail? The story of Paul and Silas readily comes to mind. They were going to a place of prayer one day when they met a young girl who had a spirit that enabled her tell the future. She made a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes, (Acts 16:16). When she saw Paul and the other disciples, she followed them shouting, “These are servants of the Most High God and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” She did this for several days until Paul got so exasperated and ordered the demon inside her to come out of her, and instantly it left her. This angered her masters as they had lost their means of livelihood. So they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the market place, (Acts 16:19). They were both stripped and severely beaten with wooden rods before being thrown into jail. The Bible says around midnight that same day, there was a massive earthquake and the prison shook to its foundations. All the prison doors immediately flew open and all the chains fell off the hands of the prisoners, but Paul, Silas and the prisoners remained in their cells and did not escape. The terrified jailer who discovered the “prison break” much later thought everyone had escaped. When he met each prisoner accounted for, he fell on his face and asked the apostles, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). The jailer and other prisoners were won for Christ.

Also Read: Prayers for Court Cases

Sometimes, God puts His people in difficult or shameful situations just to become a source of salvation to others. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” This simply means that all odds always work in our favour. The first time Jesus read from the Scriptures, it was from the Book of Isaiah 61. As He read the words out loud, he was fulfilling the very prophesy about Him which says:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed,” (Isaiah 61:1-2, NLT).

Even if that captive was incarcerated lawfully, God’s word says every lawful captive shall be set free, (Isaiah 49:24-25). You can strengthen the faith of your loved one with these bible passages and also uphold them in prayer.

7 Prayers  for Someone who is in Jail

  1. Father Lord, You are the Sovereign Lord over all. You give justice and proclaim liberty to the captive. You were with Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison unjustly. You were also with Joseph when he was imprisoned unjustly. You sent Your son Jesus to proclaim good news and freedom. Father, I ask that You be with my loved one and all those incarnated and living out their sentences today. Come through for those awaiting trial or bail. Let Your Spirit of peace strengthen and comfort them, in Jesus name, amen.
  2. O Lord, provide my loved one with the resources they need to keep them healthy and safe. Keep all the prison inmates and staff healthy to prevent the spread of any virus or disease to all those they interact with, especially those who have no means of protecting themselves. Let my loved one continue to wax strong physically and mentally in Jesus name, amen.
  3. Lord Jesus, You have come so that we may have life in full. I pray for my loved one in prison and our families going through this difficult time together. Touch us by Your Spirit that we may find newness of heart and be open to that new life that is found only in You. Give us Your support and care and protection. May we find new purpose in serving You. We ask in Your name, amen.
  4. I pray against any loss of time for my loved one. Keep them occupied with worthy projects and activities. Let them be a source of blessing to others and may they also be blessed by others. Give them a deep sense of purpose. I pray that he/she will be so empowered in prison that they will come out better than when they got in, in Jesus name, amen.
  5. I pray for their protection at this moment o Lord. Violence and riots often breaks out in prison. Keep them safe from any violence or mishap. Just like Joseph found favour in the eyes of everyone in prison, may my loved one never be the victim of bullying. I pray in Jesus name, amen.
  6. Lord, I ask for a qualified and spirit filled lawyer who can tackle the case of my loved one and appeal our case to win his/her freedom. Father, cause the attorney to be dedicated to our case and do all they can to give us a favourable result, in Jesus mighty name, amen.
  7. Give my loved one mental strength o Lord. May they never lose their self worth or suffer a mental break down while in prison. Keep them focused on their life’s purpose and give them the grace to keep their spirits high with positive vibes in Jesus name, amen.

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