When I awoke this morning, my eyes saw what they usually do: formidable steel bars that stand guard across the front of my prison cell. They’re a stark reminder of my criminal past and the many sins I committed in my lifetime.
Yet, what I know is that these bars cannot keep Jesus out. God’s Spirit has no boundaries. His love for souls is unlimited. He remembers the prisoners, and He knows the grief and pain we so foolishly inflicted upon ourselves and others.
These unyielding bars that encase my body have long since lost their power to psychologically oppress and intimidate me. Why? Because I see my environment through the eyes of faith. I see a God who is all powerful and full of love.
I know God is good and that He wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, whether they live in a real prison, as I do, or a spiritual prison of sin. While most people in society are not convicted criminals, we all stand as convicted sinners under His perfect system of justice. All have broken his laws and, as a result, transgressed against Him.
We are all law breakers. No one is without sin. No one is righteous in God’s eyes without the saving grace of Jesus Christ. “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)
Knowing this, I cannot help but echo the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who said:
“Ah Lord God! Behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17).
Society says I live in prison; through faith, I make it a house of prayer and praise.
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. (Isaiah 56:7)
King David of Israel loved to boast in his God, and so do I. To me, the Lord is the King of Glory, and I am forever grateful to be the recipient of His mercy and grace.
But I also wish to boast in my fellow convicts who, like myself, have made their peace with God through faith in Messiah Jesus. And also, like me, have received forgiveness for our sins, as well as a new life of peace and hope in Him.
My boast in these men is how they love to pray, and do it faithfully. They pray when they’re in the chapel and in their cells, and at other times too. In fact, last night was our monthly prayer meeting.This is when we come together as one body of believers to pray about various situations and needs.
During our times of prayer, we will share praise reports for those that have been answered. We also empty our prayer request box and lift up every request to heaven. There are prayers for sick loved ones, prayers for our children, prayers for different nations, prayers for peace in the world, and prayers for revival.
Perhaps many will be surprised to know this. They have no clue that behind prison walls there are men and women who love the Lord. There are prisoners who are serious about their faith and want to learn more about God’s Word.
Most assuredly, when the Lord Jesus quoted from Isaiah the prophet that God’s house is to be a “house of prayer,” He also had in mind those who are serving time in prisons and jails. And so it is.
As the prophet wrote:
“For the Sovereign Lord, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says: ‘I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel’” (Isaiah 56:8).
Even in what most would consider to be a dark and miserable place, God is at work. Lives are being transformed, and broken hearts are getting healed. Prison is indeed a place where miracles can happen.
Get more inspiring stories from David Berkowitz at his site AriseAndShine.org.