PRISON MINISTRY
GOING WHERE THEY ARE
Matthew 25:35-43

The Great Commission compels us to go into all the world and
preach the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Great Commandment challenges us to love God with everything within us and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

In John 4:33-35, Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
If we are going to respond to the call of the commission, comply with the command to love, and participate in finishing the work of Jesus, we have to get out of our comfort zones.
Did anyone else hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 25? . . . I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him . . . when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.
Friday night of each week, we go into the Shelby County Jail to do church service or biblestudy for medium security ladies. This facility holds both federal and state prisoners and has three levels of security: minimum, medium and maximum. I have ministered to ladies that are only there for a few months and those who will be transported to a state prison for many years. I have also ministered to prisoners (both men and women) in maximum security who are doing long-term or life sentences. I am often asked the question, Aren't you afraid to go into jail or prison to minister? My response is that only a fool would not be afraid. No, I'm not afraid of their faces. I am consciously aware of my environment and the necessary Spiritual warfare. I'm totally leaning into God knowing that I can do nothing without Him. He must be present in His might and power if anything wonderful is going to happen. Each week I say to God; If You don't go, I'm not going. Each week He shows up!
Many of us grew up in depressed areas. Many of the people we grew up with are strung out on drugs, in prison or dead. I am the youngest of four children who had the covering of a praying mother over us. Our father died when I was four years old. I have memories of our mother laid out on the floor many nights before the Lord pleading for God's protection and salvation for her children. It was not uncommon to hear gunshots and someone would yell out, Hit the deck. As far as I know, my mother's family was the only one in that neighborhood that did not suffer the loss or imprisonment of a child.
What I have experienced is that God took all that the enemy meant for me as evil and used it for good. I have a certain understanding of the mentality of the people in the jail system, a sense of the community many have come from and a passion for their deliverance.

There was a woman in my chapel service who told me each week, When I get out I'm coming to your church and I'm bringing my family. I hear this often, but many never make it we keep praying for them.

Here are a few ideas for prison ministry:
1. Don't go unless God calls you. It's not the place for lone rangers.
2. Go only with your pastor's consent and blessings.
3. Contact the chaplain's office of the facility where you choose to minister and ask what the procedures are to get in.
4. Start decreasing realize you are nothing on your own, so the power of God can start increasing in you.
5. Fast and pray often. You are going into battle in Spiritual realms. Casting out demons is vital to your ministry.
6. Get under a strong prayer covering. Have every prayer warrior that you know to pray for you especially at the time you are in the facility. Pray for souls and safety, etc.
7. Establish common interest. Present music that your group can relate to and encourage participation. Respond to their request for music when appropriate.
8. Arouse Spiritual interest. Ask about their experiences in life and religion.
9. Develop trust without condemning unnecessarily. Telling your group to turn or burn will render you ineffective.
10. Share your testimony. Your testimony of where God brought you from is your most effective witness. Deal with the skeletons in your closet so God can use your past as your platform.
11. Open the group time with a strong prayer, taking authority over the powers of Satan, dismissing him from the start, in the name of Jesus Christ and loosing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
12. Be friendly but not foolish. Love those that you are ministering to and remember where you are. (I remind my team to pray with their eyes open, always being aware of what's going on in the chapel.)
13. Allow God to direct you and trust in the One who is sending you.
14. Keep the group time focused. Discern between those who simply want attention and those who are serious. Kindly say, Thank you for sharing that, we need to move on, God bless you.
15. Confront directly. If you have established a rapport and trust, this opens the way for the gospel message of salvation. Don’t sugar coat. They want a gospel message that will set them free because they are sick of their lives.
God has been so faithful to bless this ministry. Many souls have been won to the Lord. There have been many healings and deliverances from demonic possession and oppression. Please pray for us on Friday nights.  Perhaps you, too, hear Jesus call to visit Him in prison.

 If you are interested in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Prison Ministry to Women or Men, contact us for further information at nationalallianceowim@yahoo.com.

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