Prayers of the People for Prison Ministry Sunday
An Adaptation of A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
and other prayers from the Book of Common Prayer
Leader: Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy’s sake. Amen.
All: Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Leader: Where there is hatred… Lord, we pray especially for all those who live with injustice and terror in our towns and cities, and in our neighborhoods and schools. Help us in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect.
All: Let us sow love.
Leader: Where there is injury… Lord, we pray especially for all those who have been injured, especially all victims and their families and the families of those who are imprisoned. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit.
All: Let us sow pardon.
Leader: Where there is discord … Lord, we pray especially for those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all.
All: Let us sow union.
Leader: Where there is doubt… Lord, make the hearts and minds of all your people ready to receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit, that they may be filled with the strength of his presence.
All: Let us sow faith.
Leader: Where there is despair… Lord, enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children.
All: Let us sow hope.
Leader: Where there is darkness… Lord, look with compassion on all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom or who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery, and to those who care for them give patient understanding and persevering love.
All: Let us sow light.
Leader: Where there is sadness… Lord, grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble.
All: Let us sow joy.
Leader: Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
All: For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.