|Jail Ministry Prayer Warriors|
The foundation of the Jail Ministry is a faithful group of prayer warriors. I guarantee you, it must be No.1 on your list if you plan to be spiritually successful in jail ministry. This is a pretty bold statement! Why do I say this?
To be truthful, when I first began the jail ministry years ago, there was little time for me to pray. By the time I had put in long hours on the Bible message, chose and recorded the praise songs, and went to the printer to copy off dozens of lessons, I found myself in my car, rushing to the jail to meet my first devoted jail assistant, Carol Jeffries. Together we walked down the long echoing cement halls, heard the clang of the steel doors locking behind us and welcomed 50 inmates at a time to our services.
However, we both began to sense a real need for prayer. The enemy was boldly entering our classroom and distractions were many. Inmates had to go to the bathroom constantly, some got physically sick, there was loud banging noise in the outside hallways, lesbian women were enjoying private meetings in our classroom , and the list goes on and on. The enemy tried every device to discourage us from jail ministry and to turn the inmates away from Christ back into sin. Carol and I were facing a powerful army whose goal was to defeat Christ's church. .As scripture clearly warns,"Take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6: 11-12)
It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a list of strong Christian acquaintances whom I had met on the mission field, in churches, and even old high school & college classmates. Sensing the urgency for prayer, I invited them to be my Jail Prayer Partners through E-mail. Many agreed and have remained faithful throughout the years.
Here's how it works: A few days prior to the jail service, I would e-mail them all at one time (in a Jail group e-mail) with a detailed "Jail Prayer Request" list including the exact day and times we would be ministering at the jail. Then a few days later after the service, I would e-mail them a "Jail Praise Report" with answered prayers and further prayer needs.
Therefore for almost 12 years, my jail ministry has had a sturdy rock foundation of prayer. It wasn't an accident. It was God's intervention and divine plan to stop the enemy from taking away his precious children. He needed to stop the strongholds and distractions so that the lost could hear the gospel clearly and without confusion. God knew we were going into the enemy's battlefield and would need strong spiritual prayer warriors.
As a result, the Gospel of Jesus Christ began to ring out loud and clear in the jail and distractions dropped to a minimum! I thank God for answering the prayers of our powerful jail prayer ministry who spiritually stopped the enemy in their tracks! I believe the prayers of these saints were greatly responsible for the 500 plus salvations we are now witnessing each year!
As Paul asked his prayer warriors to pray, it is equally as important for our jail team to pray "that whenever we open our mouths, words may be given us so that we will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which we are an ambassador..... Pray that we may declare it fearlessly, as we should." (Eph 6:18-20).