‘Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ HEBREWS 4 v16 NKJV
Starting tomorrow, we will be engaging in a week of prayer for prisons and all of those connected with them. We’ll be re-publishing the prayers here along with links to the official site www.prisonsweek.org. To start us off here’s the opening paragraph to set us up for a week of prayer;
“To boldly go where no one has gone before” Who can forget these immortal words of Captain James T. Kirk announcing his star trekking mission? The writer to the Hebrews recognises an even more challenging journey in his call to boldness. And yet it is a journey that anyone can travel, especially at times of need, the journey to a God who promises justice, grace and mercy. Those who through their own actions, or the actions of others, find themselves engaged with our penal system and those who work and volunteer in criminal justice, can find that they are travelling this path. The prisoner, the victim, the family member, uniformed and support staff, magistrates, prison chaplains – all can find themselves calling out or silently yearning for mercy and grace to help them in times of need. The motivation and encouragement to keep moving forwards can be drowned out by the pressing, competing voices of very real needs. The light at the journey’s end might be elusive. But we believe that it is before God’s throne, surrounded by the power of grace, that all those who are searching and asking will truly find the help they seek. In Prisons Week, as we boldly approach His throne, let us stand together in prayer with those struggling to cope with imprisonment or involvement in our criminal justice system: that all affected will know what it means to find the compassion of God’s mercy and the grace of Jesus Christ, carrying us through particular and difficult times of need. “To boldly go” … where many have gone before, and where we go together, in prayer.
Rt Rev Richard Moth Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and Catholic Bishops’ Conference Liaison Bishop for Prisons