Not surprisingly, the most popular song of praise among the women who attend chapel services at the federal prison is "Freedom" by Michael Larson (an Abbotsford resident actually). If they had the choice we would sing that song every Sunday - and that's pretty much the case. Today I drove to Abbotsford to lead the chapel service because the chaplain took some time off for a much needed rest. I prepared a message and picked songs and practiced them, among them was "Freedom" (thanks to those who prayed for me). Only one woman, Alice, attended the service today, but it was worth driving out there just for her. She loves to sing praises to the Lord and she wanted to hear my message, so I preached it just for her. Then we spent some time praying together. Alice suffers with terrible lower back pain that causes her to have to walk with two canes. The pain is so bad that it actually wakes her up at night. On top of the back pain and its crippling effects, she recently had a terrible bout of flu as well. She told me about how she is learning to come against the pain and the sickness in her body through prayer and by reading the Word of God. One night she woke up in terrible pain at 3:30 a.m. and decided that instead of giving in to the pain she would read her Bible. She fell asleep after reading a while and slept like a baby until 9 a.m.; her scripture reading took her focus off the pain and filled her with the peace that passes all understanding.
Would you lift Alice and her back problem up to the Lord in prayer with me? I laid hands on her back today and asked Jesus to place His hand of healing on her. I asked Him for a miracle. It would bring Alice joy and hope to know the healing touch of Jesus while she is in prison, and I believe that He will respond because He loves to show His love and care to those who seek Him. Will you agree with me in prayer? This is my prayer for Alice tonight:
I pray that the eyes of (her) heart may be enlightened, so that (she) will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:18-20)
Lord, I pray that You would demonstrate the greatness of Your power in Alice's life - the same power that raised Jesus from the dead - as you bring healing to her back and to her emotions. Help her to rest in You, even though her future and her parole date are uncertain at this particular time. I pray that her heart will be enlightened so that she will know the hope of Your calling and the riches of Your glorious inheritance. Please fill her with Your peace and give her favour with the parole board. Thank You that You live in her and that her life is in You. I pray in Jesus' Name.