Greetings, during this season of spiritual renewal!
A prisoner's life can be and is very dull. When any act of violence takes place in the facility, everyone is locked down for 23 hours. They can only be let out to take a shower.
We send in spiritual reading materials to our flock and encourage them to develop a prayer rule. Praying can be difficult due to the lack of privacy. Nevertheless, we send in special services that a layperson can perform. One service I send is called the blessing of their living area (cell). It's a simple service. The service involves the Trisagion prayers, prayers for protection and a blessing for their cell. On the bottom of each letter I put a cross that they can cut out. On this cross we have placed a drop of blessed water. I have them place the cross in a cup of water and pray the prayers of blessing and protection. After saying their prayers, I ask them to drink the remaining water for their health and salvation.
"And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them." (Exodus 15:23-25)
Here is a letter I received this week:
"Thank you so much for your letter and the "Twenty Four Prayers for 24 Hours". I am going to have copies made so I can share them with friends of mine. I am so thankful for your ministry Father David. I am one of those people who would never fit within the "cookie cutter sheet", but I do love our Lord and do my best to love my neighbor. Of course, sometimes it can be very difficult to love my neighbor, for me it calls for a lof of patience and prayer."
— A prisoner in Maryland
This is the type of prisoner we minister to. People who are ready and anxious to transform their lives within the facilities they are living in. This is why we send them special prayers and services. Prayers and services that anyone can do.
As we enter this season of Advent and prepare for the birth of our Lord, please remember those who are behind these prison walls, that the Lord will continue to work and change their lives.
Fr. David Ogan