Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Prayer Blogging - Prisoner edition

I've been struck lately by the number of prisoners in the news. Generally, we just lock 'em up and forget about them. No wonder Jesus calls all Christians to visit prisoners.

The news in the U.K. is all about the 4 Christian men (Norman Kember (UK), Tom Fox (USA), James Loney (CA), and Harmeet Singh Sooden (CA)) who travelled to Iraq as a "gesture of solidarity" with Canada-based international peace group Christian Peacemaker Teams, but were taken hostage. Many folks have appealed for their safe release, including a former Gitmo prisoner, a current terrorism detainee in the UK, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also, a sort of cause celebré has broken out around Stanley Tookie Williams. He is a co-founder of the Crips. He has a horrible past, but has since done many good works from inside the prison. He is scheduled to die on December 13, 2005 by lethal injection. Governor Schwarzenegger has heard requests for clemency. I don't know all the facts in this case, but since I'm strongly anti-death penalty, I want to pray for Mr. Williams as well.

Let us pray for these men.

Lord Jesus as these five men face the real possibiity of their imminent death, we ask your Holy Spirit to envelope them in a peace that surpasses all understanding. Let these men settle their accounts with you and realize how lacking they are. Thank you that the grace of Jesus covers over all their sins. I ask that those with the power of life and death will choose life. In the case of the Christian Peacemaker Team, I ask that these men be freed without harm immediatley. May these men display the Gospel in their actions and words every day. Strengthen them every moment to turn the other cheek when they are struck and love their enemies. Jesus please allow some way for these men to be freed. With You all things are possible.

Father may you guide Gov. Schwarzenegger as he tries to administer justice in the case of Mr. Williams. May the reformation inside Mr. Williams be truthful and honest. If he is granted clemency Lord, please remind him daily that it is because of your hand and that he owes you everything. May Mr. Williams life and subsequent change glorify You. Let the world see the power You have in changing a murderer to a peace activist.