Orthodox Thought for the Day


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I am pleased to share with you BLESSINGS BEYOND BARS, the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry’s Lenten youth project. Click on this link http://theorthodoxprisonministry.org/blessings-beyond-bars/.  There you’ll find a complete Sunday School lesson plan designed to both educate youth and bless those behind bars. 
Children will learn about prison ministry in a positive way and be able to create a unique craft that turns into a fund-raising box to use throughout the Lenten season and beyond, if desired.  Monies raised will help OCPM purchase Orthodox books, Bibles, prayer books and icons for prisoners.  This is a great way to encourage your children to bless the incarcerated—“visiting them” through prayer and provision of practical materials. 
So often churches are looking for new projects to involve young people in ministry.  We tend to think of prison ministry as something that can only be done by adults.  Not so.  We may not have considered that young people can both pray and help make it possible to bless prisoners with practical, edifying materials.  A child can certainly pray for prisoners, many of whom have families—spouses and children or parents and siblings on the outside.  It is not only the prisoner who suffers by incarceration—families suffer, too, by extension.  I’m glad that OCPM has made a way for churches to educate and involve our youth in prison ministry this season.  I hope your church family will want to be involved in this Lenten project. 
For more info about OCPM and what they have to offer, please see the Ortho Thought posting here:  http://otftd.blogspot.com/2014/02/ortho-xian-prison-ministry.html
God’s peace,
Presbytera Candace

These prayers can be said for all who are in prison or for a specific person:

Almighty God, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, come to the aid of those in prison (or Name) and grant them (him or her) Your peace in the midst of this difficult time in their (his or her) life. I believe Lord, that all of the trials of life are under Your care and that all things work for the good of those who love You. Take away from those in prison (Name) all fear, anxiety and distress. Help them (him or her) to face and endure their (his or her) incarceration with faith, courage and wisdom. Grant that this trial may bring them (him or her) closer to You for You are our rock and our refuge, our comfort and our hope, our delight and our joy. I trust in Your love and compassion. Blessed is Your name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. 
O God, our help in time of need, Who are just and merciful, and Who hears the prayers of His people, look upon those in prison (or Name) and have mercy on them (him or her) in the midst of the troubles that now beset them (him or her).  Deal with them (him or her) not according to their (his or her) iniquities, but according to Your great mercy. We are the works of Your hands and You know our weaknesses. I pray to you to grant them (Name) Your divine helping grace and to endow them (him or her) with patience and strength to endure their (his or her) hardships with complete submission to Your Will. Only You know their (his or her) misery and sufferings. You are their (his or her) only hope and refuge. Help them (him or her) to flee to You for relief and comfort, trusting in Your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, according to Your perfect will, You will turn their (his or her) distress into comfort. We rejoice in Your mercy, and exalt and praise Your Holy Name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

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