Prayer for inmate release

Prayer for Prison Inmates

The following prayers were written in response to letters from prisoners requesting prayers to be used by them in special circumstances. They may be prayed in agreement with a prayer partner or intercessor.
Prayer for an Inmate’s
Protection and Future
Father, I pray that I may become useful and helpful and kind to those around me, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving others , as You, Father, in Christ forgave me my sins.
It is my desire to be an imitator of You, Lord. With the Holy Spirit as my Helper, I will , as a well-beloved child . I purpose to walk in love , as Christ loves me. As I attend to Your Word, I depend on Your Holy Spirit to teach me to live a life of victory in Christ Jesus my Lord.
In the name of Jesus, I am Your child. I am dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. I say of You, Lord, that You are my Refuge and Fortress: my God; in You will I trust. You cover me with Your feathers, and under Your wings shall I trust: Your truth is my shield and buckler.
Because You are my Lord, my Refuge and Habitation, no evil shall befall me — no accident will overtake me — neither shall any plague or calamity come near me. You give Your angels charge over me, to keep me in all of my ways .
Thank You for hearing my prayer. You are with me in trouble; You deliver me and satisfy me with long life and show me Your salvation.
In Jesus’ name, amen.


Prayer for an Incarcerated
Parent and His/Her Children
Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking Him!” Don’t hide from me now.
I didn’t know it before, but I know now that You’ve always been right here for me; don’t turn Your back on me now. Don’t throw me out and don’t abandon me; You’ve always kept the door open.
Thank You for sending ministers to tell me about You and Your love for me.
My children say they hate me; they feel abandoned and alone. Even though their father/mother walked away from them, I ask You, Father, to take them in.
Lord of the harvest, I ask You to send laborers of the harvest and wise counselors to my children, who have been hurt by my actions.
Father, I have sinned against You, against my children, and against myself. I repent of the sins that have so easily beset me and ask You to forgive me.
Father, Your Word assures me that You forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank You for forgiving me. I pray that my children will be willing to forgive me so that we may be a family again.
In the name of Jesus, I cast the care of my children on You and rest in the assurance that You will perfect that which concerns me. I put on the garment of praise and delight myself in You. Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth.
In Jesus’ name, amen.


Prayer for an Inmate To Pray
for His/Her Family and Caregiver
Father, I have sinned against You, against my children, and against myself. I repent of the sins that have so easily beset me and ask for Your forgiveness.
Father, Your Word assures me that You forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank You for forgiving me. I pray that my children will be willing to forgive me so that we may be a family again.
Thank You for the one who has assumed responsibility for my children while I am away. I pray that You will strengthen him/her and fill him/her with Your Spirit Who gives him/her great wisdom, ability, and skill in rearing the children You gave to me. I repent for failing to assume my responsibility to my children, and I ask You to reward the one who is taking care of them.
His/her mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of his/her heart shall be understanding. I thank You that he/she is in Christ Jesus, Who has been made unto him/her wisdom from You — his/her righteousness, holiness, and redemption. He/she is filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that he/she may live a life worthy of You and may please You in every way, bearing fruit in every good work.
Father, I am responsible for my own actions, and I recognize that what I have done has hurt my entire family. Forgive me for dishonoring You, my family, my friends, and my children. Give me the grace to pay my debt and do my assigned work as unto You. Help me to develop diligence and patience, giving myself to prayer, study, and meditation in Your Word.
Lord, there is violence within these walls, but I look to You. Hide me in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of others. Keep me

Scripture References:
Ephesians 4:32 AMP Psalm 91:9-11 AMP
Ephesians 5:1,2 AMP Psalm 91:15,16
Psalm 91:1,2,4

Psalm 27:7-10 MESSAGE Isaiah 61:3

Matthew 9:38 Psalm 37:4
1 John 1:9 Psalm 86:11 AMP
1 Peter 5:7 Hebrews 12:1
Psalm 138:8

1 John 1:9 Colossians 1:9,10 AMP

Psalm 49:3 Colossians 3:23,24
1 Corinthians 1:30 Psalm 31:20

© 2014 Word Ministries, Inc.
CODE HOW TO PRAY AB Winsome fellow, most of his youthful years spent in prison, saved but fallen away from disciplines and evangelistic fervor; pray for revival; SOON RELEASE! DY Regular attender; shows growth in Christian walk; pray for continuing interest & that he may withstand the forces of evil so strong in prsion. FZ Wife told him recently she was sleeping around; prayer for marriage, pray for renewed spiritual interest. GH Very happy-go-lucky and engaging; not very regular, except to movies; pray for salvation RELEASED! ST Very active Christian, a leader in the dorms; has been active but has been absent much of late; pray for renewed vibrancy in Christian walk. Pray for his wife & children, very loyal. MOVED; RELEASED… FINALLY! Pray for his integration into life outside and with his family. GA Rededicated life to Christ first time attending; needs reconciliation with father, brother, wife, kids. Pray for continued faithfulness, freedom from meth. MOVED to OSP HB Older inmate; seemed very interested in Bible study. Has only attended once. Pray for interest; salvation. RELEASED. IL Occasional attender; personable; constant companion of EH; pray for increased interest in the Way of our Lord. RELEASED! Pray for spiritual interests outside/jobs/family/church. ANSWER TO PRAYER! HAS GOOD JOB… pray for increased spiritual interests! LO New Christian, very regular, most active and eager participant, evangelistic; praise for restored family relationships; pray for continued growth; back pain relief. ANSWERS! Back pain better; improved family relations; pray for daughter’s spiritual interests PR New Christian; praise for Christian family support outside; pray for consistency and healing to see his musical talent as serving his Lord. NEEDS TO RETURN to services; has HOLLOW LOOK when seen in halls. Oh, pray for this dear brother to keep him safe from the evil all around him. GK New to group, regular to worship; hang-dog expression. Pray for salvation. Wants to marry Coffee Crk gal; pray for patience! DG New Christian, very regular, active participant, evangelistic, hard worker for the Lord; pray for restored relationships with Christian members of his family; pray for victory over personal violence. Soon to be released. Pray-pray! These last few months are very hard to keep up spirituality. EF New Christian, very regular, active participant, evangelistic, hard worker for the Lord; pray for Christian members of his family to reconcile; pray for his constancy;  against the evil one. MOVED GL New attendee and fairly regular. Always asks for prayer for his children, two young boys. Pray for increasing interest in spiritual life. NO New Christian, very regular, active participant, evangelistic, hard worker for the Lord; praise for Christian family support outside; pray for his constancy against the evil one. TQ New attendee; personable; grieving death of parent; very regular to meetings; pray for growing interest in The Way of our Lord. ANSWER: much greater interest! Leadership role in service.. GJ New attendee; glum visage brightened; not regular to meetings; pray for his walk and growing practice writing praise songs. ANSWERS!, praise God! MOVED NQ Regular attendee; previously a glum visage; ANSWER! Brighter counenance and leads worship; is accomplished on guitar. MOVED. KZ New attendee and very regular; pray for increasing interest in Christian walk. ANSWERS! 100% attendance! Very involved in prayer & discussion. RELEASED: was not regular at last; pray for his parole. TU New attendee and somewhat irregular; young Christian; pray for him to be more regular to services and for increasing interest in Christian walk. GF New, young, with little Bible knowledge. Inconsistent attendance. Pray for him to increase his interest in spiritual matters and for salvation. VW New attendee and somewhat irregular; young Christian; pray for him to be more regular to services and for increasing interest in Christian walk. MOVED. GZ Likeable fellow, attends sporadically, responsive; pray for growing interest. FI Good natured and engaging; not very regular to services, except to communion portion of Sunday service!; pray for salvation ML Christian and quite regular; marriage shaky and this troubles him; for his increased interest in his Christian walk: served AGAIN with divorce papers; continue diligent prayer!!! JM Christian and quite regular, but given to moodiness; fairly regular; family troubles on outside; pray for his family, pray for his increased interest in his Christian walk GD New and fairly regular. Pray for salvation and new walk with God. BZ Attends VERY regularly; comes on Sunday for worship. Pray for his Christian walk. Pray for his young family. AY Attends regularly the serious services; prays spontaneously with other inmates; VERY REGULAR; EVANGELIST; pray for him to remain strong in the Lord. SU Attended regularly a few months ago; has quit; altercation put him in OSP; pray for his salvation and to return both to Mill Creek and to our services. JZ Attended once, on a recent Bible study night; pray for him to return; needs to be more serious in gathering with fellow-believers. NZ Attended just once, last meeting; pray for increasing interest in Christian walk ZX Attended his first night in this prison; had been active in worship at other institution; asked prayer for wife to renew her walk with God and to resist divorce. VA New, young, appearing somewhat terrifiedc. Has attended once. Pray for him to increase his interest in spiritual matters and for salvation. VB New, young, agreeable & good natured. Has attended once. Pray for him to increase his interest in spiritual matters and for salvation. VC New, young and promised to return. Has attended once. Pray for him to increase his interest in spiritual matters and for salvation.
YZ Attended for awhile; then quit; a miracle in personal life brought him back and he’s been very regular to Sunday and teaching; pray for continued and growing interest in Christ. OZ,AD,BC,LZ,CX,GE,HZ,SQ,TR,VT,WU,XV: Each attended one movie night; pray for growing interest in Christ. GO,GN,GM,GG,OR,GC,ZB,JL,LJ,PS,RP,RT,DB,KN: Each attended from zero to two times; pray for renewed interest in Christ. MZ,YA,HK,IG,BZ: Each attended one Bible Study night; pray for renewed interest in Christ, and principles of Christianity.

Here are six prayers that you can send to a prisoner or someone who’s in prison now can use.

Prayers for their Family

Father, we pray for those who are incarcerated, but we also pray for their families that they would receive the care and attention they need, and have their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met by other family members, friends, church members, or someone else. Please Lord, allow them to keep their hope alive that a family member behind bars is still not forsaken or forgotten by God if they have trusted in Christ; if not, we pray for them to know Your Son, Jesus Christ. May the families find comfort from others who are in similar situations and that they would be praying for one another. Oh Righteous Father of Mercy, I pray for these men and women who are cut off from their families and who are serving time behind bars. As you know, it is very hard being separated from loved ones. I pray these inmates may be able to see themselves as you see them, and that they are a child of theirs and are co-heirs with Christ, just as much as those who are out in the world. We know, if they never get out, we will all meet together someday at the great wedding feast of the Lamb of God. If they are able to be released, please shield them from the judgment of others because they have already paid their debt to society, and they are now free. They shouldn’t be referred to as a criminal, con, or anything but a child of God…just like we are. Many of these men and women face that double jeopardy every day of their life after prison, so help others see them as forgiven and cleansed, and a child of God, and treated with respect and not treated as if they’re still guilty. I pray this in the name that is above all names, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

prayer for inmate release

Prayer for Peace of Mind

Father God, I pray for those prisoners who are behind bars and that You give those who’ve trusted in You, peace. Please help them to know that You are sovereign over all things and that much good can come from bad (Gen 50:20; John 3:16), and in even these men and women’s darkest hours, You are their true source of light which is found in Jesus Christ. I pray that you give them the peace that Your Word promises for those who believe in Your Son (Rom 5:1) and please help them to know they are no longer condemned (Rom 8:1). With the comfort that You give us, please give to them Lord, so that they might pillow their head tonight in peace, knowing that if you would come tonight, those doors would be open forevermore. I ask this for the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray, amen.

Protection from Danger

Father God, truly only You know how these men and women feel at this time. We cannot know exactly what they are living through right now. The world seems to be getting more dangerous every day Lord, and maybe for these men and women who might live with that fear. In Your sovereign providence, it pleased You to call out some of these in their darkest hours, and to become new creations in Christ (2nd Cor 5:17); to a new life in Christ. Help see that they can run to You Father, for You are a Rock and a Shield to those Who trust in You. In Your great wisdom God, You sometimes use hard places to soften hearts, and in such darkness, your grace is more amazing. Not many of us are great in the eyes of the world, but You have no respect for persons. You reach out to those who humble themselves Father, so help them submit to You and be set free from their fear by trusting in You. Please Father, protect them on the inside so that they would be able to study Your Word, be a witness to those still sitting in darkness, and submit to authorities which is submitting to God (Rom 13:1-5). God, You alone know the future of these men and women; help them to rest in Your sovereignty. Help them to know they can trust in You. For those who have not trusted in Your Son and received eternal life, please set divine appointments for those who are Christ’s witnesses inside the prisons, and keep them safe from harm while being His voice. May You receive all the glory for these men and women’s lives that’ve trusted in You, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

Hope in the Future

Great God in heaven, thank you for those who have received eternal life in Jesus Christ, and for those who have been born again behind prison bars. Please Father, enable them to see hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. Give them a desire to seek Him, and to long for that eternal home when all of the present, evil and suffering will be history (Rev 21:4). Please send them Your Spirit to point them to Your Word of hope in Your Holy Word, the Bible. Apart from You, and Your Word, we could not know You or Your Son, Jesus Christ, so thank You for granting us Your mercy and giving us Your grace, and for those who You have pardoned, even if the state has not, they are seen as having Jesus’ righteousness (2nd Cor 5:21). Help them to see that You have pardoned them, without parole, and loved them unconditionally. Lord God, allow them to fix their eyes on You, and the hope for a future we can’t even imagine, and that hope is found in Christ, in Whose precious name we pray, amen.

Using Bad for Good

Father, we know You can even use evil for good. All we need to do is to look at the cross, so help these men and women who are incarcerated to know that everything in our life, good and bad, is for our ultimate best (Rom 8:28). Sometimes we don’t always understand how bad can be good. Help these prisoners to see that God is not going to give up on them, because Your Word shows that You forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. If these prisoners are able to see that You are still working in their life Lord, they might have hope and know that You have promised to never leave them or forsake them (Deut 31:6; Heb13:5), even when they or we forsake You. Help them to take You at Your Word, and not use their feelings to guide their beliefs. Perhaps You can use others to help them inside the prison Lord, for nothing is too hard for You. Allow them to see the good that can come from where they’re at now, and even if it looks bleak, good will come from it, and in Jesus’ strong name I pray, amen.

For Such a Time and Place

Great God in Heaven, You alone determine the future and know that which is not yet, so help these men and women to see that You have a purpose for where they are now, and know that You can use anyone for Your glory and for Your purposes, including them. We know that You have commissioned us to make disciples of all nations, and that includes those who are incarcerated. Father, may You use these Christians behind bars to bring others into the kingdom by pointing others to Jesus Christ and trusting Him. They realize that You have allowed them to suffer the consequences for their own actions, yet I realize You may use them to reach others behind bars where we cannot, so please Father, make divine appointments for these Christians in prison, and allow them to cross paths with those whose heart You have prepared for the Word, and in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.


The Bible teaches us that Jesus expects His church to visit those who are in prison. He said, “I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:36), and this is how He sees it; “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40), but we can’t forget about these inmates families either. They need ministering too. If we minister to prisoners and their families, we do it for Jesus, but more importantly, what you do for the inmate’s families, you have done to the inmates. Ministering to prisoners is needed, but so is ministering to the families. They too are in a hard place, mentally, emotionally, and probably financially. Plus, they often live under “guilt by association,” unfair as that is, so they need all of the care and compassion they can get.

Something more for you to read: How I Was Set Free in Prison

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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There are some shocking statistics reported in the following article: including:

  • Spending on books for IL prison inmates has experienced a huge decline. IDOC indicated they partner with outside organizations to supply books.
  • Nearly half of inmates released from IL state prisons will return to incarceration within 3 years based on a 2015 report.
  • IL reincarceration related expenses from 2015-2020 are expected to exceed $16.7 billion.
  • $1 invested on inmate education can reduce reincarceration costs by up to $5.

Education is key to reducing recidivism (reincarceration) and books are a significant part of the solution. Like the organization mentioned in the article, the Used Book Ministry is an entirely volunteer organization that ships books to inmates at no cost to them (Books Offered Last Release).  As of May 8th, year-to-date expenses for postage on books alone approaches $1750, more than IL 2017 spending in just 3 weeks on average (Book Mailings)!

Please consider donating to this worthy ministry (see Donations tab for details). Your contribution is vital to its survival, the well-being of the inmates, and a reduction in recidivism and tax payer dollars.

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