Praying Behind Bars, By Vincent Franklin and Rick DiLaurenzo

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In many prisons, there are groups of active Christians who participate in spiritual activities that are never portrayed on television or reported in the news.  Christians go to services, provide funds from their meager pay for charities, hold fund raising events for charities, attend bible studies, and participate as members of a prayer group or committee.

For several years now, my friend, Vincent Franklin, at the State Correctional Institute (SCI) at Dallas, PA. has been sharing prayer requests from the SCI Dallas Prayer Committee for our ministry website: .  Recently I asked him to provide me with the inner workings of the Prayer Committee so that our readers would get a chance to see behind the walls and discover what these committed Christians do in their prayer life.  He provided me with a detailed response which shows the level of commitment and spirituality that is at the core of their relationship with God.

“Each Sunday, the congregation puts their prayer requests on a 4 X 4 blue sheet of blue paper, and these sheets are then given to the head of the prayer committee.  The requests are distributed to members throughout the week to pray over and are then returned.  Every two weeks, there is a prayer vigil in the chapel (2nd and 4th Monday).  The members can sign up on a sheet in the back of the chapel.  How awesome, men going to chapel who earnestly want to pray!”

“And then there are prayer bands—open to anyone who wants to sign up.  These are a group of men, praying and interceding on behalf of each other.  Many prayers have been answered; for others we continue to await their manifestation. At the end of each service, there is an altar call.  Men come forward for prayer or wanting to receive salvation.”

“We usually receive 100 to 125 prayer requests.  These requests then go out to the churches in the street.  Some go to the New Life Evangelistic Church, some to a church that a member’s aunt belongs to.”

Vincent Franklin also forwards the prayer requests to Discovering the Jewish Jesus, Blissfield, MO, where they have a 24-hour prayer room, called the Key of David. There has been someone in this prayer room 24/7/365 since 2/14/2007.  Prayer requests are also sent to Jewish Jewels, Ft. Lauderdale, FL., Friends of Israel, Bellmawr, NJ., Town Hill UMC, Shickshinny, PA, and Dallas Baptist Church, Dallas, PA.

One of the members of the SCI Dallas Prayer Committee, Juan Matos, also volunteers for hospice.  He shares the word of God for those men dying in the infirmary, reaching those places in the prison that the prayer committee can’t reach.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”        (1 Corinthians 12: 12-14)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I would like to thank my friend, Vincent Franklin, for partnering with this ministry and for providing the information for this article. He also shares some prayer requests with this ministry monthly, and I invite all readers to visit our prayer request page—as we all form one body—and join us in these prayers!  Rick DiLaurenzo

You can contact the author to encourage and comment:
Smart Communications/PADOC
Vincent Franklin GG6242
SCI Dallas
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL. 33733


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