My most challenging burdens are things I do not want my church community to know or pray about. Some things are yearned for intensely, but are out of season, and might rightfully never be in season. Nevertheless, I believe in making those requests, then submitting to our Lord’s will.
Interestingly, David prayed for the life of his first child with Bathsheba, but due to the adulterous and murderous foundation of their union, the Lord took their baby. However, despite their problematic origin, the Lord eventually blessed them with Solomon. That was outrageous grace!
In 1986, I committed a horrible crime. I was on Death Row from 1988 to 2003, when I exchanged my appellate rights for a sentence of Life Without Parole. Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that due to the incomplete development of the brain, it is unconstitutional to sentence people to life without parole who were under the age of eighteen when they offended. Now, Juvenile lifers get to go home. At some point, the Supreme Court might reach the same conclusion for people who were eighteen to twenty-five. I was twenty. Who knows if I will be the beneficiary of outrageous grace?
Notwithstanding, it would be improper to ask my church community to seek God’s grace regarding intense yearnings which shall remain nameless; my most challenging burdens. As Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Mathew 6:6, NIV )
By Josoph Henry
EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your letters and cards of encouragement to Josoph Henry. Regulations require you use a plain white envelope (no stickers), with his name and DOC # on the First Line. You must use a return address on the top left corner of the envelope, but if you wish, you may use my ministry return address: Prison Mentoring, Box 310, Hilltown PA 18927.
Josoph Henry, AS 1498, SCI Dallas, 1000 Follies Road, Dallas, PA 18612