36 I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].’
I remember well my very first prison ministry encounter because the impact was unbelievable. Back in 2003 as a youth pastor in a local church in Nairobi, we had the opportunity to partner with Joyce Meyers Ministry for a prison outreach. We were able to put up a team that went out to visit all apart from2 or 3 prisons in Kenya and we did that over a period of 10 days. The life changing thing was first just seeing the deplorable conditions the prisoners were living in. To see them appreciate small things like a tooth brush and toothpaste or toilet paper was humbling and the sitting down to hear their stories brought tears to my eyes.
Over the next several years, we would consistently have people visit the church or office and to let us know that we visited them in prison and now they were out.
God expects you and I to visit prisoners and not to forget about them. In fact Jesus said that this is one of the things He would reward on that day when He comes back. Many times we look at those who are in prison as misfits who deserve what they are getting and we have no time for them. We have been called to love, love even the prisoner.
Lest we forget, Paul the great apostle was put in prison because of preaching the word. Paul and Silas were at one time also chained in prison and when they raised up a sound of praise, an angel of the Lord set them free. What about Joseph? Was he not put in prison being falsely accused of attempted rape? Think about Daniel, or John the Baptist, even Jesus himself was held in custody between His arrest and crucifixion.
Hebrews 13:3 (AMP)
3 Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering].
May we not be so caught up and engrossed with our own little issues thinking we are better than those who are in prison. May godly compassion fill our hearts that we may reach out to remember those who are in prison as if we were their fellow prisoner.