Prayers during a Pandemic: For Those in Prisons and Jails

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today we pray for people who live in prisons and detention centers or who are currently in jail.

Today we pray for people who are incarcerated. We pray for all those in prisons, jails, and detention centers.

We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people who we know are incarcerated].

We pray for those who are new to incarceration and those familiar with it. We pray for all of them hope for themselves and compassion for each other.

We pray for those who have done the hard work of making meaning in their lives and for those who seek it. We pray for them peace of heart and clarity of vision.

We pray for those who need kindness. We pray that they experience it, feel it, show it.

We pray for those who are afraid. We pray for them comfort.

We pray for those who are in ill-health or who fear it. We pray for them strength.

We pray for all those who miss people who miss incarcerated loved ones. We pray for the families, friends, and loved ones of those who are imprisoned. We pray that their memories of loved ones comfort them and that the time and connection they may have with ther incarcerate loved ones comfort them.

We pray for communities disrupted by incarceration. We pray for communities harmed by crime. We pray for them liberation and justice. We pray for them safety and dignity.

We pray for all those who care for people who are incarcerated, including prison guards, nurses, food service staff, wardens, chaplains, teachers, and volunteers. We pray for them tender hearts and consciences, an unwavering orientation to justice, and bottomless wells of hope.

We are thankful for all those who are incarcerated. We seek their welfare and remember that it is our own.

Prison Scene, c.1808 - c.1812 - Francisco Goya

Above, Prison Scene (1808-1812) by Francisco  Goya, shows men in prison. In the foregrand, one stands, using an aid of some kind, wrapped in a shawl. Another lies on teh floor, his feet bound. A third is in the background, seated.

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