The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
The County Jail has been closed to volunteers since March, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. But some of the men are still meeting and discussing scripture together. I know of two such groups, but there may be others “How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133) Please pray for these men, that they may see the “good work” God is doing in them. As Paul told the Philippians, “I am persuaded that he who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil.1:6) And he said, “God is able to do far more for us than all we ask or imagine, by his power at work within us,” (Eph. 3:20) May he bless them by his healing power and his good work within them.
I have kept busy writing letters to men in prison Please pray for “P’, who wrote “I recently started judiciously studying the Bible.” This was my response.
”In an attempt to be “judicious,” impartial, cautious, and rational when studying the Bible, you may miss the whole point . The Lord says,” You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.(Jeremiah 29:13.) This calls for a complete commitment, and we seek him, not with our mind, but with our hearts.. What God offers us through the Bible is not primarily an intellectual experience, but a spiritual experience. As the Apostle Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 2:12-13: Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words..
John 14:25-26: Jesus said, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 16:13-15: Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth… He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you.”
Please pray for “J.”, finally out of prison after 20 years. I recently sent him a special version of John, with notes and commentary. He responded: “We are reading the Gospel of John. It is truly amazing what Jesus was doing at that time. It’s all written down and it’s all true. It’s a shame that people forgot or don’t understand if the path is already there and that he already perform the miracles people want to see to believe in God.’
Please pray for “T.”’ We have written back and forth many times over the years. In my last letter to him, I sent him my Bible Study Outline, “Spiritual Disciplines,” and asked him what he thought of it. He replied, “I read the enclosed material on “Spiritual Disciplines” and I must say, Matt, I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m pretty good at the discipline of service, but need some work on Bible study, fellowship and prayer. Thanks for sharing this with me. I do read all the info you provide and pass it on to others so they can read it as well.
Pray that the books I give the men, like the Study Bibles, and books by R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, John MacArthur, and C.S. Lewis, would give them hope and show them how to find the Lord.. Pray that books like The Twelve Steps for Christians and The Life Recovery Bible would show them how to find healing from addiction, working the 12 Steps with Jesus as their “Higher Power.”
A young husband and wife died together recently. Their death was sudden and unexpected. It was not, as might be expected, from the Covid-19 Pandemic, but rather from another pandemic infecting the land: The disease of addiction. Please pray for the families of this young man and woman. Much prayer had already gone up to the Lord on behalf of this couple and they seemed to be doing better. They had been involved in their church.
But now they were gone. So many had prayed so hard for them, for so long: Please pray that they will not fall into despair. We wouldn’t blame them for being angry with God. But whatever way they experience their grief and pain at this tragic loss, please pray that there will be friends to support them and understand them, without judgment or criticism.
What the church might call “backsliding,” the Recovery community calls “relapsing.” This sounds a lot less judgmental. Pray that everyone who hears about this couple will understand that this was not a moral failure on their part, but just a fatal disease that finally did them in. Pray that the things Jesus said like “Take the log out of your own eye” and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” would really hit home.
Pray for parents who may just be finding out that a son or daughter has a problem with addiction. This may be a frightening revelation. Parents may be angry, hurt, and disappointed. Pray for pastors counselors and Christian friends to be there to offer support and encouragement. Other parents might have been aware of their children’s struggle with addiction for years. They may still love them, and want desperately to help, but they don’t know how.
Pray for the children of addicts, who just can’t understand why Mom and Dad have changed so much. It hurts so much that their parents don’t want to play with them or talk to them any more. And pray for parents full of guilt and shame, because they know they aren’t giving their children the love and attention they deserve.
Pray for wives who got married to wonderful husbands, only to find that addiction was ruining the man they had fallen in love with. Pray for women who find themselves doing things they never imagined they would do, just to support their habit .Pray for those who resort to prostitution.
Pray for everyone struggling with addiction to find healing, deliverance and peace. Pray for the AA and NA communities and for everyone working the 12 steps, that they would look to Jesus to be the “Power greater than themselves who can restore them to sanity.” (Step Two.) Pray for them to not only be restored to sanity, but forgiven and healed by accepting Jesus as their Savior. And when they “Turn their will and lives over to God,”(Step Three,) pray for them to truly let Jesus be Lord of their lives. When they pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” pray that they will truly let him have complete authority over their feelings, their thoughts, and their actions.
Many of us in prison ministry, substance abuse treatment, and the criminal Justice system have become convinced that addiction should be considered an illness, rather than a crime. Please pray that those who are charged with minor offenses like simple possession would be placed in treatment programs rather than jail. And pray for many more programs to open, so there would be a place available for everyone who needs one.
I would like to thank all those who continue to provide faithful, generous, ongoing support for our Ministry. They have helped us survive these troubled economic times secure and in peace, and we are very grateful.
In Christ, Matt K.
I raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and me. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:
Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
PO Box 461
Goffstown, NH 03045
You can email me for more information at email@example.com.