Hope Within (theme for 2017)
What hopes do you have? For yourself, for those close to you, for your community, for people in prison.
We don’t have to look far to find hope. Think of the gifts or the talents each individual has.
Hold an apple in your hands and, maybe with others or by yourself, speculate on the number of seeds there may be within the apple. Then open it, count the seeds and offer a prize to the one who got it right! Now hold just one tiny seed between your fingers and ask the question: ‘how many apples are inside the seed?’ No-one could say, but nurtured and given the chance, the seed might be the start of a new orchard...
Sometimes it’s locked away and not recognised but each human being has enormous potential. Catch a glimpse of that, and imagine what resources could be untapped.
Jesus said "No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ because the Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21, Good News Translation).
"Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them." Hebrews 13:3
Time in prison can offer the opportunity for personal growth. People can discover their gifts and who they are. They can acquire skills and develop their talents, all of which makes it more likely that people will be able to play a part in their community to the benefit of all.
The Prisoners Week Prayer
Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for those who are held in prison.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love: prisoners, their families and friends,
prison staff, chaplains and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the activities of others,
especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, to love mercy,
and walk humbly together with Christ
in his strength and in his Spirit,
now and every day. Amen.
You can also record your own thoughts here: Share My Hopes
On this website you’ll find Prisoners Week information, a calendar of events, details of organisations that offer help and advice, discussion ideas, reflections, and worship resources which include prayers from the Christian and Islamic Faiths. In every prison Chaplains and those working with them offer spiritual care and the means by which people can explore and practise faith.
Read a true testimony on 'Hope Within' from a prisoner.
Prisoners Week is an initiative of the Churches that aims to stimulate discussion, highlight concerns and share hope.
"What the Lord requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God." Micah 6:8