Great God, hear my prayer for every person in prison
convicted of a sexual offence.
These are the people I count as enemy,
that our society counts as enemy;
rapists, abusers, child molesters.
Jesus, you are the key of David,
you walk through every locked prison door,
you look with love into the heart of each one.
You know the history of aggression,
and that when the unspeakable is done to us,
blind pain can cause us to lash out.
You see how violence leaves deep scars on the violators.
And so we pray—
for those who have no hope of parole,
show them that you can open the prison of their heart;
for those who are stuck in webs of lies and denial,
open their eyes to the value of repentance;
for those who are in desperate need of therapy,
change our systems that deny treatment;
for those who have been abandoned by friends and family,
bring visitors and helpers to comfort them;
for those who have internalized hateful labels
like “scum of the earth”, and “garbage”,
open their ears to hear you whisper the word “beloved”.
Unsettle us with improbable and unexpected incarnations
as you are born again in the cages we call prisons.
Right in the midst of broken dreams and wasted lives
there you are: Immanuel, Christ the Lord,
God with us. Amen.