Prayer for Imprisoned Sexual Offenders

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.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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