Good Friday Prayer for Those Who Suffer

Jesus, you walked a dark path;
you took on the suffering of the world as your own.
And so today we pray for all who suffer.
We see your face in the face of those in captivity,
and so we pray for inmates in _________________ [our local jail]
whose pain is muffled by high walls and barbed wire.
We see your face in the face of those unjustly accused,
and so we pray for those who are being held without a trial,
who fear they will not get out alive.
We see your face in those who are tortured,
and so we pray for all who are chained,
and whose bodies flinch with every blow.

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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….

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An Advent Prayer for 35,000 People in Prison

Jesus, you know the 35,000 people in jail in Canada

by name, not number.

You know each holding cell, each regional detention centre,

each provincial institution and federal prison.

You were a captive, you too wore chains.

No one falls through the cracks in your kingdom,

you witness every tear shed in the night.

Where there is loneliness, bring companionship.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is fear, courage.

Where there is confinement, your freedom.

We pray for every imprisoned person who misses their family,

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Advent Peace Prayer: Behind Bars

Emmanuel, God with us,

Saviour to captives and prisoners everywhere,

at this celebration of your birth

be with each lonely soul

exiled behind bars.

Emmanuel, God with us,

Saviour to prison guards and wardens everywhere,

at this celebration of your birth

protect those with power

from temptations of tyranny.

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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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