UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON
kinds of suggestions will not only help your friend or relative in prison, but it will also build a stronger relationship between the two of you because he will know that you care and understand. A stronger relationship will provide spiritual growth for him in the future as well.
Private time is precious and should be sought by your friend or loved one as well. In a Christianís life, it is always good to have some private time. Jesus did this many times in the Bible. It is important to find a place were one can get away from everyone and be with God in prayer and reading the Word. This is a very difficult thing to do in prison. The best way is for him to try to figure out his bunkyís daily routine. After a while, your friend or relative will be able to figure out when his bunky is not there and what is a good time to be in the cell for some private time. This will be easier for some than for others. Some bunkyís schedules are more predictable than others. Stress can build up quickly from not having any private time each day. It is good to have at least an hour a day alone.
Sometimes stress can build up and your friend or loved one will not understand what is causing it. He could be stressed out one day and blow up on someone else the next day over something simple. It could be caused by anxiety which stems from a lack of personal time. That is why it is important to have at least one hour a day alone and use this time to pray and read. If one is so stressed out that he canít focus on reading then he should just sit and ask God to show him how this stress begins and what he can do to prevent it. A Christian will have a difficult time in prison without a good prayer life.
These things I have spoken
to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
It is very important for the Christian in prison to always stay as flexible as possible. Private time is important, but there will be times when it will be interrupted or have to be changed because others routines change. Suddenly his bunky might start coming into the cell or change his routine. The Christian inmate should not react to this with anger, stress or any lack of peace, but the love of God should continue in him regardless of his physical circumstances. Paul showed this trait often in the Bible when he was in prison. Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, his prison books, would be good to read at such a time. Jesus is every believerís peace in prison. I can remember having some short private times with God of only 10-15 minutes that felt like long peaceful times with God. It is not the amount of time, but the quality of the time one spends with God.
Prayer and devotion time is the life blood of a Christian while he is doing time. At first, he will use his private time for devotions, but as he adapts to his environment, he wonít always need his private time for his devotions. He will be able to do more things out in the open than before. He will be able to concentrate better and better in spite of his environment. It is always good to find a time that best suites his schedule for his devotional time. It has to be a time that he can concentrate on the Scriptures. If his mind is on other things, he will not receive the daily spiritual food from God that he will need to survive in prison. Prayer life is the same way. One must find the time that best suits him. Helping your friend or loved one in prison develop a good prayer life is important. You will be able to see if he doesnít have a good one because with prayer comes peace and answered prayers. Many new Christian inmates donít prioritize prayer and therefore, have a hard time finding time to pray.
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