Thinking a lot about Prisons

... and not the type of prison that normally comes to mind.

Lately, my heart has really been going out to people whose lives are prisons of a different kind. Not the bars and fences of an actual prison, but the lifestyles and struggles that keep people trapped behind spiritual bars.

A couple of years ago, I found these statistics from Man in the Mirror. They say that for every 10 men in American churches:
  • 9 will have kids who leave the church and never come back
  • 8 will not find their jobs satisfying
  • 6 will pay the monthly minimum on their credit cards
  • 5 will have a problem with pornography
  • 4 will get divorced
  • All 10 struggle to balance work and family

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! This simple list is of men IN church. Just image the problems and hurts that people find themselves stuck in who know nothing of God's love!

So I've been praying and thinking a lot of this. How are we, as the church, helping people break free of the bondage of their prison?

Two main points really jump out at me as I go over this.

The first is PRAYER. When the apostle Peter found himself in prison the church got together and prayed for him "strenuously" (Acts 12:5). How strenuously do we pray for those who are in their personal prison? How strenuously do I do it??

The second is being part of a SMALL GROUP. I just don't see how people can get out of prison on their own. Having others who care, support and pray regularly for us is a great way to get out of prison.

Hmmm... I think this may end up as a sermon :)

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