Lord, on this day, the day of the prisoner, we pray for prisoners everywhere, and of every kind, remembering that - in one way or another - we are all prisoners, and that only you can offer us true freedom and pardon.
Lord, we pray firstly for prisoners held in all of our correctional institutions, jails, that they may be treated humanely, and experience genuine rehabilitation. May they feel remorse and regret for their crimes, and come to understand the harm they have brought to their victims. May they seek, and receive your mercy.
And we pray for those victims of crimes, who have been robbed, or hurt, who have lost loved ones, or who feel insecure and fearful even in their own homes. We ask that they might be healed of their hurts, and that they might grow forgiveness in their hearts.
We also pray for the other victims of crimes, the families and friends of those in prison. We remember that they, too, are being punished, though they may have done no wrong, and ask for you to help us to support and care for them. Watch over them as they struggle on with half a family, half a life.
Lord, we pray for those who are prisoners of our mandatory detention policy. Please open the hearts of our Leaders, and the eyes of the people of Australia to the plight of ordinary men, women and children, whose only crime is to flee prejudice, tyranny and genocide. Melt out stone hearts, that we may receive those in need with compassion rather than fear, with outstretched arms rather than batons, and into our community, rather than prison camps. May we welcome them, as you welcome us.
And we pray for prisoners in all refugee camps throughout the world, that they may soon return to their countries, and their homes, in peace and safety.
Lord, we pray for prisoners of faith - jailed for their religious beliefs. Please help us to be tolerant of other faiths, even when their beliefs seem so different to our own. Help us to worship you despite our differences, without violence or oppression, without secrecy and without fear.
Lord, we pray for prisoners of politics - jailed for their political views. We are thankful that we live in a country with political freedom, but are mindful that many people do not. Please help those who seek that same freedom to obtain it without violence, and those who fear it to accept it peaceably.
Because not all prisons have walls, and because not all guards wear uniforms, Lord, we pray for the prisoners of economics and poverty, held to ransom by globalization, isolation, dictatorships or corruption. We pray that those who are starving might be fed. That those without homes receive shelter. That sweatshops become workplaces. And that the biggest and strongest of the world do not tread on the smallest and weakest, but instead work with them, as brothers and sisters.
Lord, we pray for those who are prisoners of their own bodies, and those who are prisoners of our prejudice.
We ask you to remind us, when we see the wheelchair but not the person. We ask you to remind us, when we see the guide dog but not the person. We ask you to remind us, when we see the disability, not the person. Because sometimes, we are most disabled than they.
Lord, we pray for those who are prisoners of their age. At the mercy and command of the adult world, we ask you to protect our children from those who abuse their adult positions. And the elderly, so often unable or unwilling to leave their homes, in fear of their safety or their health - may they be blessed with loving and supporting friends and family. To the young we owe the debt of the future, to the old we owe the debt of the past.
Lord, we pray for prisoners of addiction - drug addicts, alcoholics, smokers - anyone driven by their addictions. Even us chocoholics. Give them the strength to turn from the false promises of these destroyers, and the resolve to abandon them absolutely. And we ask that you remember the families and friends of those tortured by addiction, and that Your loving presence will support them in their support.
Lord, we pray for prisoners of desire - compelled to act against all decency and sanity. Pedophiles, pornographers, drug dealers, rapists, and others caught in their unclean and evil obsessions. We pray that they come to know you, and love you, and that their freedom from desires will free also their victims.
Lord, we pray for prisoners of abuse - the victims of sexual abuse, of physical abuse, of mental abuse. Unable to speak out, or escape, or to live their own lives. We ask that you comfort and support them and break them free of their chains. Exorcise the ghosts that haunt and shame them, and fill their life with your light.
Father, we pray also for : (insert names of family, friends etc)
Lord, We are prisoners of life - but you set us free. We are prisoners of our Sins - but you set us free. We are prisoners of death - but you set us free.
Your love and mercy are supreme. You set us free.