This morning I worshiped with a congregation of individuals that are formerly incarcerated. This congregation is made of folks that did their time, and their evangelism happens with those still doing their time. By this I mean that members of the church who are on the outside visit potential members of the church on the inside, bringing them care packages, helping them feel support, just doing what Jesus did by visiting those in prison. These individuals on the inside can even take membership classes and can join the congregation from the inside. And for me, it is powerful to sit in worship with these folks and their families on a Sunday morning.

Every Sunday they pray for those on death row who will be executed in the coming month. In the U.S. there are 3,297 people on death row. I give you the prayer for this morning and encourage you to pray with us:

Merciful God, the names we lift before you are people whom society has declared expendable, worthless and useless. We do not know their life’s stories, nor do we know why they are on death row. We do know, however, that all human beings have worth and that killing is unjust, betraying our deepest values about human life. Be with each of these persons during their darkest hour, and grant that this society and this world will end these senseless and merciless executions. We pray for:

Anthony Dick (Pennsylvania), Kevin Keith (Ohio), Brentt Sherwood (Pennsylvania), Brandon Rhodes (Georgia), Teresa Lewis (Virginia), Gaile Owens (Tennessee), Albert Brown (California).