Pray!


"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other
Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the
Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil
shouts for joy." ~ Corrie Ten Boom

The unit deputy sent him to the Clinic, complaining of feeling like he just had a stroke. But he was able to walk in that long passageway. He came in, complaining of left arm pain, some headache on his right side of head.

As the other nurse allowed him to sit to be evaluated, he asked me to go along with him. I helped the other nurse by taking the patient’s vital signs so he could just concentrate on asking him questions regarding his medical and mental health. This was a big, muscular guy, his sculpted chest visible through the orange prison uniform.

All of a sudden, his eyes welled up with tears.

“Why are you crying?” asked the other nurse.

“I don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I’m not an emotional kind of guy and my eyes just got watery just like that. I got scared. This was something new,” he replied.

But listening to him and watching his eyes turned red and weepy, I sensed something else. I didn’t say anything yet and out of respect, just let the other nurse did his thing.

All the vital signs were normal, except for a racy pulse. Despite the lack of chest pain, both of us decided to do an EKG to make sure that there was nothing going on with this inmate’s heart. 2 recorded readings came back normal.

He sat up, still with concerned look. This time, I interrogated him after the other nurse allowed me to.

“Sir, there is something you are not telling us. You have been denying any medical or mental problems so there is no reason why your eyes would weep just like that. I saw that worried look in your eyes. Is there anything at home or in your unit bothering you?” I softly queried.

“Ma’am, I told you. I have no problems from home. Everything is okay and in my unit. I’m a tough guy! I’m a Christian!” he firmly stated.

“You’re a Christian?” I asked…”Then, pray!”

I usually don’t mention spiritual things in front of co-workers but this time, as the inmate initiated it, I felt the need as I prayed in my mind for the Lord’s guidance:

“If you are undergoing spiritual attacks, pray! There is nothing to be afraid of,” I calmly replied as the deputy and the other nurse just laughed it off.

The inmate said, “Ma’am, I have no demons!”

“I didn’t say you’re possessed or something. But you were the one who initiated it by saying you’re a Christian. If you are a true follower of Christ, then, you must know that demons are all around us, trying to scare you, intimidate you, and stop anything good you want to do,” I continued. “Pray!” I repeated.

He grew silent but still didn’t want to say if there was anything bothering him. There was nothing else we could do. As he got up and left to go back to his unit, the worrisome look on that face came back all over again.

“I’ll call you guys again. If this happens. I’m scared,” he uttered.

As the other nurse and I went back inside the clinic and spoke with the charge nurse, the other nurse had this to say:

“I don’t know about nurse Rcubes, I was just more on the physical symptoms. But every time she would talk to him and asked him questions, he calmed down. But when I started asking him, he became more agitated.”

“There is something he’s not telling us,” I added. “I just know it. I can’t forget that fearful, weepy eyes. He is a big guy and to see him get teary like that, there was just something eating his heart out.”

This inmate was incarcerated many, many times for burglary, rape, and use of controlled substances. Trapped in that habit of using illegal substances, it drove him to steal to provide for that need. His minds not in the right state, drove him to commit more crimes like rape and physical abuse to his spouse.

In the prison, other inmates don’t like those who commit child abuse or other abuses like spousal abuse. When they hear that someone comes in with those kinds of acts, they wait for an opportunity to hurt and even kill that inmate.

I can only wonder what is eating that man’s heart. But he is up against two possible enemies: humans and spiritual.

Pray” like what I told him. Was all I could do at that moment.

How about you? What is eating your heart out? Turn to God and PRAY!

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes we panic and forget to take our burndens to the Lord. I pray this inmate takes your advise and goes back to his cell to pray. I know that is what I'm going to go do....PRAY!

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  2. We are all in prisons; some of us in buildings like this inmate and some of us in our own hearts. Prayer is always a delightful option to any moment of despair or joy and thanksgiving. Prayer is always appropriate anywhere, under any circumstances.

    Many would say this man is reaping his rewards for his way of life. Christ would not be among them.

    Long ago, TWO prisoners were executed. They were crucified as surely as Jesus Christ and at his left and right. Neither prayed in their closing hours of life (as recorded in the Bible; I do not know their hearts).

    However, ONE professed as he looked at the innocent Christ crucified, "Take me with you".
    That simple request signalled belief; and belief got a heavenly answer and reward:
    "This day you will be with me in paradise".

    This inmate has professed "Take me with you" in his statement that he believes in Jesus Christ. Another believer earlier said "Lord, I believe; help me with my unbelief".

    When Christ said "The Spirit is upon me" and he set prisoners free, they were not necessarily in a jailhouse, they were in a hell of their own making or a hell imposed (abused folks, etc).

    The tears are curious to me as they are the language of the heart. They cascade our cheeks in moments of intense joy, or in moments of intense grief. I believe tears are sent out by the Holy Spirit (residing within us)as an outward sign to anyone and to God, that within this heart and soul is a great need for Comfort.

    Our jail system is a mixed bag of indecision. We do not know if we want to punish or rehabilitate, and often end up with recidivism due to that lack of foresight; the prisoner learns new criminal skills in jail.

    As you, in this audience, pray for this man who weeps, is scared, is Christian, and lives in fear, pray also for the prison leadership to understand EACH prisoner will eventually be free, and it is incumbant they are prepared.

    Some will be free through death; and go to heaven or hell.
    (The thief on the cross was hardly a model citizen, yet he is one of few we are assured is in paradise with Christ already.)
    Imagine that!

    Some prisoners will also be free through life; either by serving time and leaving....
    or through prayer to be set free where they are....free in Christ Jesus every moment.

    The man professes to be a Christian, but his actions express unbelief and fear. This is true for the rest of us who profess to be Christian, but applaud revenge on Osama, gossip, plan on massive gluttony as a perverted way to say Thanksgiving, and spend ourselves into debt to celebrate the birth of Christ with a plasma TV. Welcome to prison.

    No wonder that "Jesus wept" too.

    Rosel, it is common to speak up for Christ alone or one-on-one, but I greatly admire you stepping into a quazi zone, where it is not always the acceptable forum to speak, and you SHOUT the message of Christ so it can be heard above the din of the day.

    I have met "Christians" who say they are, but every action they take reveals the truth. They have learned to con themselves and others, especially when they see a cross on a chain on someone....a common target of homeless.

    This man proclaims to be Christian. I pray "Lord, help him with his unbelief".
    May his Thanksgiving find him Thankful, not for the food on his plate, but for his place at the table....in heaven.

    You are needed desperately.
    More important, you are loved deeply.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you.
    Keystone

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  3. Sister Beth: I believe every Christian must pray before we venture into anything...I have to remind myself of that, too, many, many times...This post taught me first! Thank you for leaving your appreciated footprints here. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful daughters!

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  4. Keystone: Once again, you blessed me with your profound insight about being a "prisoner"...How true, we are all prisoners, don't have to be behind those prison walls. Even harder if we are...spiritually...

    I felt in my heart that he was under a spiritual attack. All I could do was pray for him. A big guy like that, who had gone through committing so many crimes, wouldn't be afraid of any human threats. His cellie [cellmate]had the same history of crimes, but he was much smaller built than him.

    Sadder to hear [which I didn't add to this post], was the other nurse commenting "hypocrites" when that inmate said that he was a Christian. That's what grieves me all the time because it is us who change, not the God of love and mercy.

    I told him not all Christians are hypocrites. Then, he didn't say anything further.

    Despite being saved, we can still become prisoners if we are not careful. And to not be prayerful makes us the more weak.

    I enjoy your footprints here always. God bless you and may you also have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  5. Wow, between your post and Keystone's...a seed has been planted in my heart, as I am sure it was in this inmate's heart...

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  6. Sister Deborah: I'm grateful to hear so many Godly wisdom left here by all of you! So, in the process of walking side by side in this life's journey, we are truly a source of strength for each other, as we all follow the Lord. So, to God be the glory! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  7. Rosel, Thank You so much for sharing this experience with us. I Pray all the time. Not just in time of need. This man needed Prayer!!! I believe you gave him just what he needed... Prayer and Your Time. This post really touched me. Many times we feel as if something is wrong, we just don't know what it is. Always turn to God and let him guide you. God Bless You my Dear Friend and Sister In Prayer. Love you. Audrey

    If you have any updates about him, I would like to read them. Prayers are always with you.

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  8. Another great post and a great reminder for each of us to continue to turn our problems over to our Heavenly Father and "leave" them there.
    Andrea

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  9. Sister Audrey: I doubt that I will have another encounter with him but if I do, I will, of course, update you. There are so many of them, I'm sure. Prayers help! Because the One Who answers them protects me all the time as I enter that dark place. "We have because we ask..." Thank you for your friendship and being my prayer buddy. God bless. Love you in Christ.

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  10. sister Andrea: Yes, why carry these heavy loads when He took them away from us? We must learn to let go and let God...Blessings to you.

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  11. I get so wrapped up in your stories.

    What a wonderful reminder. Prayer is a very powerful weapon.

    Love & blessings,
    Beth

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  12. sister Beth: If God didn't place me there, I wouldn't have stories to tell you in the first place :)
    I learn so much myself from all of these experiences. Blessings to you sister.

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  13. Beautiful Beautiful post - We can see God's power, love, and grace we are in constant prayer with Him..
    Love this
    Thank you
    Love to you
    Kelly

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  14. Wonderful message dear friend.
    (Sorry just visited. I'm still out of the country).

    Warm regards. God bless.
    Regina

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  15. I'm so grateful that the God of the Universe lets me come to Him and talk with Him. May I never get too caught up in my "life" to keep from praying.

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  16. I did need to see the part from Corrie. Avoidance from other people right now is what I am going through and working out. Great post to remind to turn over everything to our God! Amen!

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  17. Thank you for encouraging me as always sisters Kelly, Regina, Tracy and JBR! Your visits mean a lot to me. Blessings to you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  18. Very moving story. I think his weeping indicates his hard heart may well be changing. Fear, guilt, shame? All of these things could bring him to tears. But, even though he is changing, he still needs mentoring, help with direction, counsel on prayer. You did these things well. Good job. wb

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  19. Thanks for the precious reminder, love you so much.

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends