17 Powerful Prayers for Those Incarcerated Or In Prison
Are you concerned about a friend or family member who is incarcerated? Sometimes, it can seem as if there is no way out and nothing you can do. However, God has said that through Him, you can make the impossible possible and create streams in a desert for your loved one.
Throughout the Bible, powerful things happened behind the walls of prisons. Expect the same today—now! You have exactly what your friend or family member in prison needs—intercession.
The jail is just one place to seek a soul in need of redemption. Here are 17 powerful prayers for the incarcerated, and for those praying for someone who is incarcerated.
For Those Incarcerated
1. Prayer for an Inmate’s Protection and Future
Father, I pray that I may become useful and helpful and kind to those around me, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving others [readily and freely], as You, Father, in Christ forgave me my sins.
It is my desire to be an imitator of You, Lord. With the Holy Spirit as my Helper, I will [copy You and follow Your example], as a well-beloved child [imitates his/her father]. I purpose to walk in love [esteeming and delighting in others], as Christ loves me. As I attend to Your Word, I depend on Your Holy Spirit to teach me to live a life of victory in Christ Jesus my Lord.
In the name of Jesus, I am Your child. I am dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. I say of You, Lord, that You are my Refuge and Fortress: my God; in You will I trust. You cover me with Your feathers, and under Your wings shall I trust: Your truth is my shield and buckler.
Because You are my Lord, my Refuge and Habitation, no evil shall befall me — no accident will overtake me — neither shall any plague or calamity come near me. You give Your angels [special] charge over me, to keep me in all of my ways [of obedience and service].
Thank You for hearing my prayer. You are with me in trouble; You deliver me and satisfy me with long life and show me Your salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2. An Inmate’s Prayer for Emotional Strength
Holy Spirit, my emotions are frail, and I feel distraught. The burden of this confinement weighs greatly on me. I ask that You grant me the emotional strength to withstand the testing. Help me to find strength in the gospel, rejoicing in the fact that Jesus died in my place and conquered all my sins. Let me feel the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, so that my heart may not be downcast during this imprisonment. Thank You for Your constant support. Amen.
3. An Inmate’s Prayer to Prevent Relapse
Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and that I am in a lifelong war against the desires of my own flesh. When my sinful thoughts come upon me, help me to resist them. Give me protection from falling into relapse. Cause me to hate my sins, and instead to seek only after righteousness. Guard me against the snares of the devil, and to stand firm against the temptations that I face. I set my hope on You, that You will uphold me. Thank You, God. Amen.
4. Prayer for an Incarcerated Parent and His/Her Children
Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!” When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking Him!” Don’t hide from me now. I didn’t know it before, but I know now that You’ve always been right here for me; don’t turn Your back on me now. Don’t throw me out and don’t abandon me; You’ve always kept the door open.
Thank You for sending ministers to tell me about You and Your love for me. My children say they hate me; they feel abandoned and alone. Even though their father/mother walked away from them, I ask You, Father, to take them in.
Lord of the harvest, I ask You to send laborers of the harvest and wise counselors to my children, who have been hurt by my actions. Father, I have sinned against You, against my children, and against myself. I repent of the sins that have so easily beset me and ask You to forgive me. Father, Your Word assures me that You forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank You for forgiving me. I pray that my children will be willing to forgive me so that we may be a family again.
In the name of Jesus, I cast the care of my children on You and rest in the assurance that You will perfect that which concerns me. I put on the garment of praise and delight myself in You. Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
5. An Inmate’s Prayer for Obtaining Training
Almighty God, I trust that You are a good and gracious God who hears the prayers of those who pray with a faithful and contrite heart. I humbly ask of You to help me to be granted the opportunity to obtain training while inside these walls. Lord, use this time to reshape me and use me for good. Please open a door for me to be built up with additional skills and knowledge that will help me in the future. I praise You for Your grace. Amen.
6. An Inmate’s Prayer for Finding Gainful Employment
Almighty God, by Your will, a time will come when I will be freed from this place. I pray that You would grant me a path that leads to gainful employment. Help me to find a job that will cover my expenses and make me a productive citizen. Help me to see my work as a way that I may serve and honor You, regardless of who writes the checks. In the future, let me be known as a reliable and honest worker who is thankful for the jobs I am assigned. Amen.
7. Prayer for an Inmate To Pray for His/Her Family and Caregiver
Father, I have sinned against You, against my children, and against myself. I repent of the sins that have so easily beset me and ask for Your forgiveness. Father, Your Word assures me that You forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank You for forgiving me. I pray that my children will be willing to forgive me so that we may be a family again.
Thank You for the one who has assumed responsibility for my children while I am away. I pray that You will strengthen him/her and fill him/her with Your Spirit Who gives him/her great wisdom, ability, and skill in rearing the children You gave to me. I repent for failing to assume my responsibility to my children, and I ask You to reward the one who is taking care of them.
His/her mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of his/her heart shall be understanding. I thank You that he/she is in Christ Jesus, Who has been made unto him/her wisdom from You — his/her righteousness, holiness, and redemption. He/she is filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that he/she may live a life worthy of You and may please You in every way, bearing fruit in every good work.
Father, I am responsible for my own actions, and I recognize that what I have done has hurt my entire family. Forgive me for dishonoring You, my family, my friends, and my children. Give me the grace to pay my debt and do my assigned work as unto You. Help me to develop diligence and patience, giving myself to prayer, study, and meditation in Your Word.
Lord, there is violence within these walls, but I look to You. Hide me in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
8. An Inmate’s Prayer for Safety
Blessed Creator, I am locked in a dangerous place. There are many threats around me, and many enemies who would hurt me. Please, God, I ask You to sustain me and help me to survive in this hostile place. I pray that You would grant me safe passage and blessing if it is Your will. If trouble comes for me, allow me to have the strength of the apostles during their own trials. I rejoice in You. Amen.
For Those Praying From the Outside
9. A Prayer for a Loved One in Prison
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank You that You love me, and You love my friend or family member who is serving time in prison. Lord, I thank You for the power of forgiveness—that it wipes away sin, sets people free and makes all things new. I ask right now that You would soften the heart of my loved one, and cause them to repent and receive Your forgiveness in Jesus’ Name. Let the power of the Holy Ghost wash over them right now in this moment, causing all fear or bitterness to leave.
God, I thank You that You are the great Comforter. I ask that You send supernatural comfort and strength to my loved one now.
Lord, I know there is violence within the walls of many prisons, but I pray supernatural protection all around my loved one. I send angels to protect them right now.
Father, I pray for a revival in the correctional facility where my loved one is and ask that the love of Jesus would permeate the atmosphere, break bondages and set people free. Send laborers to bring Your Spirit and Your truth, and let the Word of God become real to them like never before.
In the Name of Jesus, I cast the care of my loved one on You and rest in the assurance that You are working in response to my prayers, even now.
I thank You that Your Word does not return void, and therefore, my words spoken in line with Your Word will never fail to accomplish what they set out to do. I call my loved one forgiven, redeemed, healed, delivered and set free! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
10. Prayer for the Joy of the Imprisoned
God Most High, You are an infinite source of joy for those who love You. I pray that You would supply [name] generously with joy so that the praises for You continue night and day. I pray that he/she would experience the joy of the apostles, who sang hymns while locked in chains. I pray that the joy of Your servants would move the hearts of unbelievers and bring souls to You in faith. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
11. Prayer for the Redemption of the Imprisoned
Dear Jesus, You are my Savior and my Redeemer. I know that whom the Son sets free will be free indeed. I ask that You grant salvation to [name]; that he/she might believe in Your gospel and have faith in Your name. Please mercifully grant repentance from sin and a new heart to love You. It would fill my heart with joy to know that You have redeemed another sinner, in spite of their sins. I pray this in Your holy name. Amen.
12. A Prayer for the Incarcerated and for their Family
Father, we pray for those who are incarcerated, but we also pray for their families that they would receive the care and attention they need, and have their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met by other family members, friends, church members, or someone else. Please Lord, allow them to keep their hope alive that a family member behind bars is still not forsaken or forgotten by God if they have trusted in Christ; if not, we pray for them to know Your Son, Jesus Christ. May the families find comfort from others who are in similar situations and that they would be praying for one another. Oh Righteous Father of Mercy, I pray for these men and women who are cut off from their families and who are serving time behind bars. As you know, it is very hard being separated from loved ones. I pray these inmates may be able to see themselves as you see them, and that they are a child of theirs and are co-heirs with Christ, just as much as those who are out in the world. We know, if they never get out, we will all meet together someday at the great wedding feast of the Lamb of God. If they are able to be released, please shield them from the judgment of others because they have already paid their debt to society, and they are now free. They shouldn’t be referred to as a criminal, con, or anything but a child of God…just like we are. Many of these men and women face that double jeopardy every day of their life after prison, so help others see them as forgiven and cleansed, and a child of God, and treated with respect and not treated as if they’re still guilty. I pray this in the name that is above all names, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
13. Prayer for the Forgiveness of the Imprisoned
Jesus my Savior, I praise You and thank You for forgiving a wretch like me. Although I didn’t deserve Your mercy, You granted me Your righteousness and all the joy of heaven. I pray now that You would grant forgiveness to [name] for the crimes that were committed. May it be that those who were affected would show forgiveness. Please let me hold no grudge or lack of love. And most importantly, I pray that You would forgive his/her sins and make them as white as snow. Let all heaven rejoice when forgiveness is proclaimed. Amen.
14. Prayer for the Provision of the Imprisoned
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your daily providence. I am grateful that You grant Your beloved children with help and relief when they call to You in faith. I pray that You would act in a special way to provide for the needs of [name], that he/she may find comfort and contentment with the things that You provide. I ask that You might be merciful to provide enough food, sleep, and rations to make this incarceration pass smoothly. Amen.
15. Prayer For Christian Prisoners
Loving Heavenly Father, I pray for the many Christians who are being held in prisons, both at home and abroad, simply because they trust in the Lord Jesus as Saviour, many of whom have been falsely accused of crimes or deliberately set up to fall foul of the law, simply because they are believers in Your name.
Lord, I pray that You would be with each one in their imprisonment. Break any bonds of fear and bitterness, and may the love of Jesus be shown forth in their actions and attitudes, so that the people around them, recognise that there is something very special about them, and the God Whom they serve.
Set each one free, I pray, not only from their physical incarceration but also from their spiritual prison. Help them to rest in the Lord Jesus, knowing that in a small part they are participating in the fellowship of His suffering.
Use each one as a witness of Jesus Christ, and may many be drawn into the kingdom of God, simply because of their gracious love they display in their time of great difficulty. In Jesus' name, amen.
16. Prayer for a Blessing in a Court Appearance
Blessed Father, I ask that by Your mercy You would grant [name] a blessing during the upcoming court appearance. I trust You with the outcome, and I believe that Your grace is sufficient. I ask only that You would be merciful, and that You would grant strength to bear the events that lie ahead. Grant wisdom to make good and Godly decisions and help us to honor You despite this humble situation. No matter what the outcome, I will give You praise. Amen.
17. Prayer for the Faith of the Imprisoned
Lord Jesus, You sustain all things that exist. I ask You now to sustain the faith of [name], who is now in prison, and use this time of isolation to make their faith grow bolder and their testimony for You grow stronger. Use him/her as a messenger of the gospel to those who are also incarcerated. Let this trial be used for good and holy purposes, in a way that will make an impact for eternity. Amen.