Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Prayer for Prisoners of Conscience

We visited Salisbury Cathedral in January 2014 and what a wonderful experience it was. In January 2015 I visited Westminster Abbey, hoping for a similarly uplifting spiritual encounter, but to no avail ... it is a much busier tourist attraction with no real opportunity for  being still, knowing He is God, and sensing the stones crying out in worship of Him. Salisbury Cathedral allows for a much more intimate encounter. I took this photo of Salisbury Cathedral's Baptismal font and looking towards the front of the cathedral. At the east end (front) of the Cathedral are the striking blue windows of the 'Prisoners of Conscience'.  The designation of these windows speaks of a person being obedient to
deeply held conscientious conviction about what is right and true and speaks of the consequences for many who have stood firm in their obedience to their moral convictions, consequences in the form of actual imprisonment, torture and death.
Under the window an Amnesty International Candle burns and each morning at 7.30am the Cathedral Community gather in prayer and we pray for Amnesty International’s Prisoner of Conscience for that month (see this link). Amnesty International work to protect, women, men and children wherever, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.  With over 3 million members worldwide they are the worlds’ largest grassroots human rights organization.

As we journey through Holy Week towards Good Friday, here is a prayer from Amnesty International, which reminds us that there many people in the world today who, like Jesus, face unfair courts with state prosecutors whose sole concern is to catch them out and discredit them. Pray for them and for God's justice to flourish throughout the world.

Lord Jesus, You experienced in person torture and death as a prisoner of 
conscience. You were beaten and flogged and sentenced to an agonizing death though you had done no wrong. Be now with prisoners of conscience throughout the world. Be with them in their fear and loneliness, in the agony of physical and mental torture and in the face of execution and death. Stretch out your hands in power to break their chains. Be merciful to the oppressor and torturer and place a new heart within them. Forgive all injustices in our lives and transform us to be instruments of your peace, for by your wounds we are healed.

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