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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis


Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)

While I may not be in a typical prison with bars, striped suit and barbed wire, suffering is a prison. And there are lessons I have learned. Here’s a smattering:

1. Following Jesus can result in prison time.

2. Prisons are lonely.

3. God meets us where we are.

4. Being still is necessary in our walk with Christ and a prison allows ample time.

5. Prison isn’t always considered a punishment.

6. New skills can be learned in prison.

7. Rehabilitation is a good idea while in prison.

8. Days can be long in here.

9. Solitary confinement can be a good thing – it’s perspective.

10. One can learn to sing in prison.

11. Life can be good, even while incarcerated.

12. One still has a voice behind bars.

13. Sweet fellowship with Jesus is possible and becomes more desirable.

14. We could have cell mates.

15. We can share hope, even while locked up.

16. Nothing escapes God’s notice.

17. We are not beyond God’s reach, even in prison.

18. Life still carries on.

19. While we may be forgotten by others, we are not forgotten by God.

20. God’s best refinement happens in prison.

This list is my own compilation and is by no means complete as I am still in prison and no doubt have many more lessons I could learn. However, these are hard learned and while unexpected, some have become a comfort to me as I spend time in my prison.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 (NIV)

Paul and Silas had been seized, dragged, stripped, beaten and thrown into prison. Why? Because they told a girl to stop yelling. Actually she was a slave and her owners used her for their gain – she ‘predicted’ the future. No doubt it was a lucrative business and the owners saw a great potential cash cow being silenced. They were furious.

Paul and Silas were serving God and telling others about Jesus. They were passionate in their pursuit of Him and were sold out. Everywhere they went, Christ was on their lips and the peace of Christ was on their feet. (Ephesians 6:15)

However, this very lifestyle landed them in prison.

But, this did not discourage them, quiet them or rob them of joy. How do we know this? Luke tells us in chapter 16, these men were praying and singing, at midnight - to God. After a long hard day, they chose to pray and worship. No excuses. Their hearts were bound to God and they were bound together.

Not only was this worship service unique, it was also heard by others. Other prisoners, serving time for their own personal crimes, were given a front row seat to a very personal experience of these two believers.

Much like us. Whether we choose to believe it or not, others are watching. Watching how we respond to suffering, the bad news, the financial loss, the break up. Many are trying to poke holes in our walk with God, while others are scratching their heads because for them, praise and worship is the last thing they think of when a crisis hits.

With the lessons I listed, some have come easily. Others, became a treasured possession. And still others, are painful to recall. I have not always enjoyed my cell time. I have fought against it, kicked the walls (so to speak), and have resorted at times, to scraping boils, much like Job did in Job 2:7-8.

I long for the day of release. I pray for it. I dream of it. I beg for it. I remind God of His promises. I wait. I am still. I hope. I sing. I write. I live life.

Are you in a prison – even one without walls? Could you make a list of lessons learned while in your prison? Can you sing and pray? If not, are you willing to try? Even a feeble attempt is noticed by God. Because even our very breath can be praise when done in worship to God.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm 150:6 (NIV)

Father, You are worthy of my worship, especially when in prison. You are here, You are near. You see, You hear, You comfort, You give me a song to sing in the night. I want to please You, even in the very hard times because You are worth it. In the Name of Jesus, I pray and sing. AMEN

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1 Comment

Gerald Oliver
Gerald Oliver
Sep 22, 2023

Your writing reveals that you see with clarity. Your writing reveals real knowledge and understanding that comes from personal experience. Your writing reveals a personal strength, faith, and life lived with intentional boldness. Thank you for sharing.

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