I’ve never had occasion to have to defend my religion, so I often wonder, just how much do I believe? 

I am confident that God has watched over me throughout the years, and that everything that has happened, in some way fits snugly into His Grand Plan. We are told that we are of more value than sparrows and the lilies of the fields, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry…but I do.

For years I did my own thing – which I’m certain was not God’s thing. I had my own agenda and was sticking to it.

Today I am more content trying to be cognizant of others’ needs. Today it seems more important to look around me and be able to see what I can do for others.

Yet I continue to struggle. I do read the bible more often now, and I believe I am more aware. Jesus’ question, “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works?” has become a guideline by which I now choose to live.

But Jesus, help my unbelief!  I feel untested and weak. Am I a hypocrite because I doubt my value to others? How long would I stand for the Lord under duress? So many others seem to believe so much more strongly than I do! Yes, I feel I am among those who seem to be “of little faith.”

Recently, however, I was given a gift of hope. The men at the prison just completed their Keryx weekend. As one by one, they recounted their reactions to the weekend for our fellowship group, many were still glowing. One man stood up to tell us that, when someone believes in you and encourages you, you are able to keep going. Gradually, you then begin to believe in yourself. What a wonderful testimony! My guess is that many who are in prison simply have never had someone to believe in them or be a role model for them. The male volunteers who give of their time over the Keryx weekend often provide this kind of model.

I love being a part of this fellowship group. My hope is that if, by my faithful attendance and example, I can be the smallest of lights to someone who is still seeking his way, and provide encouragement, then perhaps I will make a difference and maybe even move a mountain or two.

That is my hope. With that, I am refreshed and renewed.

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The Prisoner's Prayer Book

Louise is author of The Prisoner's Prayer Book which evolved as she became a volunteer in prison ministry. Retired from a career in social services, Louise resides in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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