Writing a prisoner is a very serious matter. It is like a lifeline being
thrown out to a sinking person. Once correspondence has been started, we
cannot break it off, unless it is by the request of the prisoner. If an
inmate is released or transferred to another prison, your letter will come
back. If you don't get a response from the inmate, it is important to keep writing
and praying for him. Many inmates go through periods of deep despair and
depression that only being behind bars can bring. Please be understanding.
Don't forget him now when he needs someone the most. You may be his last
hope. If you fail him, he may never come to know the Lord. Be patient and
try putting yourself in his situation.
Be honest and tell him from the start your main purpose in writing is
to help him spiritually and if he doesn't have a personal relationship
with Christ or doesn't even know what in the world a personal relationship
is, to let you know, and that you'll be glad to share with him the dearest
friendship one can ever have.
Persist in showing him God's love. He will soon realize your sincerity.
Ask him thought-provoking questions to determine where he stands in his
knowledge of God. See if he reads the Bible and prays every day. Needle
him to level with you so you can really help him.
Tell the inmate it really doesn't matter to you why he's in prison. Tell
him God still loves him with an unconditional love. Regardless
of what he's done, Jesus still loves him and always will. You can enclose
helpful Christian tracts and pamphlets. The inmate has nothing but time
on his hands and is glad for something to read. You would be amazed to
know how many times he reads your letter over and over again, so please
pray for wisdom before you write him. God will guide you in your choice
of words and drop Scriptures into your heart that will minister directly
to the inmate's deepest needs.
Be sure the inmate has a Bible. We can send him one if he doesn't. Just
let us know. [IMPORTANT: We must have the prisoner's complete address, including his
identification number in order to assure delivery. A small offering to
cover the cost of the Bible and shipping would really help.]
We do not recommend sending pictures of females to inmates. Just stop
to think about their situation for a minute. These men are incarcerated
- separated from society, separated from women - with nothing but time
on their hands. The majority of them spend their time dwelling on wrong
We have found from past experience that pictures of females only create
fantasies in the mind of inmates and hinder the writer's goal toward spiritual
birth and growth.
It is best to withhold your home address for your own security. It is
best to use a post office box number. Find someone with a church or business
box number that you can use. Mail regulations can be obtained by writing
the Department of Social Services at the inmate's address.
Have some more tips to share with us?
If you have some additional tips to share with us, please e-mail
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