A friend of mine, who had spent seventeen years in prison for mainly drug related issues, asked for prayer. Even though he was a Christian and loved the Lord, he suffered depression and felt his life was hopeless. I laid my hand on his shoulder and began praying in the Spirit.
Almost instantly, a short vision came to mind. In it, I saw my friend sitting on a cot in a prison cell and staring at a solid brick wall. I saw a closeup view of how his face and eyes revealed his desperation of facing one more day in prison. He appeared to be at the end of his rope.
Then, as I watched on, the vision panned away for a panoramic view of the whole prison cell scene. I saw him still sitting on the cot and staring at the brick wall, but I also saw the prison door, and it was wide open. All my friend had to do was stand up, turn around, walk out the door, and he would be free.
I explained to my friend what I had witnessed in the vision which then caused him to jump up and down with excitement. He felt free.
This experience happened fifteen years ago, and yet today, my friend still suffers from depression and dismal hopelessness. The initial joy was soon worn away by the day-to-day grind of life.
One of the problems with a calling like mine is that I have an anointing to set people free, but sadly, I do not have an anointing to keep people free. (And this is true of all callings for apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher.)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Staying free depends on an individual developing his inner man (or spirit) and resisting demonic influence for himself through faith in the Lord. Yes, people can pray for the person and encourage him in many ways, but eventually, the person has to build his own relationship and trust in the Lord to overcome whatever hinders his growth in Christ.
So, today, I’m praying for those prisoners who are sitting in their own prison cells, staring at hopeless walls, and yet their prison doors are already opened and waiting for them to walk out into their freedoms:
I pray that the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, would give each prisoner the spiritual wisdom and insight so that each may grow in his knowledge of God and each heart may be flooded with light so that each can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called to be His children. Amen. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-18)