Answered Prayer: Inmates Experience Freedom through God’s Word

Bible-based trauma healing helps inmates heal from past hurts

“I was like a bomb ready to explode,” said Harmony. Growing up, Harmony’s childhood was filled with pain. Her dad was a violent alcoholic who beat her mother often. When he left the family, Harmony’s mother and step-father became physically and emotionally abusive toward her.

Some wounds healed, while others festered deep within, causing Harmony to seek relief through drugs and alcohol. But the pain and anger grew and Harmony started becoming violent. Arrested in 2016 on an assault charge, she found herself sitting in a jail cell, filled with hatred and rage.

“It was during my jail stay that I heard about this class on trauma healing. I not only came to faith in Christ during this class, but God brought this entire trauma in my life to the forefront. I had no idea that the trauma of my childhood was the underlying factor in my anger. It was always under the surface, ready to explode­—but the class taught me how to deal with it … by writing laments, talking, and bringing it to the cross.”

Freedom through Bible-Based Trauma Healing

Trauma is a common pathway to incarceration. It is estimated that 97% of female inmates and 75% of male inmates have a background of trauma. It often blocks them from connecting to Jesus’s transforming love.

American Bible Society partners with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry to deliver Bible-based trauma healing to inmates. In a participatory and confidential atmosphere, inmates study Scripture, share their stories of pain, and recognize God’s unconditional, unwavering love. They learn how to turn to Jesus their healer, trusting him to mend the wounds of the past and provide hope and joy for the future.

Good News Jail and Prison Ministry uses its wide network of chaplains in 22 states and 88 facilities to offer Bible-based trauma healing to inmates. Over the past year, Good News chaplains facilitated 54 healing groups, impacting 435 inmates like Harmony.

Harmony finished serving her sentence and is living in freedom. “I know now that if I did not let God heal the trauma, I would be back in jail on another assault charge.”

Let’s thank God for healing inmates like Harmony. Pray that many more will be healed from the wounds of trauma so they can experience new hope and lasting joy.

Let’s Pray Together:

God, thank you that your love knows no bounds. Thank you for healing the painful wounds of trauma of men and women in prison. Thank you for transforming lives and giving hope to the hopeless. We pray that you will grow the trauma healing ministry so that it can reach people in more jails and prisons across America. 

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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