Every month, a group of Common Grounders pray their way around Pollsmoor Prison. Michael Elston shares how these walks have impacted him.
My wife and I first started going to the monthly Pollsmoor prayer walk over a year ago. Initially, we both thought it may be a bit “hectic” and a bit “out there” for us. Since then we’ve been regulars and have also got most of our small group involved. All of us just keep wanting to go back! I guess it’s because we get to see God at work in such a vivid way. It’s such a privilege to partner with others in faith to see radical change in the prisons and our country. Each time we come away reminded of how little separates us from those we pray for.
Monthly, we hear testimonies of lives that have been affected by prayer. We come away so encouraged! Our worship leader, John, gave his life to Christ while a prisoner, getting caught up in the gangs in prison. He heard the sounds of prayer and worship every month from the prayer walkers and his heart slowly softened to the calling God had for him. He entrusted his life to God while a prisoner and is now serving us and those behind bars gloriously.
Through the prayer walk, run by Hope Prison Ministry, we’ve heard of families wrecked by murder being reunited, run-away daughters seeking forgiveness from their parents, and gangsters publicly denouncing their allegiance to the prison gangs. The stories of God working among us abound, yet our hearts in prayer continue to cry out for more of Christ’s work.
Luke, who runs the prayer walk for Hope Prison Ministries, said:
“The faithfulness of the prayer walkers at Pollsmoor is not only a massive encouragement to those of us that work inside the prisons (wardens), but it is also a huge witness to the clients who are locked behind the bars. So often the response from the clients, is one of that they cannot believe that people would come out at night and pray for them. That people from outside who don’t even know them would love and care for them so much that they would give up an evening to pray for them to be freed from this life that they live. That they would pray for gangsterism to be gone and for our correctional facilities to turn from prisons into palaces of praise!
“The prayer walk reminds me of the story from Daniel, where Daniel sent his request to the Lord and it took three weeks to receive an answer because of the war that was going on in the heavens, and the fact that the angel Michael had to come and fight. For me this is what would summarise the prayer walk, we are fighting a battle in the spiritual realm– one that we often don’t see, but one that is being won because of the prayers going up from 60-80 saints every month. What a joy and what an experience it is to be on the front line for the Lord, fighting against the physical battle which is crime in this country and fighting the spiritual battle for souls to return to their maker. Praise God.”
I end with the words of one of the songs we sing as we walk the Pollsmoor grounds:
“If you believe and I believe… the Holy Spirit will come down, and Pollsmoor will revive!”
– The Prayer Walks take place on the first Thursday of every month from 7-9.30pm. Would you like to find out more? Email email@example.com.