At Forward Movement, when we ask for your donation, we’re asking you to help us give the gift of prayer and practice to people in need. We often receive letters like the one below, sent to us in February by Michael Gilbert, who is incarcerated in Oklahoma. Michael’s words are a remarkable testament to the power of prayer in times of struggle—and to the impact of your gift.
Dear Forward Day by Day,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I noticed in the February, March, April edition of Forward Day by Day that you were looking for stories from your regular readers. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the impact your ministry has had on my life.
When I first arrived at James Crabtree Correctional Center in Helene, Oklahoma as an inmate in 2005, I was a very angry person. I was angry with myself, our society, and with God. All human decency and any sign of God seem to be missing from our legal system when viewed from the perspective of a person on trial.
I began to see Christ when I was invited to attend a Kairos prison ministry four-day weekend. My sponsor, John Pearson, an Episcopalian, started providing me copies of Forward Day by Day. Through daily use of this publication I developed a spiritual practice of daily prayer, meditation, and scripture reading such as I had never known before. My thinking began to change. I began to change. I became less angry.
My pace of spiritual growth greatly increased when your ministry gifted me a copy of Hour by Hour. I began praying four times a day. With this addition to my life I began to focus more on Christ, to consider his point of view. I was soon praying even when the set times were not at hand.
I found myself feeling connected, a part of the Forward Movement family, a participant with the Episcopal Communion, and a member of the body of Christ.
Today I am thankful to be growing in Christ and worshipping him in fellowship with St. Patrick’s Community, the prison ministry sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. I am a much different person today than I was in 2005. I am less angry, less destructive, and more loving. I have been rehabilitated, not by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, but by the love of Christ shown to me through the Episcopal Church. Your ministry at Forward Movement started me down the path and nurtured me on the journey. I am profoundly grateful for all you have given me. May God bless everybody involved with Forward Movement.
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Will you consider making a donation of any size today, and help us send the gift of prayer to those in need?