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Anyone who has worked in a prison ministry has dealt with plenty of men and women incarcerated while living behind steel bars.  Laws have been broken and you have been found guilty. 

There is no freedom. Prisoners are told when to wake up, when to eat, when to bathe, when to go to sleep, and, on good days, when to exercise.  We work in prison ministry on a daily basis, so I thought a lot about living behind bars this past week. It reminded me of a time when I felt like I was in prison with unseen bars.

Many of you already know our story. 

After a serious accident resulting in the death of a young man, we filed for bankruptcy. We moved into a small apartment to help make ends meet. I worked a full-time job, a night job, and worked weekends whenever I could.

I was stretched, tired, and angry … so very angry … at everyone and everything. I would cry out to God, “why, Lord … why me?”  I was in a prison … without bars.

It took time for my husband and me to piece our lives back together. It wasn’t easy. It took family and friends loving us, and listening to us. There was a tsunami of prayer being lifted up on our behalf. 

Then, gradually, my “prison” became a “sanctuary” where I no longer looked at the world, but grew into a closer, abiding relationship with my Lord and Savior. As my relationship with Jesus improved, my relationships on this earth improved.

Scripture says (Isaiah 61:1), “… He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” This prophecy from Isaiah was about the coming of Jesus.

God has the power to open prison doors, both literally and allegorically.

There were no locked doors to the risen Christ, nor to His disciples. Peter was in prison, shackled between two soldiers and two guards outside. An angel rescued Peter with his physical chains falling away while outside gates suddenly opened.

The reality of this life is that we all have moments of feeling trapped, whether in a cycle of sin or a set of circumstances we can’t escape. Maybe you feel stuck in a spiritual rut, hurt by a relationship, disappointed by unfulfilled dreams, and struggling to move forward. 

Let’s face it, we can’t secure personal victory on our own. My Lord (and yours) is the God of the impossible. Nothing is too big or hard for Him!

Do you feel the same?

Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries. Learn more about the ministry by liking our Facebook page ( and downloading our FREE mobile app ( from App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, allow notifications to keep you up to date on what’s happening in Cary John Efurd Ministries. Debby can be contacted at

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