As I was going through some books on my nightstand, I opened up a soft-covered black journal that I use to keep track of my Bible reading. As I flipped through the pages, I found a folded sheet of notebook paper that someone had given to me a few years ago. It was a prayer request written by a young woman serving time in a county jail. At the time, she was awaiting her sentence to state prison. Her requests were written in red ink...

"Lori T. is ill, please pray for her."
"The S family as they stand by me through this tough time
being sentenced as well as sent through the prison system."
"I myself also need prayer, my foul mouth has gotten worse,
but also my faith is slipping as I go into my time in prison.
I get sentenced Monday, April 27th.
Please also pray for Diane J. She has court that day as well.
My friend Linda is going home soon please pray that she
doesn't violate probation. Also please pray
that it stays peaceful back here in L-dorm."
"Thank you,
Sara S.

What strikes me most is her unselfishness. She asks for the needs of others to be met first...her friend's illness, the family who is standing by her during that difficult time.

And then we read her own personal requests...

no pleading to be set free,
no protests of injustice,
not a drop of self-pity...

No, her request was for sanctification. For God to change her.
For Him to do a work in her by the cleansing of her speech.

And then we read her only other personal request...
for more faith, stronger faith, fresh faith.

Two personal requests and then right back to praying for others...for another friend who was also being sentenced, and for yet another friend to be obedient and finally for what we all want...peace.

I don't what has happened to Sara since I received this sheet of notebook paper, the one written in red ink. I've kept this piece of paper all these years for a reason, and I think this afternoon that reason finally became clear...after reading His words written in red ink..."

"Have faith in God.
Truly I say to you,
whoever says to this mountain,
'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,'
and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that what he says will come to pass,
it will be done for him.
Therefore, I tell you,
whatever you ask in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours."
Mark 11:22-24

Even though her faith might have felt like it was slipping, she still had the faith to reach out to Him and ask...

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