So here’s a new post – on a Monday! I’m going to start posting these on Mondays, giving me the weekend to finish them and get them ready to send out. Trying to do it at the end of the work week as I have been doing has not proven to be altogether successful.
The Dannon Project was founded by Jeh Jeh Pruitt and his wife, Kerri, in 1999, following his youngest brother’s murder by a man who had recently been released from prison on a non-violent offense. According to their website bio, Kerri believed that if that man had had a strong support system upon his release, he would have made better choices and perhaps Jeh Jeh’s brother’s death could have been prevented. The Dannon Project (named for Jeh Jeh’s brother) became an official non-profit in October 2003.
Their mission is to “insure maximum utilization of resources in the metro-B’ham area by employing all of the resources in this area, including but not limited to, resources from private charitable sources and from local, state, and federal governments to assist in the development of healthy communities and lifestyles, thereby preventing violence and other at-risk behaviors that lead to unemployment, disease, incarceration, recidivism, premature death and generational cycles of poverty and economic exclusion.” The Dannon Project functions as the “point of contact” within the community to provide supportive services, case management, and referrals. They work youth and adults, male and female, who are considered part of the at-risk population, and those who are non-violent ex-offenders.
Matthew 25: 37-40 – 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Heavenly Father, Your grace and mercy are inexhaustible. “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (I can’t pinpoint the exact reference to that verse at the moment. It’s also a line from a Third Day song.) We praise You because there is no one on earth who is beyond Your love and salvation. You are strong and mighty to save. No one and nothing can thwart your purposes (see Job 42:2).
We pray for the people The Dannon Project seeks to reach. You have a plan for them that includes hope and a future. The enemy has a plan for them that includes destruction and death. We pray that You would rescue them from the kingdom of darkness and set them in the heavenly places in Christ. God, we confess that YOU are the ONLY ONE who can save a life. We ask that You would pour out Your Spirit on this at-risk population. Set them free from generational cycles of poverty and violence. We pray the Truth of Your Word would triumph over the lies they have been raised on.
Lord we pray that You would forgive us, Your Church, for desiring our own comfort over the needs of the least and the lost. Forgive us for writing them off as those beyond Your grace and undeserving of our time and attention – of only thinking about them in terms of the negative impact poor choices make on our society. Cause us to repent of that atrocious attitude that is not what Christ calls us to. Change our hearts and our minds. Move us with Your compassion to reach those who are currently the least and the lost. They are potentially our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are image-bearers of the Most High God. How dare we cast them aside? Oh Lord, make us uncomfortable in our comfy pews until we dare to love those who seem beyond anyone’s love.
Finally, we pray for the Pruitts and the ministry of The Dannon Project. What a testimony of Your forgiveness and grace that they would take such a tragedy and turn it into hope for so many! Bless this ministry, Lord God. Grant them all the provision they need to accomplish their mission. Give them wisdom to know how best to steward their resources and to keep them always focused on You. We pray the Spirit of the Lord GOD would be upon those involved in The Dannon Project, that You would anoint them to bring good news to the afflicted; send them to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. (from Is.61:1) We pray for all these things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Share with me in the comments how you are being led to pray for the least and the lost or for The Dannon Project.