Observations From Family Court

I was in court today. Family Court, to be specific. I was there supporting a family who is attempting to gain custody of their niece. She is a lovely young lady, and they are a beautiful family. In waiting for their hearing to take place I sat through about a half dozen hearings.

Judge Jennie Barkey was incredible to watch. She was loving and firm and decisive, and clearly only had in mind the best for the children. In fact everyone in court today only had the best in mind for the kids. As Judge Barkey’s decisions were announced some smiled, some frowned, some cried, some laughed, and one skipped out of the courtroom. I was emotionally drained before the hearing I was there for even began!

I was moved at how petitioners, social workers, advocates, and friends all were single-minded in their desire for the best for the kids. Some may not have liked Judge Barkey’s rulings, but that didn’t take away from the focus on the kids. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus said that kids were the picture of God’s Kingdom, and He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them. I pray that I can always have that same single-minded desire to only desire and work for the best for the most innocent and vulnerable in our community. It’s what Jesus would want, and it’s what He blesses.

For Just An Hour?

We designate the first Wednesday of every month as a day of prayer, where we focus our prayers on a particular topic. I look forward to the synergy of pray-ers on this day: the men gather at 7:30 in the morning, the ladies a little later in the morning, and then we turn our mid-week evening service into a prayer time for everyone.

Unfortunately, this is always the least-attended mid-week service of the month.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Just an hour before Jesus was going to be arrested and go through one of the most horrific nights any human has ever faced, He asked His disciples to pray with Him. And these men who were literally in the presence of God couldn’t stay awake to pray! Prayer is hard work; it’s a discipline. Jesus knew this, and that’s why He told us, “For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.” And also, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19-20). We had more than two or three present last night, and those who were there prayed fervently, so I know God will answer our prayers! I’m grateful for the privilege to pray, and I’m grateful for our faithful prayer warriors who joined together last night.

A great 19th-century writer on prayer, E.M. Bounds, said, “Prayer is simply asking God to do for us what He has promised us He will do if we ask Him…. If we limit God in the asking, He will be limited in the giving.”

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