The room smells of coffee, paper and expo markers. The chairs gathered around the table are all shapes and sizes, always changing places as staff members try out new seating arrangements. In the middle of the table is a china blue candle from Bath and Body Works that is lit when the person working at the table just needs a little something to make the day special. This is the place where meetings occur, brainstorming takes place and interviews are held, but more importantly this is the room where prayer happens.
Every Wednesday morning all available staff members gather around this table for a devotional. This is a time to pause and acknowledge that 4KIDS is in the hands of God, that the work accomplished through this organization is by the grace of Jesus and that we need God’s wisdom to care for His children well. It is a time to stop and re-focus on the greatness of God and the smallness of us.
As we close our devotional time, we transition into a time of praise.
People and events are named and written on the white board that runs the length of one of the walls. We praise God for the essential funding that we are receiving. He is a good Father who provides. We praise Him for the relationships He is nurturing between children and their foster parents. He is the ultimate peace maker. We praise Him for the way He supports our foster parents spiritually. He is a Good Shepherd. We praise Him for the new homes that have been opened. He sets the lonely into homes. We praise Him for the new partnerships that He is bringing our way. He creates community and support through His church.
God answers prayers! Almost every week an item that was in the prayer column moves to the praise column as we see God move in glorious, sometimes unexpected ways. There is a humble excitement that takes place in our hearts when we see prayers answered. It gives our hearts the hope they need to write another service plan, to go to court again, to pray for that child again, to keep pressing on in the face of seeming hopelessness.
As we finish writing out the praises, we move to the other side of the whiteboard and begin recording our prayers. We ask for the Holy Spirit to be an advocate for each child in our care. He is the ultimate lawyer. We ask for reconciliation between children and their biological parents. Jesus deeply loves them both. We ask for space for our growing organization. God is multiplying us. We ask for blessing over specific families who are going through hardship. God has compassion for their struggle. We ask for peace for our foster parents. Jesus is the one who calms storms.
As we praise God and we bring our petitions before Him, we enter into His workspace, amazed at the little miracles that take place every day. He blesses our families and us with increased patience, perseverance and hope. We love that God has invited us to work with Him in providing for and protecting His children and these weekly prayer times are a reminder of His Presence and blessing.