Volunteers pray with people going to court

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND)- Since September, volunteers have gathered outside the Macon County Courthouse, offering to pray with people on their way to-and-from court.

The volunteers are taking part in an initiative called Courtside Ministries that began in Chicago and now includes volunteers praying at courthouses around Illinois and beyond.

“A lot of times when I offer, they say ‘No, I’m in a hurry,’” said volunteer Marie Sheets. “But then after I pray, people are usually thankful. If you’re praying about something that’s heavy in your heart, a lot of times having someone be nice to you kind of makes you cry.”

Volunteers say they often pray with people who have loved ones in jail or who are going through divorce or family court.

“Some people open up and give you details, and oftentimes they say ‘just general,’ and I say ‘That’s alright,’” said volunteer Deborah Mayo. “God leads us about what we’re going to pray about.”

The group prays at the courthouse every Tuesday morning.

“God wants us talking to people, and he wants them to talk to him,” Mayo said. “A lot of people make a big issue of it and it’s not. It’s just talking to God.”