If I were to look into your life of prayer, what would be the gist of your prayers? Think about it…when you pray, what do you most frequently ask about?
During this past trip to Haiti, one of the many lessons we taught the children was that God listened to them. The group leading this activity suggested for the children to write down their prayer requests on sticky notes and our team would pray for every last one of them.
Upon returning home, I translated these requests and was immediately struck by a number of things. For one thing, these children understood the lesson and took the activity very seriously. Their prayer requests were not of trivial things, well most of them. We did have a couple silly boys asking God for a cute young girl they saw in camp.
However, the majority of them had serious needs they wanted God to act on. Their prayers fittingly reflected their living conditions. An overwhelming number of them asked God for intelligence to finish school. “God I ask you for strength, courage, health and intelligence to learn in school”.
The other group of requests were about their performance in school. There seem to be a stigma with staying back in school, many of them asked: “God help me to never repeat a grade…”. I wondered why the stigma exists but I think there may be a number of things at play. The first issue is: the majority of the schools in Haiti are private. Many parents have a very difficult time making school payments and they want to make sure their children make the best of their education and that means you cannot afford to repeat a grade. The other issue is: students in Haiti find their self worth and confidence through education. In school they can prove themselves to be worthy. And lastly, education is seen as a way to get out of poverty. Many of the students would say in their prayer requests: God help me get an education to be a doctor or engineer to help my family and my country.
The last big need on these children’s prayer requests were for health. Again this request makes complete sense; these children see sickness and death everyday of their lives. The life expectancy in Haiti is 61 compared to the US 78. There is an overwhelming need for proper medical care, doctors and hospitals to care for the needs that exist in Haiti. And the children’s prayer requests reflect that.
I was shocked to learn so much about the condition these children are currently living in through their prayer requests.
Most gracious God I pray you specifically for these groups of children in Haiti who made their prayers known to us and most importantly to you. God I pray for their well being; spiritually, physically and emotionally. I pray for their education that you may provide for them, not only for them to be smart and get out of poverty but that everything they learn may point them to you. I pray to you for their health and the health of their loved ones. Would you please provide healing where it’s needed? We know that you can do all things and all things are possible through you. In Jesus name I pray for your precious children. Amen!