Oh Lord, hear my prayer

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At the City of Youth, our flagship campus in Brazil, we have a mid-week chapel service for the kids.  During the service we have an offertory.  Our kids, of course, have no money to give, but come forward and place written prayers and prayer requests in a large bowl at the front of the auditorium.  Many of the prayers are simple, a line or two composed at the last minute, but nonetheless heartfelt, “Lord, thank you for giving me this place to live.”  Others are longer, maybe running a page or two as a child pours out her heart to God, perhaps pleading for God to intervene in the life of a family member.
Last year I had the opportunity to join the pastors in reading and praying over the written words of the children. We surrendered more than our share of tears, seeing their hearts as they placed their lives before God.
After ten minutes or so of reading and praying, Pastor Derli reached into the bowl and pulled out a scrap of paper, read the words, and handed it to me grinning.  Then he watched for my reaction. With my very rudimentary Portuguese, it took me a minute or two to put it together, then the grin spread across my face too: “God, I want a dog to adopt and a fifty-two inch plasma television.”
I love this story because this is not the prayer request of a child fearing for his safety or comfort or survival.  This is not the request of a child who feels unloved or haunted by his past.  These are the words of a little boy who has everything he needs except a dog and a plasma TV.
When the children who come to us get to just be children, that’s a transformation! That is a real victory!

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