Serious stuff. [Just thought I'd warn you.] I have 4 prayer booklets based in the Far East -- Thailand, Malaysia,Tibet, North Vietnam -- sent to me about a year ago by Lee, my Singapore friend. This morning I began reading, for the severaleth time, the booklet about people in Thailand, with many details about their lives and what they must go through on a day-to-day basis for survival. It also shares how nearly impossible it is to present the gospel to them for several reasons: it's illegal in various locations; a high percentage of illiteracy; generationally sold-out to idols, most of them having been dedicated from the womb, their spirits captivated. Over these months, while reading the stories, I have become more and more heart-involved. I turn a page and see a familiar picture of a "friend". Even before I begin reading, I recall their unique situation. I have become spirit- acquainted with them. I realize I will never meet these men, women and children face-to-face here on earth -- but maybe, just maybe, miraculously, we will meet in heaven. The reason? Because many are standing up for them, some "tent-making" within their national borders and others who, through prayer and fasting, worldwide, are fighting for their salvation.
As I look at the photos and read the stories, I find myself praying in a way that has become nearly standard for me over this past couple of years. Of course, first I generally say or "do" all the stuff that, as a Christian, is normal ... expected, but there is only one phrase that comes forth frequently with real intensity... "Only You, Lord, only YOU!". It's focus: various personal and family and friend situations, the violence in our neighborhoods, our city, the ungodliness that permeates our state -- our region -- our nation ---- our world -- and topping those, my own personal "flaws" that seem to keep kicking my tail.
When I find myself concerned beyond belief -- some folks have said I'm concerned beyond my "faith" -- this is the only prayer I can pray. It is screamed in my spirit and heart ... and often from my mouth -- while walking through my house or driving my car around town or through other parts of the country ... and, yes, oh, yes, jumbled together with praise to our Lord. AND In spite of that truth ... knowing that He IS the answer ... I still. ... overall ... often ... frequently ... cry out, "Only You, Lord, only YOU!"