There’s a true story told by missionary to Cambodia, Don Cormack, that I think illustrates the way we should be praying to God, especially for the salvation of others. This story is set in one of the refugee camps on the Thai/Cambodian border towards the end of the Khmer Rouges control. Here is the story in his own words.
“One day, as I stood interpreting for one of the only two doctors at a place called Klong Wah where thousands needed their immediate attention, a little lad of about eight came up to me calling, ‘Uncle, uncle, please come and help me carry my older brother over here where he can be given medicine.’ The boy explained his brother, about 12, was lying a good two kilometers away in the bush, unconscious in a malaria coma. But I couldn’t just walk away from my responsibilities as interpreter and the enormous task I already had on my hands helping to care for hundreds of dying people right there. Only a few yards into the forest there were more. How could I justify going so far and using up so much valuable time for just one? I told the boy I couldn’t go with him, but that he should get one or two to help carry his brother in. Of course I knew even as I spoke that it was unlikely anyone was going to expend their own limited energy on a dying boy. His bad karma, his fate, had brought him to this sorry state, they would be reckoning subconsciously. Who can or should alter that?
The boy however would not be put off. He persisted in crying out after me, till I finally steeled myself and ignored him. After about an hour of whimpering and pleading, he fell silent, deep in thought. He knew that I was the only lifeline there was to save his brother’s life. Next thing, I felt a pair of sinewy arms grip me round the legs, and a pair of ankles lock around mine. And there he clung like a leech. Now it was my turn to protest. But his lips were sealed. He clearly wasn’t going to let go his vice-like grip on my legs till they followed him to that place where his brother lay dying. I was thus compelled to go with him in order to be rid of him! His dogged importunity had gained him the victory. And I reflected as I pursued him through the trees that this was surely what serious believing Christian prayer was all about. It entailed a crucial element of ‘violence’. It involved patiently holding on to the knees of God, even in the face of apparent silence and lack of movement. The older brother’s life was saved.”
God is true, His promises are sure. If only we would take hold of God, our only Hope, the way the boy in this story did to his only hope.
“And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, … all those who did oppress you; and ye cried to Me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken Me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto Thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” ~ Judges 10:11-16 ~